Wavering Stripes is an interactive website about immigration detention in the United States. Through conceptual visuals, the project distorts the American flag into the structure of a detention facility. Within the structure are individuals and their personal stories of struggle as immigrants. Each story further reveals the injustice and irony of immigration detention in the “land of the free.” In all, the project hopes to emotionally impact visitors and ignite action toward ending immigration detention.
As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, I have witnessed and experienced the pain of the U.S. immigration system. Family members have undergone starvation, sickness, and abuse on their immigration journey and today, many do not travel out of fear of deportation. Such experiences, as well as those of others in my community, have shown immigration detention is a manifestation of a system that does not seek to help or benefit the most vulnerable. Instead, it is a punitive practice that prevents people from living their life in true liberation. To me, Wavering Stripes is my attempt to shed light on a system that hurts my family, my local community, and countless others across the country.
Truthfully, I was daunted by the scope of the project. How could I, with the skills and resources I have, create a project that tackles the flaws of the U.S. immigration system? I looked back to my roots — one of my parent’s most common phrases is “échale ganas.” This loosely translates to “give it your all” or “do it with a passion” depending on the situation. I have applied this mindset all throughout my life, and I realized it was needed more than ever when tackling this side project. Giving it my all meant having a growth mindset: “What I do not know, I will learn.” I told myself. Doing it with passion meant I should work on this precisely because I am passionate about it. I reassured myself: “This issue is important, and you can make a difference.” Five months later, I launched Wavering Stripes.