Signs Of Solidarity

A Public Art Project in Protest of Hate and Divisiveness

Aubrie Costello

Aubrie Costello at Master and American streets

Artist Statement: “My best friend’s husband is an undocumented immigrant who has lived & worked in the US for over 15 years. She is a US citizen. They are now going through the arduous, emotional legal process of trying to get him his citizenship. He left Honduras when he was 22 years old to come here to make money for his family, specifically his beloved mother and younger brother, who would remain in the dangerous, poverty-stricken country without him. His father, a truck driver, was murdered in Honduras before he came here to the US. His baby brother, who he tried to get to come here many times over the past 15 years ‘illegally’ and legally, was murdered just this past year, shot by a man who tried to steal his cellphone from him as he locked up his shop. Because he is undocumented, he could not fly back to Honduras to attend his own brother’s funeral. He had to watch it on FaceTime. We held him up as he wailed in front of a cellphone held in front of his face, watching the casket rolled out and his mother sitting along in front of it. In his life, he has watched horrific things in his home country, lost his father, his little brother, and saw people get killed on his trek to the United States. But he remains to be one of the most hard-working, selfless, thoughtful, gentle men I have ever met. He is my brother. This phrase is taken from a longer quote by my best friend during a candid conversation we had where I asked her what she would say to other undocumented immigrants facing the same challenge they’re facing. ‘We may act quietly and with kindness,’ she said, ‘but that kindness does not indicate weakness.’ She is scared in the face of this new administration, so is he. There’s no guarantee things will work out for them. But together, in love, they are brave and as she simply puts it, ‘trying to fight for what is right.'”

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