City Billboard Urges Hispanics to Revolt March 11, 2013

It is considered billboard art, but it comes off more as a revolutionary slogan.

Rise Up, My People: Is “Arriba Mi Gente” art, or an inflamatory call for uprising?

“Arriba Mi Gente” by Nancy Guevara depicts a hoard of people with clenched fists and flags raised, over an image of the U.S.-Mexico border and a heart emblazoned with the Mexican flag logo. The slogan, in Spanish, plastered prominently over the artwork translates “Rise up, my people,” with the idea of uprising clearly suggested.


The Austin Visual Arts Association has teamed up with Reagan Outdoor Advertising to put up 10 pieces of art on billboards on major highways across the city of Austin, where it will be seen by hundreds of thousands in the city and millions more driving through.

One can understand why border issues would inspire art, but why did, which is city funded, decide to project a such a loaded racial message over major highways that English-speaking drivers can’t even understand and which drivers speeding by who could read Spanish would interpret as a call for uprising?

According to, “Arriba Mi Gente” was selected from more than 100 entries, yet “Arriba Mi Gente” is the only piece with words at all, much less a revolutionary message clearly divided along racial lines.

Is it art, or an inflammatory call to revolt?

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