Photos of Solidarity: Mexican and Filipinos in the Delano Grape Strikes
Continuing, the relational solidarity of the strikes can be seen in photographs of the United Farm Workers during the Delano strikes. Found in the Walter P. Reuther Library Digital Archive, these photos showcase a variety of images from the strikes, ranging from American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) members march in support of farm workers during the Delano strike to planning meetings of UFW leaders. Central to their significance is their representation of Filipino organizers. Quite literally, the portrayal of figures like Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz complicates understandings of the strikes based solely on their Chicano characteristics. Moreover, Filipinos are shown as active not only in public marches, but also as part of the organizing team for the strikes. These photos do the reparative work of uprooting notions of a Chicano-only UFW by portraying the two communities together. Still, it is important to think about the politics of representation in the photos-- what is and is not represented in term of a relational Mexican/Filipino solidarity? Even though the photos show the two groups together, Chicanos still outnumber Filipinos, and the archive itself is lacking in photos of Pinoys. Even in the context of the exhibit, multiculturalism in representation is still understood as precarious phenomenon devoid of a euphemistic diversity narrative. Altogether, these images do the work of recirculating renderings of the UFW to include representations of Filipinos working in tandem with Mexicans. Placing them within this exhibit is crucial to the recirculation of a relational history of the Delano Grape Strikes.
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