on display March through May 2023
The Pioneer Valley Workers Center (PVWC) and The LAVA Center have partnered to curate the “No Somos Máquinas (We Are Not Machines): Farmworker Resistance in the Connecticut River Valley” exhibit for a spring showcase.
Through the words and portraits of farmworkers in Western Massachusetts, the “No Somos Máquinas” exhibit explores the broken immigration system, the exclusion of farmworkers from basic labor protections, and the conditions that have compelled them to rise up. This fully bilingual exhibit sheds light on the experiences of local farmworkers in Western Massachusetts. It consists of portraits, interpretive panels, a timeline of farmworker organizing, and audio of oral history excerpts.
The LAVA Center is thrilled to collaborate on this exhibit as a launch to LAVA’s project IndiVISIBLE, part of MassHumanities’ Expand Massachusetts Stories program. IndiVISIBLE, guided by Lindy Whiton and Alfonso Neal, and funded by MassHumanities, The Markam-Nathan Fund for Social Justice, and Greening Greenfield will document in images and stories lives of indispensable, yet too-often-invisible, agricultural workers in Franklin County.
“Photography can show the monumentality of a moment in an instant, and nothing is more monumental and impactful than the faces and voices of farmworkers organizing in the fields and their communities,” says Alfonso Neal, co-director of the PVWC and the exhibit’s photographer.
“Behind their eyes is a fierce determination to leave the world in better shape than how it’s found. It was a privilege to photograph these farmworkers and to highlight their historic struggle for dignity and respect.”