11. Immigrants are Essential
Artist and activist Paola Mendoza unveiled Immigrants are Essential, a public art installation in an empty SoHo storefront that honors seven undocumented immigrants who lost their lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Viewers will witness each of their lives reflected through a large-scale portrait and an oral history recorded by family members.
Immigrants are Essential features the portraits of Fedelina, Mario, Moisés, Yimel, Juan, Ofelia and Guadalupe – seven undocumented immigrants from different backgrounds, illustrated by photographs provided by family members. Each portrait has an accompanying QR code for the viewer to access an oral history, as told by the family. This installation is a reminder and a call to action: immigrants have always been an essential part of the fabric of our country, and it is long past due to provide a dignified pathway to citizenship. The portraits will be viewable at 2 Rivington Street from April 27 through May 3 and then online.