Sanctuary City/Ciudad Santuario, 1989–2009 was a collaboration between artist Sergio De La Torre and a group of student artists that was exhibited in a gallery in San Francisco's Mission District. The exhibit focused on issues of safety and security for Latino migrants in the context of the post-9/11 US national security agenda. As opposed to making migrants “visible” to the state, the artists used aesthetic strategies that brought attention to federal laws that construct undocumented migrants as “illegal.” Positioning Sanctuary City/Ciudad Santuario within the Mission District enabled these artists to address Latino viewers in the neighborhood and, through the projections of text from migrants' testimonies, to claim public space and challenge both city and federal agents' surveillance of Latinos. The artists occupied these spaces as a form of “counterspectacle,” a means to amplify the practices of state surveillance as well as to illuminate the disjuncture between local and national law regarding the status of undocumented migrants.

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