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San Francisco art exhibit tells the untold story of migrant women

Exhibition by 2 Mexican artists in S.F. aims to make the invisible visible
Exhibition by 2 Mexican artists in S.F. aims to make the invisible visible 02:22

SAN FRANCISCO - In celebration of Women's History Month, a new exhibition featuring the works of Mexican artists Georgina Reskala and Arleene Correa Valencia has opened, exploring lesser known stories of migration and immigration.

"I started doing all these collages with women because it was my way of giving a second chance to a lot of these women that perhaps never had a chance to speak up," Georgina Reskala said.

Crossing Lines, - or "Lineas que Cruzamos" - focuses on the experiences of those immigrant women forced to stay silent and, sometimes, alone.

"The more I meet people, the more I meet immigrant women, especially in my case, from Mexico and South America...all their stories are about being left behind by either their partner and/or them taking a trip alone to venture out until they can get a better life and can come back to collect their children or the rest of the family," Reskala added.

On the other hand, Correa Valencia's works examine the complex experiences of families separated by the United States-Mexico border.

"I'm excited to hear the different stories that people will bring to this work, but I can say that I did the work thinking about families or communities that migrate together. We've heard a lot about these caravans that travel from Latin America to the US-Mexico border in search of becoming a refugee, having asylum, or being led into the country. So with this work, I was thinking about how my family would stand united," Correa Valencia explained. It's a memory that lives with her.

"I really wanted to understand how a father...and I always get really emotional when I talk about this, but how a father could hand over their child to a coyote and then not know if they'll see them again because that's what essentially happened with me," Correa Valencia said.

The exhibition is a timely reminder of the struggles faced by migrants and their families, especially given the current political climate.

"When creating these portraits, I started deconstructing the same vests from friends of fame that work in the fields, and then I was fascinated and thinking about how I could use light to hide bodies and to reveal other bodies o I can force my audience to engage in this game of Thermo technology and specifically thinking about the technology that's used at the border to detect bodied that attempt to cross at night," Correa Valencia explained.

Both said the exhibition is a must-see for anyone interested in the experiences of immigrants and the impact of migration from the perspective of women.

"Historically, women haven't had a voice, and even now, black and brown women are not given that voice, so I often wonder where these stories go," Reskala said.

The exhibit will be shown at the SF Arts Commission Main Gallery in the War Memorial Veterans Building until April 29th.

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