Updated: Apr 21, 2022
When I started my project originally called In/Visible Labor, In/Visible Laborer in 2011, then later shortened to simply In/Visible, I had some hesitation. The people whom I wanted to present were not invisible, yet their voices were, and their labor, and their contributions were under appreciated. How many people thought about who cleans their dentist or doctor’s office, of bathrooms at shopping centers, or who picked that apple or tomato they just bought? I wanted to bring that to light, not to label people as invisible. Like the difference between people being "illegal" vs undocumented, these farmworkers, and hairdressers, cleaning people glawyers were and are not invisible. They are flesh and blood like the rest of us. And they speak, they voice their concerns, sometimes, if they feel safe, When ICE raids the factories to arrest and deport people, they are focusing on the individual; the low-hanging fruit, It's easier than going after the employers.(Why aren't the bosses running out the back door for their lives?) Nearly everyone has a voice; and some folks have been speaking out for years and years and years about their heritage, and about being discriminated against. The problem just might be in the listener.
So I bought in to that rhetoric, that racism, that privilege to label someone voiceless. I knew something was off but it took almost this long, with these social changes, to show me my own bias and assumptions. That’s a good thing, that more is being revealed to the perpetrators of these systemic problems that keep the status quo.
So when we show it again, it will be re-named to something along the lines of… We do not Listen.