Artist
Armando Minjarez

MONOMYTHS artist portrait, 2016. Photo by Henry Chan.


Mexico / USA
www.ArmandoMinjarez.com

Armando Minjarez is a Mexican visual artist and social justice activist whose interest and work is focused on immigrant rights. He immigrated to the USA as a teenager and soon became involved in the Kansas immigrant struggle and the national campaign calling for the passing of the DREAM Act in 2004. In the same year, he become the first undocumented student at Garden City Community College to enroll through the In-State tuition legislation passed in Kansas. With a vast curiosity and passion for justice, Armando was the founding organizer for the Southwest Chapter of Hispanos Unidos in 2006, eventually working as a community organizer. He has since been active as an activist and spokesperson for the immigrant justice movement at local state and national level. Armando has led thousands of community leaders, from across the country, to be face-to-face with decisions makers debating the fate of millions of immigrants in the US. 

He graduated from Kansas State University with a BFA in 2012. Armando has moved his organizing experience into the art world, evolving into a multidisciplinary social practice. Collaboration and community engagement are guiding themes as he facilitates safe spaces for the development of social change strategy and personal growth in the organizing field at The Seed House ~ La Casa de la Semilla, where he is co-founder. Armando is also the founder of the artists collective ICT ARMY of Artists, creating public art addressing social justice issues. He has facilitated trainings and workshops nationally and internationally, and his community engaged art projects have been featured in national media such as New York Times and Buzzfeed. He is a communications fellow at the Opportunity Agenda, Creative Change alumnus and has been awarded grants by the Puffin Foundation, Wichita Cultural Funding Committee and the Kansas Humanities Council.

Performance
MONOMYTHS Stage 4

Conceived and curated by Shannon Cochrane and Jess Dobkin
Presented by FADO in the context of Progress


MONOMYTHS Stage 4: Crossing the Threshold
Armando Minjarez

Armando Minjarez’s performance is part of his long-term international participatory art project AlieNation, which is grounded in his personal experiences as an undocumented Mexican immigrant living in the USA. AlieNation examines mass migration and the disturbing trend of dehumanizing the migrant – an alien without a home, without rights or a defined identity.

Racism and identity politics remain prevalent threads in the fabric of America, existing in a constant tension of mine vs. ours and black vs. white, a dangerous game hidden behind the veil of diversity and progress. This constant denial of a history of oppression and white supremacy has normalized a language of hate and hostility toward communities of colour throughout the USA. This performance serves as a mirror of America’s denial of self. Only through self-awareness can the process of healing begin.

Armando Minjarez has traveled and conducted research on displacement and migration of people in the USA, Mexico, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia. The project will eventually travel to Southern Mexico and Central America to follow the steps of displaced Central American minors. 


MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons–both inner and outer–in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.

SummerWorks, in partnership with The Theatre Centre and a roster of Toronto theatre and performance organizations/presenters and companies including Aluna TheatreDancemakers, FADO Performance Art Centre, SummerworksThe Theatre Centre and Volcano Theatre brings the world to Toronto with Progress, an international festival of performance and ideas from January 14–February 7, 2016.

MONOMYTHS: Artivism Workshop with Armando Minjarez

FADO is pleased to present an Artivism workshop with Armando Minjarez. This workshop is offered as a part of the MONOMYTHS series and is presented in the context of Progress Festival. 

Migration in a Postmodern Society

Artists have historically served as agents of change, risk-takers that cross the threshold from the status quo into the vanguard. The term Artivism has been coined by artists and cultural workers to describe their creative practice aimed at creating long-lasting social change. 

This workshop will address the role of an artist as an agent of change in a postmodern western society. Participants will part-take in a process of dissemination and processing of site-specific cultural data, collected by artist Armando Minjarez through a series of interviews with community organizations in Toronto. Some of these community organizations or groups might include immigrants, refugees and native nations. 

How can artists introduce vitality, courage and innovation in social change work? The workshop will begin with a short presentation on the key elements of art in social change: Emotional, Visionary, Systemic, Popular and Bold.

Activities will be presented in a dialectic format with group discussions and sharing of personal experiences. Participants are encouraged to bring an open mind and full heart. 

MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons–both inner and outer–in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.