Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

This is my first co-written piece, written with Mia Nakaji Monnier. While the world was locked down, artists found a way to get their message through ... to the skies. What an amazing feat and also I hope one that has a life after the clouds have been blown away. 


Just after 2 p.m. on Friday, Beatriz Cortez, Douglas Carranza and Freya Rojo walked across MacArthur Park, seeking a patch of sky not obstructed by trees. They stopped in a shaded spot on a hillside overlooking the park’s lake with the downtown Los Angeles skyline spread out behind it. They waited, heads tilted toward up.

"NO CAGES, NO JAULAS" written in in the sky, contributed by Beatriz Cortez, over the Immigration Court on Olive Street. Photo by: Dee Gonzalez, In Plain Sight


Drone photo with the words "DEFUND ICE" written in chalk during the Immigrant Detention Day of Action (Alfombra Centroamericana) organized by the coalition of Central American organizations. Photo by: Josue Guajan, In Plain Sight

Earlier that day, Cortez, an L.A.-based artist and a professor in the Department of Central American Studies (CAS) at CSU Northridge, had led an art event on the other side of the park, between Levitt Pavilion and event venue The MacArthur. Inspired by the syncretic Catholic and indigenous Mayan tradition of the alfombra, a group of artists and a coalition of Central American community organizations had written in chalk across the ground, “DEFUND ICE.” Now, she and her colleagues waited for the next part of the event: another set of messages — this time written in the sky instead of pavement. [read more]


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