Earlier this year, the Chicago-based labor television show Labor Beat posted their 1997 documentary about the cross-border mural project organized by UE and our Mexican partners the Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (FAT) on YouTube.
The documentary, which runs approximately half an hour, follows the creation of two labor murals, one at the FAT headquarters in Mexico City, the other at the UE Hall in Chicago. In April 1997, U.S. muralist Mike Alewitz painted the Mexico City mural, entitled “Sindicalismo Sin Fronteras / Unions Without Borders,” which incorporates images of working-class heroes from both countries. Later that year, Mexican muralist Daniel Manrique Arias, a major voice in Mexican art and the foremost exponent of the neighborhood-based movement Tepito Arte Aca painted “Hands in Solidarity — Hands of Freedom / Manos Solidarias — Manos Libres” on an outside wall of the UE Hall in Chicago. Manrique was assisted by three young muralists from the Chicago Public Arts Group, which co-sponsored the project.
The project was an initiative of the pioneering cross-border Strategic Organizing Alliance between UE and the FAT. In the film, both muralists, along with UE Director of International Labor Affairs Robin Alexander, talk about the painting of the murals and the importance of international solidarity.
If you enjoy the video, please consider making a donation to support UE’s ongoing international solidarity work.