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Preview Screening – Ghosts of Adelanto: the Rise of Abolish ICE

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Event Series Event Series: Visualizing Abolition

February 20 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm

Join us for a free preview of a new film about Adelanto, the biggest immigration detention center in California, and its impacts at the Landmark’s Del Mar Theatre on February 20. The public is invited to view Ghosts of Adelanto & The Rise of Abolish Ice, a documentary film providing a close look into the lives of migrant families torn apart by Immigration Custom Enforcement (ICE) through detention and deportation. Featuring first-hand accounts of people who have been detained, Ghosts of Adelanto shows the wrenching stories of family separation and systemic injustices. The film also reveals the often-hidden narratives of resilience and resistance that have emerged from Adelanto, showing the organizing and determination of courageous feminist and queer undocumented activists who have forged a blossoming movement to Abolish ICE. 

Film producers Setsu Shigematsu, UC Riverside professor of media studies and director of Visions of Abolition (2011), and Cinthya Martinez, UC Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Santa Cruz, will offer remarks after the preview. They will be joined by Abolish ICE activists.

This preview screening is part of the public scholarship program, Visualizing Abolition, an ongoing initiative at the Institute of the Arts and Sciences exploring art, prisons, and justice. Visualizing Abolition highlights the creative work underway by artists, activists, and scholars to imagine alternatives to current injustices. Visualizing Abolition is organized by UCSC Professor Gina Dent and Dr. Rachel Nelson.


Setsu Shigematsu, a professor of media studies, directed the production of this film as a sequel to Visions of Abolition, (2011), a documentary that provides an abolitionist understanding of the rise of the prison industrial complex, featuring Angela Y. Davis. Shigematsu produced the sequel to expose how imprisoning immigrants is an expansion of the prison industrial complex and its racist policies. Shigematsu began working with UCLA alumnus and filmmaker Mayon Denton, whose experience making films began with confrontations with the police in LA county. As a Black-Latino filmmaker from the two communities most targeted by policing and ICE’s racial profiling, Denton’s drive to create this film was to reach audiences who do not know how ICE policies harm people.

Ghosts of Adelanto is based on the life of co-writer Cinthya Martinez who was raised by a single undocumented mother in southern California. Martinez became an activist in highschool and earned her Ph.D. at UC Riverside. In the film Martinez explores stories of Adelanto’s apparitions and the violence experienced by women caged in Adelanto.

A Collaborative Production

This film is a collaboration between Critical Resistance, founded 25 years ago to advance an abolitionist understanding of the prison industrial complex (PIC), and activists from Detention Watch Network, composed of more than 100 immigrant rights organizations, Freedom for Immigrants, dedicated to abolishing immigrant detention, and California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance and Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice.

1124 Pacific Ave #4415
Santa Cruz, California 95060 United States