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Chicana Fotos: Nancy De Los Santos

Hr Chicana Fotos

February 17 – April 14, 2017


In-person Event



Open to the public
Free of charge

Exhibition Dates: Friday, February 17 — April 142017
Opening Reception: Friday, February 17, 2017 from 4 — 7 pm, featuring a performance by Ballet Folklórico De Detroit at 6 pm.
Gallery Talk by Nancy De Los Santos and exhibition curator Maria Cotera: Friday, February 17, 2017 at 12 pm, Walter P. Reuther Library Woodcock Conference Room 

Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University
5401 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI 48202

Born and raised in Chicago by Mexican-American parents, Nancy De Los Santos is an accomplished filmmaker and proud Chicana from Chicago” who has dedicated her life and career to rewriting and redefining the image of Latina/​os in the mainstream media. Among her most celebrated works are as Co-Writer and Co-Producer of The Bronze Screen: 100 Years of the Latin Image in Hollywood Cinema, with Susan Racho and Alberto Dominguez, and as Associate Producer on the feature film Selena.

In Chicana Fotos, an exhibit of evocative photographs taken in the 1970s, we meet a very different Nancy: a woman armed with a camera, capturing historic events in the struggles for social justice of the time. Nancy’s photographs of Chicano Movement marches and rallies, farmworker mobilizations in Chicago and Texas, and Latina organizing in the Midwest and internationally offer a priceless documentary view of Latina/​o politics in the 1970s. Her more intimate pictures of everyday Latina/​o life capture what it was like to live through a period of radical social transformation. The exhibit includes rare photographs of UFW organizing activities in Chicago, the Texas Farmworker Pilgrimage of 1977, and the first ever International Women’s Year Conference in Mexico City in 1975. These images are supplemented by never before exhibited documents from the Walter P. Reuther UFW Collection.

Chicana Fotos was curated by University of Michigan professor Maria Cotera (with assistance from Pau Nava) and designed by students and faculty of the UM Stamps School of Art & Design. Stamps School faculty Hannah Smotrich and Katie Rubin co-taught the collaborative, interdisciplinary Exhibition Design class with students Ian Crowley, Rachel Dawson, Emilie Farrugia, Kelsi Franzino, Andrew Han, Jack Hyland, Maggie Lemak, Megan Lewin-Smith, Katie Mongoven, Olivia Moore, Pau Nava, and Sarah Wolf.

Chicana Fotos is a collaboration between the El Museo del Norte, the Chicana por mi Raza Digital Archive, the Stamps School of Art & Design and the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University.

The Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs at Wayne State University is the largest labor archive in North America. In addition to internationally significant collections on the history of the North American labor movement, the Reuther Library holds the official records of Wayne State University, as well as extensive records documenting urban affairs, civic life, civil rights, ethnic and religious organizations, and community development across Southeast Michigan.

Chicana Fotos was made possible through the generous financial support of the University of Michigan’s Third Century Initiative and the Stamps School of Art & Design. This exhibition is funded in part thanks to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design. Gallery talk sponsored by the Center for Latina/​o and Latin American Studies, Wayne State University, and the University of Michigan’s Third Century Initiative.