MEET THE ARTIST
Javier Salazar Rojas
Javier Salazar Rojas goes by the name DEPORTEDARTIST. He was born in Tijuana, Mexico and migrated to the U.S. at 7 years old. He was raised in East Oakland. He was incarcerated at the age of 24 and deported at 35 years old. His artistic mediums are acrylics, oils, and aerosols. Listen to his story in the Port Of Entry Podcast, Till Deportation Do Us Part?
"I remember when I was 11 years old my family took me to Mexico to visit my grandparents. When it was time go home my mother let me know that I didn’t have any papers and that I would have to try my luck getting across the border through the hills. I remember I got separated and lost from my group. I hid for hours from the border patrol in some bushes but the helicopter found me and so I was deported. This is how I found out that I was undocumented. For a long time I was afraid and living in the shadows. Not anymore! I now use my artist platform to advocate for immigration reform. Migration is a human right! These ancestral migration routes have existed for thousands of years before Columbus! We need to decriminalize border crossings and open up a legal pathway for our deported youth and adults to come back home where they belong! Family Reunification Now!"
- Deported Artist
Jelani Lateef is a Southern California native with a background in a wide variety of artforms, including: music, film/theater, painting, dance, martial arts, illustration, and creative writing. His education ranges from Fine Arts and Traditional Animation. Lateef has also served as an Enrichment Specialist and Arts Therapist in the NYC, Bay Area, and Los Angeles/San Bernardino/Riverside Counties communities. As a visual artist his work has been shown in the same cities and communities as before mentioned. As a son of an Educator and a Probation Officer, his upbringing has exposed him to the complexities of what community service and working within "The System" looks like, especially for people of color. This peculiar experience has led to a decision and commitment to use his artistic expression and gifts to address the concerns of the world around him, in whatever capacity that is possible. And through six degrees of separation, this opportunity to work with No One Left Behind has served as another example of the types of projects that the artist chooses to commit to, in hopes of bringing a voice and attention to matters that most everyday people are not aware of.
Victor Cordero "Cheeks"
Victor Cordero is a San Diego based artist. His primary medium is oil painting, but also works with acrylic, airbrush, and aerosol. Since the beginning of his artistic practice, he has engaged with groups and artists in the San Diego area, specifically Logan Heights, and Barrio Logan.
In 2020 he was one of the artists selected to paint two large mural projects at the historic Chicano Park in San Diego. Chicano Park is a nationally registered historic landmark in Barrio Logan, home to over 80 murals representing the struggles and victories of the Mexican-American culture in the area. One of the projects he contributed to was the Anastacio Hernandez Rojas mural.
Bring a mural to your city
There will be a series of murals that will be installed in multiple sites in the U.S. as part of this action. This coalition has commissioned the murals and are authored by Javier Salazar Rojas (DeportedArtist on Instagram). The mural is inspired by the stories of community storytellers. We have curated over thirty stories to provide a myriad of profiles that we seek to center as part of our mission. This includes an inclusive approach to nationality.
The project seeks to portray the strong and even exclusive ties to the U.S. that the participants have to the country. This includes the stories of migrants that entered the U.S. as minors (“childhood arrivals”), undocumented youth, the dreamers, DACA recipients, deported Permanent Residents, deported U.S. military veterans, and migrants seeking family reunification.
Together, the murals inform the current administration on the inclusive and ethical actions that can be taken to support the return of displaced immigrant communities and the legal recognition of those currently awaiting an immigration reform.