Political movements thrive on art, and art challenges our understanding of the world around us; that creativity can be the bloodline of our movements and artists like Melanie Cervantes has been all of that and more.
Melanie is a Xicana artist and co-founder of Dignidad Rebelde, a graphic arts collaborative she runs with her partner and fellow movement artist Jesus Barraza, that has worked with over 70 organizations to bring movement inspired artwork to the masses.
When the movement in Arizona challenged SB1070, Dignidad Rebelde produced work to go along with it. And when Arizona’s bill saw a copy-cat in Georgia the next year, the poster they made became one of the banners people marched behind in Atlanta’s largest mobilization since the 70’s.
Melanie has become a household name, with prints selling out on Dignidad Rebelde’s website. She has exhibited at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the National Museum of Mexican Art, Mexic-Arte and Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, and Museum of Modern Art.
As much as Melanie has poured into the movement, her friends are now asking the community to rally behind her, as she faces a lung cancer diagnosis. A nodule has been found in her right lung, which will require a lobectomy.
In her blog, she describes, “After I scheduled it I started feeling a lot more sullen and scared. I don’t want to do this biopsy. I want this all to be over. The needles they use are huge and the idea of a hole being made through my chest into my lung makes my stomach turn.”
Currently, Melanie is raising funds, as her health limits her ability to work. She’s almost half-way to her goal. You can give a solidarity donation to support this badass Xicana by clicking here.
Or explore and buy her art at Dignidad Rebelde.
Veralucia Mendoza is a queer, Afro-Peruvian immigrant residing in the Midwest. Aries, organizer, survivor, lover of books + wisdom. Follow her on twitter, @conamorelucy and IG @conamorelucy.