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Gemidos de la Tierra (Wailing of the Land/Soil) by Jackie Amézquita

March 25 - March 26

Gemidos de la Tierra (Wailing of the Land/Soil)
by Jackie Amézquita
March 25 and 26
Co-presented by LACE and LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division)


Gemidos de la Tierra  (Wailing of the Land/Soil) by Jackie Amézquita addresses the cruel and fatal reality of detainment camps that immigrants encounter upon their arrival to the U.S. 

Amézquita has created a mobile public installation of twelve panels (8’ x 4’) with names of immigrants that died in ICE detention centers. The names of the deceased are created with soil from the state where the individual died, and combined with cornflour (masa), salt and rain water to symbolize that despite their death these individuals still inhabit a physical space.

Gemidos de la Tierra (Wailing of the Land/Soil) becomes a place of healing, memorializing, and encouraging activism. The names of children who were victims of the detention centers are created with the documents that published their deaths, and mixed with chia seeds that ultimately will sprout from the letters themselves. Due to each name being created with its own unique mixture of soil and other natural ingredients, each name possesses its own unique texture and color palette, honoring each individual rather than reducing their lives to a statistic as the U.S. Government does. 

In March 2023 this mobile public installation will be activated in Los Angeles and surroundings. The panels will be transported on A frames trucks, to be exhibited while en route to each destination, accompanied by a caravan of cars. This project makes visible two public lists of deaths from ICE Detention Centers in 2003-2021 that will be presented in front of detention centers and pro-immigrant mutual aid organizations.

Amézquita’s project is integral to making the migration crisis visible. Through her use of transporting public documents that were found on ICE’s website (now removed), it is imperative to continue the dialogue about immigrants and the ways in which state-sanctioned violence and death are legalized and actively inflicted against migrants seeking refuge and a better quality of life.  

Jackie Amézquita, Gemidos de la Tierra, (2020-22). Photo by Ian Byers-Gamber.

Gemidos de la Tierra (Wailings of the Land/Soil) is supported by the National Performance Network (NPN), Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts, Angeles Art Fund, LAND Mohn Award, and AltaMed Foundation.


About LAND

LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division) is a non-profit organization founded in 2009 committed to curating site-specific public art exhibitions in Los Angeles and beyond. LAND believes that all people deserve the opportunity to experience innovative contemporary art in their everyday existence, to enhance their quality of life and ways of thinking about their community. In turn, artists deserve the opportunity to realize projects in the public realm, unsupported through traditional institutions. LAND brings contemporary art outside of the walls of museums and galleries, into our shared public spaces and unique sites. nomadicdivision.org


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