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Michelle Angela Ortiz Installs for #RevolutionaryArt at Old City District

May 24, 2017

Artwork by: Michelle Angela Ortiz
Title of Artwork: Se Siente El Miedo
Location: Old City District

Artist Statement:
The portraits are stills from a video interview of community member, Cruz. Cruz lives in Philadelphia and shared his experience with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and almost being deported. He spoke about his year long struggle with wearing a probation bracelet, being intimidated by ICE agents, and living in fear in what was once for him a city of hope.

“They (ICE) arrested me and I was detained for about 8 hours… I got out of there around 6… They sent me home but with an probation bracelet. I had to put it on and not leave the house in 12 hours. Only for about 12 hours during daylight I could move around out of the house, but in the evening I had to be back home.”

“I had that on me for about 4 months and I went to work with it, and came back home in the evening. Every two weeks they would come and search my house. They frequently made phone calls to me.”

“At the beginning, I had to sign papers every week and later every two weeks. Until I could get rid of that thing, I felt that I was in prison. To tell you the truth I was not in peace in the street, doing the shopping or anything. I used to work for about ten hours, so I had only half hour to go to work and another half hour to come back home. That was about all the time I could spent outside, and I could not hang out in the street.”

“I still feel little scared but not a lot now. Step by step you get to learn what you can get from this country… and hope that you have few rights.”

To purchase this piece by Michelle Angela Ortiz, please contact the artist here – support local artists, y’all!

Revolutionary: A Pop-Up Street Art Exhibition is a six-week exhibit of 13 contemporary Philly-based artists installed at 13 locations across Philadelphia’s Historic District. Exploring the spirit of revolution, the artists chosen for #RevolutionaryArt are looking at the world around us with a critical eye and creating works of art that challenge the political and social status quo. Commissioned by Visit Philly and curated by’s Conrad Benner, more on the exhibition – including a map of all the installations – can be found here!

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