This weekend in the US, a group of 80 artists are spreading messages in the sky above immigration detention facilities, courthouses, prisons, and historic sites such as Ellis Island, to bring attention to the imprisonment and treatment of immigrants.
The project, which coincides with Independence Day weekend, is organised by In Plain Sight, a coalition of 80 artists founded by the artists Cassils and Rafa Esparza, also including members such as ALOK, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, and radical art collective Fempower.
Using two fleets of five skytyping planes, which use a computer system to “print” precise text in the sky with water vapour, In Plain Sight has shared messages above facilities across the US, which are available to see in a map on the coalition’s website.
The messages, which are generated by a diverse selection of artists (many of whom have experiences related to immigration and detainment), include: “Not a safe city”, “Yer tax $ cage kids”, “No cages no jaulas”, “No ICE”, and many more. Each of the messages also ends in the hashtag “#XMAP” so that local viewers can share them widely across social media.
Besides providing extra information, In Plain Sight’s website includes some ways to get actively involved in the #FreeThemAll campaign, which advocates the release of detainees from crowded facilities, where they are at a particular risk during the coronavirus pandemic.
View some of the messages tagged in the #XMAP campaign in the posts below.