The Belong Collection- my sold out collection of limited quantity handmade tote bags, represents more than just the opening of Donoso Studio. It’s not just about me.
It's a declaration that immigrants belong. We’re part of the social, economic, racial and cultural landscape of the US, and I want to celebrate us. In a time of reinforced borders, emboldened xenophobic actions across the world and a rejection of the humanity of immigrants, refugees and displaced people, I want to amplify our power, our beauty and our humanity.
As immigrants, we’re often told we don’t belong. We’re neither from our birth countries, nor the ones we reside in- rendering us completely dislocated! How does someone live their fullest life when the liminal spaces they are forced into don’t come with guidebooks, mentors or safety nets? How do you thrive when your basic human rights, and for our Black immigrant communities: your actual ability to live, is called into question?
My art, my shop...my life’s work, centers immigrants and our resilience. I grew up undocumented in the only country I can call home. While I’m protected from deportation with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), I’m not immune to the onslaught of messaging that says “you don’t belong”. And believe me, that includes my own voice. Like racism, xenophobia is internalized, and must be dismantled through intentional daily practices that say: you belong.
So here’s to building a business, a movement and a creative practice that reminds all of us, that we too, belong.