Orlando Lara
Artist, Writer, Educator

As an artist, writer, and educator, I have focused especially on the melding of art, ethnography, and community organizing. Currently, I am a graduate student in Anthropology at UC Irvine working on a critical ethnography of detention and deportation in Texas. I am also active in state-wide efforts to establish Ethnic Studies in Texas and other southern states. I am a member of the Sin Huellas Artist/Activist Collective, which created the multi-media exhibit, "Detention Nation." The work has been shown in Houston, Denver, Topeka, and Lubbock.

Previously, I served as the inaugural Associate Director of the Department of Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies at TCU, the first ethnic studies department in Texas. Before that, I taught Mexican American Studies and in the Puente Project at Lee College. I continue to work with state-wide efforts to promote Mexican American Studies and Ethnic Studies from Pre-K to PhD in Texas and beyond.

I am a proud Chicana/o Studies major and hold an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell where I taught freshman writing and creative writing. Before that, I obtained a Master's degree in Anthropology and a Certificate in Culture and Media from NYU. While there, I worked with undocumented youth just as the mass "coming out of the shadows" movement erupted. I continue to use my privilege to work with and advocate for undocumented immigrant communities and students from underrepresented groups through my creative, academic, and political work.

Works and Projects

Art and Design:
Know Your History, Know Yourself
Detention Nation
Sed: A Trail of Thirst
Wounds in the Sand

"Arpa Viajera"
"Elizabeth's Story"
"El Buddha"

Creative Writing:
El Ciudadano (novel in-progress)
Cuando soy d├ębil (work in-progress)

Academic Interests

Migrant rights, stories, and resistance
Social change theory and community organizing
Critical autoethnography and the arts
Chicanx/Latinx Studies
Critical Race and Ethnic Studies

Social Media

Twitter @UndocuLabs

Design by olara@orlandolara.com