Dr. Alexander Bay
What do grapes and tomatoes have in common? Both of these foods have been or are major points of contention for influential farm worker movements. The United Farm Workers formed by Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and Gilbert Padilla in 1962 has become a hallmark of success in labor history. This movement used traditional yet innovative methods of social movement strategy, eventually branding themselves as a household name. The images and paraphernalia such as buttons, bumper stickers, and posters distributed during the Delano Grape Strike seemed like a simple concept at the time, but there were strategic decisions made to incorporate images and words in this specific way. The importance of how social movements use art in order to advance their cause is showcased in the Delano Grape Strike. The United Farm Workers played a pivotal role in the historical trend that links art and social movements together through music, theatre, posters, and other objects. One movement that learned from the tactics used by the United Farm Workers in the Delano Grape Strike was the Coalition of Immokalee Workers who use art such as puppetry, painting, and theatre in order to spread information about their work. This project explores the history of the incorporation of art in the Delano Grape Strike from the now iconic “Huelga!” poster, to the work of Luis Valdez and El Teatro Campesino. Using these forms of art I examine the relationship between the UFW and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and how these art tactics help foster community within the movement and spread the message to the public in a way that is unique and appealing.
Viano, Felicia, "Images, Art, and Paraphernalia: Analyzing Tactics of the United Farm Workers and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers" (2018). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 313.