The trajectory of my life has been along the borders of America: California, Texas, and Washington. Issues of immigration have always been palpable and ubiquitous in the places I’ve called home. This graphic novel focuses on immigration detention centers, one facet of the immense and overwhelming topic of U.S. immigration. Each side of the book is a cross section of one of these facilities in a continuous 26-foot-long panorama. The stories follow 2 individuals, Gabriela Cubillos and Many Uch, as they navigate through Seattle’s former INS building and the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. Their stories overlap with those of other detainees to be evocative of life inside these institutions.
Detained was created in association with The Common Language Project (Now The Seattle Globalist) a new media nonprofit based at the University of Washington and committed to fostering innovative nonfiction multimedia storytelling. Their documentation took the form of a 4-part radio series, Between Worlds/Behind Barsfor KUOW and a collection of photographs and essays. Detained was created with the generous support of Artist Trust’s Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) program and 4Culture’s Individual Artist Projects grant program.