The Art in Resistance Fellowship Committee is excited to announce the awarding of our first fellowship to Melanie Cervantes and Dignidad Rebelde. Dignidad Rebelde is a graphic arts collaboration between Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza. Their partnership exemplifies a long-standing commitment to amplifying the stories, visions, and demands of communities in struggle for justice. Their work is noteworthy for its consistent collaboration with community leaders throughout the process of conceptualizing, making, and sharing artwork. Dignidad Rebelde’s vibrant and prolific work has bolstered the efforts of changemakers and social movements across the US and around the world.
Through the Art in Resistance award, Melanie Cervantes will receive a 2-year part-time fellowship. The fellowship is designed to give artists flexible support that allows them a stable platform from which to respond to the ever-changing needs of social justice movements with whom they collaborate, to proactively pursue meaningful projects, and to provide space and time to deepen their creative practices. The Fellowship also aims to support community education about the interplay between art, community organizing, movement building and social change.
Melanie Cervantes notes, “In the past two years I have borne witness to a pandemic
of local and international displacement, xenphobia, White nationalism, misogyny and transantagonism – watching all of this as I recovered from life saving surgery which removed a cancerous tumor from my lung. The Art in Resistance fellowship comes at a critical time in my life when partnering with movement organizations to build community through art and make art that amplifies visions of justice, caring and and a deep sense of belonging feels more urgent than ever.”
The Fellowship is housed at the Movement Strategy Center in Oakland, CA, where we are surrounded by a renowned group of leaders, artists, activists, culture makers, and academics that have helped to drive change in meaningful ways and have played key roles in contributing to the national dialogue around struggles for freedom and justice. “MSC is thrilled to provide a platform to support our movements’ artists. We rely on our artists and poets to reflect what is and what should be and support us all to imagine into a collective story of our future.” Mimi Ho, Co-Director, Movement Strategy Center
As the violences of systemic and cultural racism, colonialism, sexism, transphobia, and xenophobia continue to flagrantly rear their heads, we believe that now is the time to activate all the of knowledge, practices and creativity we can muster in the name of justice.
We extend gratitude to the individuals and organizations that provided financial support for this first fellowship award, including: the San Francisco Foundation, the Akonadi Foundation and a generous group of donors.
“In this time of rapid change, movement artists help to capture and amplify our dreams of justice and liberation back to us. This fellowship honors our culture makers whose work fortifies us to re-imagine a world with racial justice at its center.” Gina Acebo, Akonadi Foundation.
Let us move forward in power, love, and truth!
The Art in Resistance Fellowship Committee
For more information about Melanie Cervantes and Dignidad Rebelde check out this video produced by KQED: Printing For The Movement
About the Art In Resistance Fellowship
The Art In Resistance Fellowship was established by artists and changemakers to simultaneously support artists and movements for social change at a time when there is a profound need to lift up beauty, solidarity and resistance. The Fellowship is designed to support the production of proactive movement art and to support public education about the interplay between art, community organizing, movement building and social change.
To learn more: artinresistance.org
About Dignidad Rebelde
Dignidad Rebelde is a graphic arts collaboration between Oakland-based artists Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes. We believe that art can be an empowering reflection of community struggles, dreams and visions. Following principles of Xicanisma and Zapatismo, we create work that amplifies people’s stories and to create art that can be put back into the hands of the communities who inspire it. We recognize that the history of the majority of people worldwide is a history of colonialism, genocide, and exploitation.
Our art is grounded in Third World and indigenous movements that build people’s power to transform the conditions of fragmentation, displacement and loss of culture that result from this history. Representing these movements through visual art means connecting struggles through our work and seeking to inspire solidarity among communities of struggle worldwide.
To learn more: dignidadrebelde.com