A stunning project, so eloquent and poignant.
“Say it with flowers,” the expression goes. So, to communicate the thoughts that immigrants harbor about President Trump, artist Lizania Cruz decided to invite some of them to create bouquets for him. Her ongoing photo series Flowers for Immigration documents the resulting arrangements — quiet, beautiful manifestations of opinions that are often unspoken or silenced.
All are the creations of undocumented immigrant bodega workers who spend their days helping New Yorkers express themselves through flowers. Cruz, wanting to see the florists do the same for their own feelings, launched the project last November. Since then, she’s recruited 11 flower sellers to participate in the project. Not everyone she approached took her up on the offer, with some disagreeing with her objective and others refusing out of concern for their status. But providing a platform for those whose lives are at the center of current debates over immigration is precisely the goal of Cruz, who herself came to the city after being born and raised in the Dominican Republic.
“I hope viewers will be able to connect with the beauty and humanity of these undocumented workers and that their voices are amplified,” she told Hyperallergic. “Undocumented workers can’t go out and protest because of fear of facing legal actions. So I hope this project allowed them to have an opinion.” The participants, whom she paid for their involvement, are identified only by first names.