By Wen-Yee Lee
T-shirts and other clothing donated by undocumented immigrants become memoirs of collective experiences as artist Cara Megan Lewis and her husband Alejandro Figueredo Diaz-Perera turn them into pillows.
Their “34,000 Pillows” exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center represents the 34,000 beds in U.S. detention centers for undocumented immigrants. The couple makes the colorful pillows to raise awareness about immigrant injustice and detention centers across the country.
“We wanted to envision beds empty in all of the detention centers across the United States for one night,” Lewis said. The artists have made nearly 400 pillows so far on site at exhibitions in various venues in Chicago.
Both Lewis and Figueredo Diaz-Perera say they care about social and political issues and they hope their art can underscore the need for immigrant policy reforms.
The price of each pillow is $159 and the income from sales will all go to Human Rights Watch. Theses pillows can be purchased at the exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center through Nov. 7.