Nov. 7, 2007 – “Invisible No More: Latinos’ Dignity March in Utah” a powerful photo documentary exhibit of the historic April 6, 2006 immigration march in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah will be presented at the Main City Library, November 19 through December 19, 2007. An Inauguration Ceremony at noon on Monday, November 19th will launch the exhibit. The event is free and open to the public.
On April 9, 2006, the Latino community of Utah, in collaboration with several organizations and Salt Lake City officials, put together the largest march in the history of the state. More than 43,000 people walked peacefully on the streets of the city in support of a more humane and comprehensive immigration reform. “The march is considered a hallmark in civic participation, and the most vibrant manifestation of democracy in the Beehive State,” said Armando Solórzano, Associate Professor, Family & Consumer Studies, University of Utah.
To record the historical significance of this event, five Latino photographers captured more than five thousands images of the march. Solórzano collected the speeches made by city officials, religious leaders and community members at the march, and created an archive of interviews, newspaper clippings, and analysis surrounding the event.
The exhibit depicts the different actors, laws, motives, and accomplishment of the march. The exhibit is composed of 60 frames, and each frame contains four or more photos, which include a caption in both English and Spanish.
According to Solórzano, the underlying intention of the project is to give voice to the millions of undocumented people in Utah and the nation. “Conferences and symposiums on immigration focus on unauthorized immigrants, but this population are not invited into the conversations or their concerns are not represented. Undocumented workers remain unheard and their humanity is frequently questioned. Our display rescues their deep desires, their appreciation towards the U.S., their celebration of family values, and their strong sense of hope and optimism. To them, the March was a celebration of their dignity and humanity. And our exhibit attempts to be loyal to their deepest desires.”
Contributing photographer, Lee Martinez, adds, “Utah has never seen such a protest, in part because of the great numbers, and also because it was composed of people of color. The state was forced to confront the reality of the growth of our population (Latinos) and the potential, for good or for bad, as well as our ability to mobilize.”
“The City Library is proud to once again work with Professor Armando Solórzano and the University of Utah as we host this important photo-documentary exhibit,” said Hikmet Sidney Loe, manager, Lower Urban Room Gallery at the City Library. “The Library’s role as a community gathering place, and place for our community’s stories to be told, is exemplified in this exhibition. The Latino community can be proud that the historic march of April 9, 2006, will continue in this vibrant and important visual story.”
The planners say the exhibit was created with the intention to humanize the experience of unauthorized workers, and to depict the participation of Latinos in the civic and political institutions of Utah. After being shown at the Salt Lake City Library, the exhibit will be displayed at the Marriott Library, University of Utah; Westminster College; and Weber State University. It will then move to southern Utah, and then travel throughout the nation and abroad.
“Invisible No More: Latinos’ Dignity March” was made possible by support from the Ethnic Studies Program, Chicano Studies Program, and the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Utah. The Tanner Humanities Center, the Latin American Study Program, and the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Utah and Westminster College also contributed support to the exhibit. The planners wish to recognize support from Weber State University, and Eric and Melinda Heath.
For more information, please, call Armando Solórzano at 801-581-5156.