Feb 22, 2023

UArizona Helps Launch Archive Sharing Stories of Detained Immigrants

University of Arizona faculty and community partners have created a public archive of interviews with asylum-seekers and undocumented migrants incarcerated in Arizona.

A group of University of Arizona faculty members and their community partners are preparing to launch a public archive containing the stories of asylum-seekers and undocumented migrants incarcerated in Arizona.

The DETAINED: Voices from the Migrant Incarceration System project is a collaborative effort involving UArizona, the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project and Salvavision. The Florence Project provides free legal and social services to individuals in immigration detention in Arizona. Salvavision is a Tucson-based organization that provides aid and support to asylum-seekers and migrants displaced in the remote town of Sasabe, in Sonora, Mexico.

The DETAINED archive will be available online Wednesday, and a launch event will be held that night at the Blacklidge Community Collective. The collective, located at 101 E. Ventura St., is a community space that hosts a variety of local projects, events and resources. The event will include stations where people can listen to archived interviews, as well as digital projections of art and memorabilia collected from former detainees.

The archive grew out professor of art David Taylor’s decades-long focus on the nature and changing circumstances of the borderlands – an interest he developed after moving from the East Coast and thinking about the tropes that make up society’s conception of Western history. A photographer, Taylor said any story he told would not be that of a person who personally crossed the border or someone seeking asylum or work. Instead, he strives to let those people tell their own stories.

“My goal in all of this is to ensure that people’s experiences do not disappear. These are people who don’t get to write history. They don’t usually have their say,” Taylor said.

You can read more in an article by Logan Burtch-Buus published in the University of Arizona web site at:

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