The exhibition, "I Am a Child," on view through Dec. 31 at the National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, Tenn., shines a light on the practice of separating immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexican border The brainchild of creative director Paola Mendoza and photographer Kisha Bari, the display of more than 30 black-and-white images of protesting children peering into a camera lens evokes a visceral reaction to their sheer innocence and is a direct appeal to society's humanity.
In June 2018, Mendoza and Bari collaborated on an artistic photo shoot on the steps of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency in New York in response to the zero-tolerance policy regarding undocumented immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexican border. With the new policy came a humanitarian crisis where children were torn from their parents and placed in detention centers many miles away
The photos quickly went viral on social media. The National Civil Rights Museum reached out to Mendoza through Twitter, and began collaborating on a rapid-response installation of the ongoing dilemma.
'There is no denying that these photos are powerful and evocative. Our collaboration with Paola Mendoza to produce the 'I Am a Child' exhibition speaks to the power of social media in the fight for social change," says Noelle Trent, the museum's director of Interpretation, Collections, and Education. 'The crisis at the border is part of a...