(Un)Documented: Artists, Activists, and Archives

Event Details

Being “undocumented” does not mean having no documents, being invisible, untraceable, or ignorable. The "undocumented" may lack certain governmental papers, but this does not mean their lives are un-recordable. This event, sponsored by the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, takes up the question of documentation and representation in the face of immigration to the US, particularly as it relates to LGBTQ+ individuals. What role do artists, activists, archives, and communities play in recording history, pushing for reform, and fighting for rights? How do we create place and space for our communities? How do we record this history without putting individuals at risk? This panel puts together artists, activists, and organizers to discuss their own practice and experiences.  

This program is in collaboration with In Plain Sight, a coalition of 80 artists united to create an artwork dedicated to the abolition of immigrant detention and the United States culture of incarceration. 


Paolo Riveros is a transgender, visual artist from Lima, Perú. He began his career through photography, documenting the Los Angeles nightlife, which later developed into photojournalism, covering social justice movements. His body of work is at the intersection of immigration and LGBTQIA issues, documenting critical moments and the people behind the movements. Most recently, he is part of Cumbiatón as their resident photographer, documenting events nationwide.

Julio Salgado is the co-founder of DreamersAdrift and the Migrant Storytelling Manager for The Center for Cultural Power. His status as an undocumented, queer artivist has fueled the contents of his visual art, which depict key individuals and moments of the DREAM Act and the migrant rights movement. Undocumented students, organizers, and allies across the country have used Salgado’s artwork to call attention to the migrant rights movement. Salgado is the co-creator of The Disruptors Fellowship, an inaugural fellowship for emerging television writers of color who identify as trans/and or non-binary, disabled, undocumented and/or formerly undocumented immigrants. His work has been displayed at the Oakland Museum, SFMOMA and Smithsonian.

Guadalupe Rosales is a Los Angeles-based artist who received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016 and was the 2019 recipient of the Gordon Parks Foundation fellowship and 2020 USA Artist Award fellow. She is the founder and operator of Veteranas & Rucas and Map Pointz, two digital archives accessible through Instagram with over 250k subscribers. In addition to these two digital archives on Instagram, Rosales runs and preserves a physical archive containing vernacular photographs, flyers, magazines, and other types of ephemera of the 1990’s connected to Latinx youth culture in Southern California. Guided by an instinct to create counter-narratives, Rosales tells the stories of communities often underrepresented in public record and official memory. By preserving artifacts and memorabilia, Rosales’ reframes marginalized histories, offering platforms of self-representation. 

Ubaldo Boido and Craig Scott and are partners of five years, live in Palm Springs, CA, and have been working on establishing "The House" – an LGBTQIA+ migrant home/safe space for people immigrating to the United States. They have opened their home to several individuals who have suffered through the immigration process. Ubaldo is a gay, LatinX activist and an artist/creator that centers his work on supporting LGBTQIA+ people immigrating to the United States, creating spaces for queer people in LatinX and POC communities, and performance art as installation. Craig Scott is a gay activist and advocate with Democratic Socialist ideals and focuses his work on supporting LGBTQIA+ people immigrating to the United States, immigration justice reform, political actions of dissent, and gay archives. Craig and Ubaldo also created Desert Support for Asylum Seekers (DSAS), an organization that assists people in ICE detention through penpal programs and legal advocacy, and also supports people in Mexicali awaiting entry into ICE custody. 


Image: Guadalupe Rosales, "No Son Olvidados," In Plain Sight, 2020.