May Day Workshops with Huaxtec

In Spring of 2009 Oakland based youth organizers Huaxtec invited Dignidad Rebelde to help lead their art making party to prepare for the Fruitvale’s May Day March. It was an amazing turnout, we had a couple dozen youth join us, together they worked on banner, screen printing bandanas, posters, and t-shirts. At the end of the day organizers  threw a BBQ to feed everyone and we circled up to talk about May 1st and what it means to be take care of our community.

We were able to support the workshop with screen printing and stencil making, teaching young people how to make art in support of their community. We had a printing station set up to make bandanas with Yolanda Lopez’s “Who’s the Illegal Alien Pilgrim?” and slogans like “We didn’t cross the borders, the borders crossed us”. It was great to see so many black, brown and red youth gravitate to the two screen printing stations we set up. They quickly learned the process and took over, teaching each other how to screen print. The youth painted three banners, screen printed about 50 posters, cut a stencil and sprayed 20 posters and made about a dozen shirts. Betty Bastidas along with youth from Huaxtec helped document the event, you can see the video they created below.

The workshop came a week after a conversation with Lincoln Cushing, we talked about the re-emergence of screen printing as a social movement medium. It is a part of our mission to help young people learn about printmaking and feel empowered to make art on their own.