The Undocumented-Led Struggle for Freedom: A Conversation with the Authors of Eclipse of Dreams

Photo of first direct action with civil disobedience led by undocumented youth of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance after the failure of the DREAM Act to pass in December 2010.

Details

WHERE:

The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue

SERIES EVENTS:

ADMISSION:

Free

SPONSOR:

The Center for the Humanities

RESERVATIONS:

Description

 

Join us for The Undocumented-Led Struggle for Freedom, a conversation with four of the six co-authors Marco Saavedra, Claudia Muñoz, Mariela Nuñez-Janes, and Stephen Pavey of Eclipse of Dreams, a timely book which recounts, via self–authored testimonial narratives and collective storytelling, the journey of six activists who met “somewhere in between classrooms, academic conferences, and organizing for the DREAM Act.” Their paths crossed in 2010, the year when the Senate failed to pass the DREAM Act. For this heterogeneous group comprised of undocumented youth activists and activist-scholars, the notorious failure of the DREAM Act revealed the paradoxical position of immigrants in their struggle for “inclusion.” As they poignantly ask in the Introduction:

“What if our dreams, the very scope of our horizons, what we hoped for ourselves and others, was limited by the framework in which we expressed them, the American Dream itself?"

 


“Eclipse of Dreams,” the eloquent title-image that frames the whole conversation, conveys precisely this contradiction—it names the “space where nightmares and dreams intersect, the third space that Chicana feminist scholar Gloria Anzaldúa calls la encrucijada/the crossroads,” the space “where shadows meet light.” In this event, we will pick up where the book left off to discuss and explore how, in the search for alternative ways of struggle for real liberation, justice, and dignity, undocumented youth activists began to organize differently and to devise several forms of direct action.

Click here to register for this event. This event will be ASL interpreted.

 

Civil disobedience and Presente vigil led by SOA Watch (Nogales, AZ, November 2018), from Eclipse of Dreams.

 

This event is one of the two inaugural events co-sponsored by the Archives in Common: Migrant Practices/Knowledges/Memory project, led by Seminar Faculty Leader Ángeles Donoso Macaya, along with “Brewing Memories,” an outdoors community workshop about medicinal plants, food justice, and indigenous food traditions. Read Ángeles Donoso Macaya's own words on the importance of these events:

"As Faculty Seminar Leader of Archives in Common, for me it is extremely significant to launch the project with this collective conversation. In both theory and practice, Archives in Common refuses the divisions created by institutions of higher education as colonial and imperial projects—above all, the position of the 'expert' and the notion that 'He' is authorized to produce and disseminate knowledge about determined 'subjects.'

Moreover, the events and activities organized as part of the Archives in Common project seek to challenge the operations and framings deployed by 'the Archive,' also understood here as a colonial and imperial operation that produces 'knowledge' about certain individuals—in this particular case, immigrants and immigrant communities. Not only the authors of Eclipse of Dreams directly address some of the central issues I want to explore, learn more about, and discuss with the participants of the Archives in Common project, but also the book in and of itself can be seen as an 'archive' created 'in common:' through personal narratives, photographs, and quotes, Eclipse of Dreams offers counter-framings of immigrant and undocumented-led organizing, reflects critically about the struggle for racial and immigration liberation, formulates a collaborative methodology based on witnessing and accompanying, and, more importantly, weaves immigrant activists’ memories as a collective memory—this memory, active and dynamic, can help to activate others in joining the struggle for real liberation, justice, and dignity."
Ángeles Donoso Macaya

 

For more about Eclipse of Dreams and to buy the book, visit AK Press here.

 

"If you cannot justify our present reality, then you will become illegal too. You will be irreconcilable with the present. That's the education I gained organizing inside and outside both prisons and borders (which are nearly the same): that the current system, this body politic, is unsustainable and yearns for a new creation."

-from Eclipse of Dreams

 

Direct action and civil disobedience blocking bus of undocumented immigrants headed to a nearby airport for deportation, (Chicago, IL, November 2013), from the book Eclipse of Dreams.

 

This event is co-sponsored by La Morada restaurant and the Archives in Common: Migrant Practices/Knowledges/Memory project as part of the Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research from the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center CUNY.