Free Them All: Portraits from La Resistencia

Henry Front Entrance
Fall 2020 – Winter 2021
This installation is presented in partnership with La Resistencia and University of Washington Faculty organizers of Art at the Borders of the Political.
La Resistencia’s #FreeThemAll campaign shares visual and narrative portraits of people detained within the Tacoma ICE Processing Center (formerly Northwest Detention Center). The project highlights the human rights issues at the center of migration, detention, and deportation policies, and is a platform for calls-to-action to support individuals inside as well as to end detention and deportations in Washington State and beyond. The Henry presents a selection of screen printed portraits from #FreeThemAll in the museum’s front windows and along the adjacent exterior wall, and to be distributed and shared locally by La Resistencia members and supporters. The four portraits reproduced on paper represent individuals currently detained inside the Tacoma ICE Processing Center who are working with La Resistencia to highlight the urgency of their cases and the terrible conditions at the detention center. QR codes included on the prints link to their stories, as well as information on how to take action.
The onsite presentation of the #FreeThemAll project is in conjunction with the Henry’s upcoming presentation of Hostile Terrain 94 (HT 94)a participatory art exhibition created by the Undocumented Migration Project and directed by UCLA anthropologist Jason De León. In situating the portraits from the #FreeThemAll project as part of the programming for HT 94, we invite conversation about how federal migration policy affects the ongoing lives of our neighbors living and working in King and Pierce Counties.

Both Free Them All and HT 94 are part of Art at the Borders of the Political, a multi-pronged faculty project organized by University of Washington Professors José Antonio Lucero, María Elena García, and Katie Bunn-Marcuse in collaboration with other colleagues across campus, and funded by the Simpson Center for the Humanities. Support for the Henry’s participation in HT 94 is provided by the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture. Screen prints for this project are printed by Seattle-based Independence Printage.

La Resistencia is a grassroots organization based in Washington State working to end the detention of immigrants and stop deportations. Originally founded in 2014 to support a hunger strike launched by people detained in Tacoma, WA to protest their confinement, La Resistencia began under the umbrella of the national #Not1More campaign as “NWDC Resistance.” Today, La Resistencia members support and engage with people detained at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma who organize for their own survival and in protest against the detention and deportation regime. They are a multi-racial, multi-status, multi-gender group that organizes across the prison barrier. La Resistencia’s goal is to shut down the NWDC in Tacoma and to end all detention and deportation everywhere.