22 Practices of Liberation in the Era of Mass Deportation, Incarceration, and Displacement


In a globalized present marked by forced displacements, governments—in alliance and complicity with transnational corporations—have devised and implemented different authoritarian, carcerial, racist and hetero-patriarchal policies, not only to curb migratory processes, but also to profit from them. Neoliberal states have recycled old laws and created new ones to harden and militarize the borders, while generating quick capital through the production of security, militaristic, and criminalizing paradigms that extend regimes of deportation, imprisonment, persecution, as well as the physical, legal, and humanitarian impediment to free movement. This working group aims to generate a space for activists, and/or researchers, and/or artists working with issues related to migration, forced displacement, incarceration and deportation, to share their activism and political practices. By sharing our research, local and transnational organizing practices, and analogous and digital art, this work group seeks to establish dialogues and generate tools, materials, and networks that will allow us to build a coordinated force of liberation, to devise ways of dignifying migrant transit, to develop new forms of integration and political hospitality, and to build respect for the inalienable rights of displaced and refugee people. We are especially interested in generating articulations between sanctuary practices, defense committees, immigrant rights organizations, activist research, popular education, and performance in public spaces.

Format and Structure:

  • Days 1-2: Presentations, planning, discussion—each participant or collective will have 15 minutes.
  • Day 3-4: Visits to organizations (Other Dreamers in Action)
  • Day 5: Closure / conclusion and development of a roadmap for future collaborations and across-border joint actions. Production of a document, text or video about the work done over the five days for dissemination / publication.

Languages spoken/understood by conveners:

English, Spanish, Portuguese.


María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo is a Professor with the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU. Her book, Indian Given: Racial Geographies across Mexico and the United States (Duke UP 2016), received the 2017 John Hope Franklin Book prize & NACCS Book Award for the Best Book in American and Chicanx Studies, respectively. Her first book, The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of Development (Duke 2003), analyzes the discursive complicity between Central American and Mexican revolutionary movements and economic development discourse. Her next monograph, NAFTA, Narcos, and Migration: How Free Trade Brought Us the Drug Economy and Its Refugees, investigates multiple connections between free trade, migration, and the drug trade that have flourished in the aftermath of the North American Free Trade Accord in 1994. She is also Chairwoman of Coalición Mexicana, a New York City immigrant rights organization and a volunteer and expert witness with immigration aid agencies internationally.

Pablo Domínguez Galbraith is a Ph.D Candidate in the Spanish and Portuguese Department at Princeton University. He is currently working on his dissertation Migrating Violence, Migrating Justice: Politics and Aesthetics of Central American Migration in the 21st Century, which situates the historical process of displacement, expulsion and transit of Central American migrants along the corridor towards the USA in the neoliberal age after NAFTA, and traces the emergence of transnational networks of migrant care, forms of resistance and struggles for human rights and human dignity. His research focuses on migration, forensic aesthetics and politics, transitional and transnational justice, non-fiction and documentary cultural production as well as with critical studies of surveillance, sovereignty, citizenship, kinopolitics, and contemporary forms of violence. He is also a founding collaborator of the Ecologies of Migrant Care initiative.

César Barros A. is an educator and activist. He works with the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, where he is part of the Popular Education program. He has focused his activism on researching the relations between the criminalization of immigration and big capital. He is also Associate Professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures and Director of the Latin American & Caribbean Studies Program at SUNY New Paltz. His current research focuses on the political economy of images, a theory that creates a dialogue between Political Economy, Performance and Visual Studies in order to see the different exchanges, repetitions, erasures and frame-workings by which an image, and the event to which it is articulated, acquire their social efficacy and position in a system of visibility. He has published articles on Latin American literature, film, visual arts and aesthetic theory. His most recent work has been published in Vazantes, Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana, Revista Hispánica Moderna, Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, la Fuga Revista de Cine, Artishock  and Potlatch. He is the author of the book Escenas y obscenas del consumo (Cuarto Propio, 2013).

Ángeles Donoso Macaya is an immigrant educator, researcher and organizer from Santiago, Chile, based in New York City. Since 2017, she is a member of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City. She participates in the weekly Pro Se Immigration Clinic, collaborates in the NSC accompaniment program and does organizing work. In July 2018, she co-organized the #WhatWouldYouPack action at 26 Federal Plaza. Ángeles is also Associate Professor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY and teaches a decolonial history of Latin American photography at The CUNY Graduate Center. Her research and teaching interests include Latin/x American photography theory and history, counter-archival production, human rights activism, and documentary film. Her book Documentary Matter(s): Photography and Resistance in Chile under the Military Dictatorship is forthcoming with University Florida Press (Fall 2019). Her research has been published in the journals Vazantes, American Quarterly, Aisthesis, Chasqui, Revista Hispánica Moderna, La Fuga Revista de Cine and in several collective edited volumes. She is a contributor of ATLAS Imaginarios Visuales and member of the FONDART reviewers commision in the area of Photography (the FONDART is the major annual grant given by the Chilean National Council for the Arts and Culture).


  • Adam Horowitz
  • Britta Anderson
  • Cynthia Citlallin Delgado
  • Hannah Rackow
  • Irene Sanchez
  • Jennifer Ponce de León
  • Joana Ramos
  • Kathleen Buddle
  • Maria Giulianna Zambrano
  • Meryl Murman
  • Michelle Castaneda
  • Nabil Salazar (INVASORIX)
  • Raquel Salvatella de Prada
  • Rosely Conz
  • Sarah Hart