This Photographer Offers a Window Into the Lives of Central American Youth Who Have Fought for a Home in the US
Show of the Day: “Ruthie Abel: Let It Be the Dream It Used to Be” at Anastasia Photo, New York.
“Let It Be the Dream It Used to Be”
Anastasia Photo, New York
What the Gallery Says: “Over 30,000 children currently face complex deportation proceedings without legal counsel. Most come from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, countries with the highest murder rates in the world. These children face deadly violence if deported, and thus have strong legal cases for immigration relief. However, these children are alone and unrepresented. In immigration court, the Department of Homeland Security is represented by highly trained attorneys who will argue for their removal. Without counsel, their chance of avoiding deportation is less than 10 percent. With legal counsel, their chance is 86 percent.
“‘Let It Be the Dream’ documents children who, through an extraordinary network of pro bono legal service providers, have won the right to stay in America.”
Why It’s Worth a Look: Taking her exhibition’s name from a 1935 poem by Langston Hughes, Abel gives a human face to an increasingly divisive political issue with her candid yet inviting photographs, which range from quiet and introspective to unexpectedly playful, the children’s openness belying their formerly precarious situations.
In the galleries, her portraits are paired with work by her subjects, printed on Plexiglas. “They are hand-backed with abstracts of legal documents that are relevant to the children’s defense in immigration court,” wrote the artist in an email to artnet News.
What It Looks Like:
“Ruthie Abel: Let It Be the Dream It Used to Be” is on view through February 11, 2018.
Anastasia Photo is located at 143 Ludlow Street, New York.
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