As part of the West Coast book tour for Vargas’s book Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, Vargas will join Reyes for their first on-stage conversation together.
Reyes will discuss his Abeyance billboard, which uses a quote from a New York Times article written in 2011 by Vargas, where he remembers the parting words of his mother, Emilie Salinas, uttered in Tagalog, as he left the Philippines at age twelve to begin a life in the United States—an undocumented immigrant in search of what his mother hoped would be a better life.
Their conversation will be followed by audience Q&A and a book signing with Vargas.
Copies of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen will be available for purchase at the event courtesy of local bookstore Alley Cat Books.
Jerome Reyes (b. 1983), who lives and works between Seoul, Korea and his native San Francisco, is an artist, researcher, and educator who addresses conceptual territories of architecture and cultural difference. He has an MFA from Stanford University and has made projects for the Prospect.3 Biennial, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. He’s been awarded residencies at National Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), Korea; Gwangju Biennale Foundation; Asia Culture Center; Seoul Museum of Art, and received the 2016 Artist-in-Residence Award at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. He has received awards from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Art Matters Foundation, Creative Work Fund, Center for Cultural Innovation, and San Francisco Arts Commission. He is Artist Liaison and faculty at Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts, and works in the South of Market San Francisco.
Jose Antonio Vargas
Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and a leading voice for the human rights of immigrants. He is the founder and CEO of Define American, the nation’s leading non-profit media and culture organization that fights injustice and anti-immigrant hate through the power of storytelling. His memoir, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, was published by HarperCollins in fall 2018.
In 2011, the New York Times Magazine published a groundbreaking essay he wrote in which he revealed and chronicled his life in America as an undocumented immigrant. A year later, he appeared on the cover of TIME magazine worldwide with fellow undocumented immigrants as part of a follow-up cover story he wrote. He then produced and directed Documented, a documentary feature film on his undocumented experience. It aired on CNN, streamed on Netflix, and received a 2015 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Documentary.
A product of the San Francisco Bay Area, he is a proud graduate of San Francisco State University (’04), where he was named Alumnus of the Year in 2012, and Mountain View High School (’00).