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The New Trophy Hunting…
MS-13 & 18th St Skin Rugs
by Renato Garza Cervera

Dehumanization is a tool for those in power to do away with those they see as unfit to exist. On the streets of L.A., the police force has been at war with the brown people of the city for decades – but it’s hardly a chicken-and-egg situation when you look at the history of this city and country. All you have to do is look at what happened during the Zoot Suit Riots or the Watts Riots. Many of the officers that roam the streets of this city see gang members as subhuman, devoid of history and personal context, and feel that they should not have the rights of “normal” citizens. The reality is that contemporary gangs are just the latest boogyman that’s plastered across TV screens worldwide. Renato Garza Cervera‘s new works “Of Genuine Contemporary Beast”  draws attention to the fact that MS-13 and 18th St Gangsters are the new beasts of L.A. – amidst the uproar over trophy hunting, his sculpture is even more poignant. He has created these extremely life-like rugs and mounts of gang bangers, framing them in the same terms humans have historically cast on large predators like lions and bears. While there’s no denying that a level of choice comes into it when you’re talking about the gangbanger lifestyle, it’s equally undeniable that certain communities in the US are underserved and almost quarantined from society, meaning that the window of choice may only be open a sliver, if that. Read what Garza Cervera has to say about his sculpture below:

Societies always invent new beasts in order to make others responsible for their problems, to express their fears and to invent them a new cover.

Mass media play a very important role on this world-wide scapegoating process, by presenting some minorities as uncapable of thinking or feeling, delayed and dispensable people.

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spotted on Dangerous Minds

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