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By Micah Bazant, Part of the Visions From The Inside collaboration. Link:

Visions from the Inside: Day 11

As originally posted on Visions From The Inside

By Micah Bazant
By Micah Bazant

“The water has bleach in it, and I don’t have money to buy water from the store.” –Excerpt from letter


ARTIST STATEMENT:  “The letter I illustrated was short and so heartbreaking. There was so much unsaid in it: so much strength, suffering and history. The author says “I am an orphan, and my husband was murdered. I was also threatened, that I would be killed together with my daughter. I am also discriminated against because of my language, I don’t know how to speak Spanish.” US dialogue about immigration usually starts with a focus on individuals who are breaking the law. But it’s a choice to start the story there — to start it after 500+ years of colonization + genocide of Mayan people; after the US-backed coup that led to 36 years of terror and war; after decades of US drug policies and multinational trade agreements that have decimated the economy and democratic governance, and fueled narcoviolence. The letter also said: “The water has bleach in it, and I don’t have money to buy water from the store.” Water is life and water crosses borders. Clean water should be everyone’s birthright. When I imagined what I wished for this mother and her child, I imagined a mighty waterfall breaking through the prison walls.“ –Micah Bazant





Visions From The Inside is a collaborative project between 15 visual artists and detained migrants at Karnes Detention Center.

CultureStrike in partnership with Mariposas Sin Fronteras, End Family Detention and 15 artists from across the country, brings you Visions From The Inside, a visual art project inspired by letters penned by detained migrants.

By visually illustrating these letters we aim to bring awareness and a better sense of the realities that people are experiencing inside of for-profit detention facilities, what led them to migrate in the first place and, most importantly, highlighting the resiliency of the migrant spirit.