Digital art + activism: A focus on QTPOC digital environments as rhetorical gestures of coalition and un/belonging

Ana Milena Ribero, Adela C. Licona

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


An image: A mother and child stare through a wreath of flowers. Faces stoic, clothes ragged, hair disheveled. The words “resistencia” and “esperanza” adorn the wreath. This is not a picture of defeat but, rather, it is a drawing that imagines both resistance and hope as possibilities; possible spaces and possible (coalitional) acts. The quote that accompanies the drawing is an excerpt from a letter written by the woman pictured in the drawing, Lilian Olivia, while she and her son were being held in a family detention center in Texas. It reads, “To the people that don’t like immigrants I would tell them that we’re only migrating to save our lives.” Cuban-American punk rock musician and zinester/graphic novelist, Cristy C. Road describes Lilian as a “madre y luchadora” whose family has been “thrown back and forth between safety and the system, for reasons very much to do with patriarchy and very little to do with justice.” Road’s statement ends with the following message: “Hope and resistance is resilience under pressure.” This evocative text is part of Visions from the Inside (VFI), a Tumblr collection of multimodal and bilingual alphabetic texts and visual textualities inspired by letters from migrants in detention who are experiencing the perpetual threat of deportation. VFI is a collaborative digital gallery co-created and co-curated by Culture Str/ke together with migrant-rights organizations Familia Trans Queer Liberation Movement, End Family Detention, Families for Freedom, and NWDC Resistance, as well as with twelve artists from across the United States. Culture Str/ke is a vibrant network of artists and activists-artivists-with a substantial online and community presence that we turn our attention to here. We focus on its efforts not only to build conditions for coalition but also to use critical and creative digital cultural productions to raise awareness and to educate across communities about shared oppressions, state violences, and the im/possibilities for linked actions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Digital Writing and Rhetoric
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781315518480
ISBN (Print)9781138671362
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Computer Science


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