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Digital Mural Project: Victor Cartagena

Wanted: Made in El Salvador

Saturday, July 16, 2005 - Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Wanted/Unwanted is a 2-part digital mural series by Victor Cartagena. In his first mural, Wanted: Made in El Salvador, Cartagena gives a face to the human cost behind cheap immigrant labor that sustains not only the immigrants and their families but also the economy of both countries north and south of the US border.

ARTIST STATEMENT Exile has been the destination of many of my Latin American compatriotas. Compatriots, because that was the feeling amongst us when we all arrived to what would be our new homes. Many of us were victims of corrupted governments, dictatorships, and oppression. We were violently separated from our countries and our people. Many of those who came to the US from El Salvador, landed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., New York, among other places. Many of us arrived leaving established professions behind; doctors, scientists, engineers, professors and artists, came along with factory and farm laborers. The civil war spat us all out. In this country, we were greeted as one and the same, all working in a variety of jobs; dishwashers, cooks, construction workers, gardeners, painters, janitors, hotel workers, farm workers. La mano de obra barata, this cheap labor, sustained not only the immigrant families and the economy of their newfound country, but those that were left behind and the mother countries as well. In El Salvador’s case, the government has an interest in maintaining this relationship rather than fostering a strong economy from within, failing to support familial unity, by encouraging the exportation of its citizens in the form of cheap labor, breaking up families and community structures. La mano de obra barata has been converted into a pillar of the Salvadoran economy, sustaining those who are living in a spiritual vacuum with unclear goals for their communities and their futures. — Victor Cartagena

Artists

Digital Mural Project 2004-2006

Photos

<b>Victor Cartagena</b>
Wanted: Mano de Obra Barata/Made in El Salvador <B>Wanted: Mano de Obra Barata/Made in El Salvador</b> (Full View)
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