“Migration is Life”
Migration. It is as natural and necessary for our survival as water, air, food, and love. For human beings, animals, and insects of all kinds, the ability to be able to move freely to thrive, to continue our life cycle, to seek a better alternative way of life, and the opportunity for self-realization is our birthright. Today our world faces an emergency global refugee crisis with almost 60 million people displaced worldwide due to natural disasters, interstate political and economic instability, and wars, but the global plan to resettle refugees only accounts for 100,000 displaced persons leaving the rest of the displaced global population highly vulnerable to unsafe and inhumane conditions and even death. Our world leaders, especially from the world’s wealthiest countries, have failed to take responsibility of the emergency global refugee crisis that they themselves have caused in many ways for example through constant war-waging and stripping developing countries of their natural resources and way of life. The situation has been exacerbated even further by nations shutting down their borders, criminalizing immigrants and asylum seekers by sending them to detention centers being kept in inhumane conditions –if they even survive the treacherous journey that is wrought with dangerous obstacles that these nations have created. That political failure and lack of leadership are directly reflected in the suffering, deaths, and human trafficking of refugees worldwide – all of which can be prevented. Aiding refugees and immigrants will not cause economic decline and instability to wealthier nations as xenophobes and ultra-right governments fear. This type of scarcity mentality only serves to uphold a white supremacist agenda of greed, power, and domination. The benefits of welcoming displaced communities and safely integrating them into nations such as Europe and the United States greatly outweigh the initial costs of investing in their resettlement. Collectively, wealthier nations have enough wealth to resettle the refugee population and invest in their future without negatively affecting their own country and citizens. What’s more, by becoming open and welcoming nations and by being empathic and compassionate, they can ultimately preserve and uphold the values we hold dear, the values that truly make us human, those of dignity, respect, compassion, generosity, and love. But the success of this new positive response and strategy to open borders, create a global community, protect and facilitate a safe passage for refugees and immigrants and to treat them with dignity requires a re-education and removal of fallacious and racist beliefs about what migration means and what an immigrant is. Our recreation of stories of migration featured here echoes the tragic conditions refugees and immigrants have needlessly faced for far too long. Our motivation behind these stories also echoes the public empathy voiced by ordinary citizens such as ourselves who want to speak out against these injustices caused by violent and detrimental foreign policies from world leaders who do not reflect our human values and who erroneously through their inhumane foreign policies treat refugees and immigrants as criminals. Global citizens of an open-mind and generous heart are changing the political definition and treatment of refugees and immigrants that our world leaders are incapable and unwilling to do. We say aloud: Migration is LIFE. Migration is NATURAL. Migration is NOT a crime. Our dreams are NOT illegal.
Photography and Art Direction: Lucho Dávila López
Stylist: Edith Chan
Assistant Stylist: Anabel Cano Ibáñez
Hair and Makeup: Mateo Pérez