Occasionally, Unsettling America will select and showcase featured artists for their contributions to the discourse of decolonization. Today’s featured artists are Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes of Dignidad Rebelde:
Dignidad Rebelde is a graphic arts collaboration between Oakland-based artist-activists Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes. We believe that art can be an empowering reflection of community struggles, dreams and visions. Following principles of Xicanisma and Zapatismo, we create work that translates people’s stories into art that can be put back into the hands of the communities who inspire it.
We recognize that the history of the majority of people worldwide is a history of colonialism, genocide, and exploitation. Our art is grounded in Third World and indigenous movements that build people’s power to transform the conditions of fragmentation, displacement and loss of culture that result from this history. Representing these movements through visual art means connecting struggles through our work and seeking to inspire solidarity among communities of struggle worldwide.
Dignidad Rebelde’s graphic art is of the highest quality and versatility – our art is for museums, collectors’ exhibitions, community and cultural centers, individual homes, political rallies and more. We are committed to advancing the acceptance of people’s art as quality art, and to nurturing a model of art-making grounded in collaboration with community organizations and other networks of artists.