At a time when hundreds of thousands of immigrants are detained each year in the United States, the struggles of those housed in detention centers can be reduced to numbers, faceless and easily forgotten. But Visions From The Inside takes letters from women in those centers and transforms them into art that is hard to look away from. 

The project—a collaboration between migrant artist network CultureStrike, LGBTQ advocacy group Mariposa Sin Fronteras and immigrant justice organization End Family Detention—features the work of 15 artists. Immigration is a major issue leading up to the 2016 election.

 

Illustration: Julio Salgado, via Visions From The Inside “My son’s first birthday was here. I would like to get out of here. I’ve been here for a long time. I would like you to help us get out.”—Detainee

 

“The stories about immigration family detention that dominate the news media are often negative and do not fully portray the humanity of the individual, nor the reasons around why people migrate,” Favianna Rodriguez, co-founder of Visions From The Inside told The Huffington Post. “I felt that it was critical to show the resilience and the dignity of the many [adults] and children in these detention centers.”

 

Illustration: Breena Nuñez, via Visions From The Inside “There are some workers at this detentions center who think poorly of immigrants. We are also human beings, just as they are, and we have feelings.” —Detainee letter

 

See the entire collection here.