From behind the barbed wire: Uncaged Art from the Tornillo Children’s Detention Center

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Thursday September 26

6:30 PM  –  8:00 PM

Join Holocaust Museum Houston for a lecture by Dr. Yolanda Chávez Leyva, Director of the Institute of Oral History at the University of Texas at El Paso and an Associate Professor in History as she explores the ethical and historical issues associated with curating an art exhibit created by anonymous migrant youth held in detention. Tornillo opened in June 2018 and closed in January 2019. At the time, it was the largest detention center for young unaccompanied asylum-seekers. In December 2018 and January 2019, students engaged in an art project intended to help them remember their towns, cities, and countries as well as the culture and history of where they came from. While psychologists and attorneys witnessed depressed and anxious youth, held in prison like settings, they were able to create beautiful art that spoke to their desire to be free.

Yolanda Chávez Leyva was born and raised on the Ciudad Juárez-El Paso border and has dedicated her life to listening to and documenting the histories of fronterizos, border people. She specializes in border history, public & oral history, and Chicana history. She is co-founder of Museo Urbano, a museum of the streets that highlights fronterizo history by taking it where people are-- from museums to the actual streets of El Paso. 

Admission is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required.