Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Art and activism are a vital part of Vallarta Pride, which will celebrate its fifth edition under the theme "Together with Pride," May 21-28, 2017.
This year, the pride festival has the honor to have the participation of visual artist and human rights defender Daniel Arzola, the creator of No Soy Tu Chiste ("I'm Not a Joke,") a series of art works that combine striking images with powerful messages addressing complex issues like gender identity, abuse and civil rights.
Only a few months after Arzola started sharing the posters online, the campaign had gone viral internationally. Complete strangers reached out to him from the U.S. and Canada, wanting him to translate his messages into English. Others from Portugal and the Netherlands also reached out. Now, the posters have been translated into 20 different languages.
He has since used them to create t-shirt designs, and now Daniel's colorful Artivism will grace the Vallarta Pride 2017 official t-shirts, which will be sold during the festival to help raise funds for the SETAC Community Center, which is currently working to bring the PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) pill to Vallarta as part of an international campaign to prevent and reduce cases of HIV.
Artivism, a term he's helped popularize, also allows him to reach audiences in a way that traditional activism might limit. "The difference between 'activism' and 'artivism' is that when you only do activism, you have to be there to share the message," says Arzola. "But when you use art, when you use artivism, I don't have to be in Russia or in India."
Arzola's work has received positive reviews from international media sources, including Globovision, Venevisión, El Nacional (Venezuela), Page/12 (Argentina), El Mercurio (Chile), and Al Jazeera, as well as in two of the United States' most popular LGBT publications, Out Magazine and The Advocate.
He also participated in Madonna's 'Art for Freedom' project; a global initiative encouraging creative expression that brings awareness to human rights violations. Arzola was the only artist to have five works selected for the project worldwide, two of which were chosen by singer Katy Perry. On October 8th last year, Madonna expressed on Twitter that she 'loved the work of Arzola.'
Daniel's works have been disseminated in various universities in the United States, Canada, and Venezuela, where he was included on the list of the 'seven most talented young Venezuelans.' Learn more about Daniel Arzola on his official Facebook fanpage.
Vallarta Pride is an annual event celebrated during the last weekend of May. It was launched in 2013 to celebrate the diverse LGBT community that both lives in and visits Puerto Vallarta, and that over the years has positively influenced and formed part of its culture, heritage and history.For more information, or to purchase your event access passes, visit VallartaPride.com or the event's official Facebook fanpage.