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ERIC Number: EJ913805
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0005-2604
Repartitioning the National Community: Political Visibility and Voice for Undocumented Immigrants in the Spring 2006 Immigration Rights Marches
Galindo, Rene
Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, v35 n2 p37-64 Fall 2010
The historic immigration rights marches of 2006 placed the plight of undocumented immigrants in the national spotlight. Competing interpretations of the marches focused in part on the waving of Mexican flags by marchers. While some English-language media critics saw the flags as expressing political disloyalty to the United States, the marchers and Spanish-language media said they stood for cultural identity and familial pride. Both of these interpretations obscured the political agency of the marchers, who sought to create visibility and political presence for undocumented immigrants and oppose their criminalization and political exclusion. This essay uses a performance perspective to analyze the Mexican flag as a visual symbol of the political agency, voice, and visibility of undocumented immigrants. Images of the flag in the media served as proxy for the visual emergence of undocumented immigrants from the "shadows of society" onto the national broadcast/political stage. Negative reactions against the Mexican flag responded to a repartitioning of the national community in the broadcast visual/political field, which French philosopher Jacques Ranciere termed "the partition of the perceptible, "that presented undocumented immigrants not as a voiceless and faceless mass of laborers but as political agents engaged in the enactment of rights.
UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. 193 Haines Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1544. Tel: 310-794-9380; Tel: 310-825-2642; Fax: 310-206-1784; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A