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We want to make visible and public a vast collective history that is little known and on the verge of disappearing.
We want to make visible and public a vast collective history that is little known and on the verge of disappearing.
We want to make visible and public a vast collective history that is little known and on the verge of disappearing.
360 backers pledged $44,847 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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INVISIBLE IMMIGRANTS (Spaniards in the US 1868-1945)

$44,847

360

Let's dust off the old family albums of the Spaniards who settled in the US, and publish a deluxe book of photographs that will honor and celebrate these Invisible Immigrants.

Pre-order your copy now!

Immigrants recently arrived from Galicia (La Coruña), Lower East Side, NY, c. 1925 (Alonso/Sánchez)
Immigrants recently arrived from Galicia (La Coruña), Lower East Side, NY, c. 1925 (Alonso/Sánchez)

Spanish Immigrants in the U.S.

When people think about Spaniards in the Americas, they think mainly of the handfuls of conquerors, friars, explorers and settlers who crossed the Atlantic during the heyday of the Spanish Empire.  But actually, many more Spaniards  -roughly 4 million- came to the Americas in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century than in the four centuries following Columbus's first voyage.

And of those millions, tens of thousands ending up settling in “el Norte,”, which is how they referred to the United States. Here they formed vibrant, dynamic and compact communities all over the country. These communities would be forged and galvanized by the hardships of emigration, the deprivations of the Great Depression, and, finally, the catastrophe of the Spanish Civil War.

Ironically, the war in Spain coincides with the high point of the Spanish enclaves in the US, at the same time that it marks the beginning of their end; after the war, with their home country in ruins, and with the possibility of returning more or less off the table, assimilation would become the order of the day. The relative prosperity of post-WWII America would finally dissolve the community links that had been forged by adversity: the Spanish enclaves lose their raison d’être and slowly fade away: their members become invisible immigrants.

The book

The surviving children of our Spanish immigrants are at least in their eighties. Fortunately, many have preserved with loving care the photographs and documents that make up their parents’ archives. 

Virtually all the photographs in the book have been shared with us by families or individuals who for years have saved them as authentic private treasures. Many of the owners of these images have told us that they worry about the fate of their family archives, since, in many cases, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the immigrants are not very interested in what is now a distant past. Armed only with scanners and cameras, for the last few years we have been traveling all around Spain and the US,  with the hope of saving these images from their fate of solitary confinement in basements or attics.  And in this book, we present a selection of some of the best images we've managed to rescue, as a way of preserving and transmitting the history of our immigrant ancestors, while at the same time honoring them.

Who are we? Let us introduce ourselves. We are James D. Fernández and Luis Argeo. James is a professor at New York University, and also grandson of Spaniards who emigrated to the United States. Luis is a freelance journalist in Spain, and also the grandson of an emigrant that returned to Spain. Both have spent years studying of the phenomenon of Spanish emigration to the United States. And since 2010, we have put our forces together to create the largest documentary archive on this historical and cultural phenomenon. Two years ago we created WhiteStoneRidge Productions, to conduct field work all around the United States and Spain, in an attempt to put together the pieces of the puzzle of the Spanish diaspora. This field work has produced a good number of interviews, documentary films, photographic expositions, lectures, and encounters, all of which are aimed at preserving and divulging the history of Spanish immigrants in the United States. With the book of photos, we are looking to reconstruct in a new format the legacy saved in the family albums of the emigrants that we have met.

Technical characteristics

Book: INVISIBLE IMMIGRANTS                                   Copies: 1.500         

Language: English and Spanish 
192 pages
Dimensions: 9.64 in x 12.2 inches
Hardcover bound in cloth printing
Gardapat 13 Klassica Paper 100g
Edition: Paco Gómez / Fracaso Books
Design: Manuel Gil / MGráfico

Why a book of photographs? A good book of photographs, striking and agreeable to contemplate, is a perfect way to preserve and disseminate the history of these Invisible Immigrants. Not only will it give public, communitarian, and historical value to the particular photographs that make it up; we hope that it will also spur others on to preserve and document different aspects of the history shared by Spain and the US. Plus, an album like this will be a perfect gift for many people.

Description of the project. We have spent several years traveling, filming, blogging and facebooking, in an attempt to (re)build a community of the Spanish diaspora in the US. With over 4,400 followers on Facebook –many of them quite active—that community has begun to coalesce. We believe that if we were to publish and distribute this book in a conventional way, with a commercial publisher, we would in effect be handing over to that publisher this community that we have been building, but now transformed into a market. We believe – we hope-- that new technologies – like digital scanning- and new platforms –like crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter—will allow us to keep at arms length the cold logic of the market, and to produce a book that in many ways will be by, about, and for, all of you who support it and who identify with it.

We’re asking for money to design, edit, print and distribute this book. If you contribute to this project you can be sure that your support will strengthen and facilitate our commitment to work tirelessly on the urgent project of rescuing and conserving the history of our Spanish immigrant ancestors.

Spanish immigrants in Roosevelt Tavern (115 Roosevelt St., NYC) owned by Bergondo Andrés Sánchez (Coruña), c. 1933
Spanish immigrants in Roosevelt Tavern (115 Roosevelt St., NYC) owned by Bergondo Andrés Sánchez (Coruña), c. 1933

 Rewards

(10 $ reward) THANK YOU!
Our deepest gratitude plus one bookmark and one postcard designed for this project.

(25 $ reward) THE BAG
A tote bag... ¡Este eras tú! + one bookmark and one postcard.

(55 $ reward) THE BOOK
A copy of the book INVISIBLE IMMIGRANTS + one bookmark and one postcard.

(100 $ reward)
DOUBLE FEATURE
2 copies of the book INVISIBLE IMMIGRANTS + one DVD (Dan Albert's Paella) + two bookmarks and two postcards.

(250 $ reward) FAMILY PACK
5 copies of the book INVISIBLE IMMIGRANTS + 2 DVDs (Dan Albert's Paella) + 2 tote bags + a complete set of bookmarks and postcards (3 + 3).

(500 $ reward) IN THE MEMORY OF…
Send us four names and we will print the entire edition in memory of your Spanish ancestors + 5 copies of the book + DVD + tote bag + set of bookmarks and postcards.

(1,000 $ reward) SUPPORTER
Appreciation inside the book (1/8 page) + your ancestor's names (up to 4) + 10 copies of the book + DVD + tote bag + set of bookmarks and postcards.

(2.500 $ reward) BENEFACTOR
Appreciation inside the book (1/4 page) + your ancestor's names (up to 4) with picture + 15 copies of the book + DVD + tote bag + set of bookmarks and postcards.

(5.000 $ reward) PATRON
Appreciation inside the book (1/2 page) + your ancestor's names (up to 4) with picture + 25 copies of the book + DVD + tote bag + set of bookmarks and postcards.

Equipo de béisbol del Centro Asturiano de Tampa, Florida. 1930s (C.A. Tampa, Fl)
Equipo de béisbol del Centro Asturiano de Tampa, Florida. 1930s (C.A. Tampa, Fl)


SPANISH VERSION                   -                   EN ESPAÑOL...

Queremos hacer visible y pública una inmensa historia colectiva que apenas es conocida y está a punto de desaparecer.

Vamos a desempolvar los viejos álbumes familiares de los españoles que se instalaron en Estados Unidos, y publicar un gran libro fotográfico, bilingüe, con el que recordar y homenajear a estos Inmigrantes Invisibles.

¡Reserva tu ejemplar ahora!

Inmigrantes españoles en Estados Unidos
Cuando la gente rememora españoles haciendo las Américas, lo hace sobre todo apoyándose en un puñado de conquistadores, frailes, exploradores y colonos de los que cruzaban el Atlántico en tiempos del gran Imperio Español. Aunque, de hecho, fueron muchísimos más -unos cuatro millones- los españoles que viajaron a América a finales del siglo XIX y principios del XX que quienes lo hicieron en los cuatro siglos siguientes al primer viaje de Colón.

Entre aquellos millones, decenas de miles optaron por acudir "al Norte", que es como nombraban entonces a los Estados Unidos. Aquí formaron comunidades vibrantes, dinámicas y compactas, repartidas por todo el país. Dichas comunidades se forjarían y cristalizarían a partir de las penurias del emigrante, las carencias de la Gran Depresión y, por último, la catástrofe de la Guerra Civil española.   

La guerra en España marcaría el apogeo de las colonias españolas en Estados Unidos, e irónicamente, al mismo tiempo representaría el comienzo de su fin. Tras esa guerra, con su país de origen arruinado y descartadas las posibilidades de volver, la asimilación se iba a convertir en la mejor baza para aquellos emigrados. Pero la prosperidad de Estados Unidos tras el final de la II Guerra Mundial acabaría disolviendo aquellos vínculos comunitarios que habían forjado en tiempos de adversidad. Los enclaves españoles perdieron su razón de ser y, lentamente, se desvanecieron. De este modo, sus miembros se convirtieron en inmigrantes invisibles.

El libro

Los descendientes vivos de nuestros inmigrantes españoles ya han superado los 80 años de edad. Afortunadamente, muchos de ellos han custodiado con mucho cuidado las fotografías y documentos que componen los archivos de sus padres.

Casi todas las fotografías empleadas han sido cedidas por familias o individuos que durante años las han guardado como auténticos tesoros particulares. Muchos de los dueños de estas imágenes nos han confesado que les preocupa el destino de sus archivos familiares, ya que, no en pocos casos, los nietos y bisnietos de los inmigrantes tienen poco interés en la historia familiar. Es por eso que nosotros, armados con escáners y cámaras, hemos estado viajando por España y Estados Unidos con la esperanza de rescatar para la posteridad estas imágenes que acaso acabarían olvidadas en desvanes y trasteros. En este libro, presentaremos una selección de las mejores imágenes que hemos podido robar al olvido. Porque tomamos este proyecto como una forma de preservar y transmitir la historia de nuestros antepasados ​​inmigrantes, y también de honrarlos.

¿Quiénes somos? Nos presentamos. Somos James D. Fernandez y Luis Argeo. James es profesor en NYU, y además nieto de emigrantes españoles a Estados Unidos. Luis es periodista freelance en España, y además nieto de emigrante retornado. Ambos llevamos años estudiando el fenómeno de la emigración española en Estados Unidos. Y desde el año 2010 hemos juntado esfuerzos para crear el mayor archivo documental sobre este acontecimiento histórico y cultural. Hace dos años creamos WhiteStoneRidge Productions, con la que gestionamos los viajes por Estados Unidos y España en busca de estas grandes historias de emigración. De dichos viajes ha salido una nutrida cantidad de entrevistas, películas documentales, exposiciones fotográficas, charlas y encuentros con los que pretendemos seguir preservando y divulgando la historia de los españoles inmigrantes en EE.UU. Con el libro fotográfico, buscamos reconstruir en un nuevo formato el legado guardado en los álbumes familiares de los emigrantes que hemos conocido.

Características técnicas

Libro: INVISIBLE IMMIGRANTS                                    Copias: 1.500

Idioma: inglés y español
192 páginas

Medidas: 245 mm x 310 mm
Tapa dura encuadernada en tela con estampación
Papel Gardapat 13 Klassica de 100 gramos
Edición: Paco Gómez / Fracaso Books
Diseño: Manuel Gil  / MGráfico

¿Por qué un libro de fotos? Un buen libro de fotografías, llamativo y agradable de contemplar, es un perfecto modo de divulgar y preservar la historia de estos inmigrantes invisibles. No sólo dara un valor público, comunitario e histórico a las fotografías particulares con las que se confecciona, sino que se presume como un objeto para seguir documentando la historia de dos países (España y Estados Unidos), además de un estupendo regalo. 

Descripción del proyecto. Llevamos varios años viajando, filmando, blogueando, y feisbuqueando, con ganas de construir una comunidad a partir de aquella diáspora española en Estados Unidos. Ahora que tenemos más de 4,400 seguidores en nuestra página de Facebook, sentimos que esa comunidad se está cuajando. Y pensamos que si publicáramos y distribuyéramos este libro mediante los canales convencionales, con una editorial comercial, de alguna manera estaríamos mercantilizando a la comunidad que hemos construido.  Creemos –queremos creer—que las nuevas tecnologías –los escáneres digitales, por ejemplo- y las nuevas plataformas –como Kickstarter—nos permitirán mantener a raya la fría lógica del mercado y, a fin de cuentas, ofrecer algo producido por, sobre y para todos los que apoyáis y os identificáis con este proyecto.

Pedimos dinero para diseñar, editar, producir y distribuir un libro que podáis disfrutar. Las personas que contribuís a este proyecto podéis estar seguras de que vuestra colaboración hará más firme y más eficaz nuestro compromiso de trabajar sin prisa y sin pausa en el urgente proyecto de rescatar y conservar la historia de nuestros inmigrantes españoles de antaño.

Recompensas

¡GRACIAS!  (Recompensa 10 $ - 7'7 €)                                          

Nuestro más sincero agradecimiento más una postal y un marcapáginas diseñados para este proyecto.

LA BOLSA (Recompensa 25 $ - 19'4 €)

Bolsa de tela... ¡Este eras tú! + postal y marcapáginas.

EL LIBRO (Recompensa 55 $ - 42'5 €)  

Copia del libro INVISIBLE IMMIGRANTS + postal y marcapáginas.

DOBLE SESIÓN (Recompensa 100 $ - 77'6 €)  

2 copias del libro + DVD "La Paella de Daniel Albert" + 2 postales y 2 marcapáginas.

PACK FAMILIAR (Recompensa 250 $ - 193'4 €)

5 copias del libro + 2 DVD's + 2 bolsas de tela + set completo de postales y marcapáginas (3 + 3)

EN MEMORIA DE... (Recompensa 500 $ - 388 €)

Envíanos hasta cuatro nombres y los imprimiremos en toda la tirada en memoria de tus ancestros españoles  + 5 copias del libro + DVD + bolsa de tela + set completo de postales y marcapáginas (3 + 3)

SIMPATIZANTE (Recompensa 1.000 $ - 776 €)                      

Reconocimiento en el interior del libro en 1/8 de página + hasta 4 nombres de tus ancestros + 10 copias del libro + DVD + bolsa de tela + set completo de postales y marcapáginas (3 + 3)

BENEFACTOR (Recompensa 2.500 $ - 1.940 €)

Reconocimiento en el interior del libro en 1/4 de página + hasta 4 nombres de tus ancestros y foto + 15 copias del libro + DVD + bolsa de tela + set completo de postales y marcapáginas (3 + 3)

PATROCINADOR (Recompensa 5.000 $ - 3.880 €)

Reconocimiento en el interior del libro en 1/2 página + hasta 4 nombres de tus ancestros y foto + 25 copias del libro + DVD + bolsa de tela + set completo de postales y marcapáginas (3 + 3)

Risks and challenges

At a time when the conventional publishing sector is in crisis, we are willing to assume the risks and challenges of publishing a deluxe hardcover book, in color, on high-quality paper, and to do so on our own, without intermediaries. We readily assume these risks and challenges because we are convinced that there is a sizeable community of readers who will want to enjoy the photographs and to learn more about the history of Spanish immigration in the United States..

Even though this is our first Kickstarter project, we are working with people that have experience with crowdfunding campaigns. An independent editor and a freelance designer are collaborating with us; we know that the final product –the book that will soon be in your hands—will be of the highest quality, because we have faith in ourselves, in them, and in all of you.

Every so often we will send updates of our steps to our supporters, so you can follow the progress of the campaign and of the publication of this book.

SPANISH VERSION - EN ESPAÑOL...
En un momento en el que el sector editorial se encuentra en plena crisis, asumimos sin vacilar los riesgos y desafíos de sacar un libro de lujo, tapa dura, papel especial cosido, a color, y hacerlo por nuestra cuenta, sin intermediarios. Asumimos el riesgo porque sabemos que hay muchas personas para las cuales un gran libro de este tipo sigue siendo la mejor manera de disfrutar de las fotografías y de acercarse a la historia de la emigración española a Estados Unidos.

A pesar de que es nuestro primer proyecto Kickstarter, estamos trabajando con gente que tiene experiencia en las campañas de crowdfunding. Colaboran con nosotros un editor independiente y a un diseñador freelance; sabemos que el producto final –el libro que pronto tendrás entre manos—será de gran calidad, porque confiamos en nosotros, en ellos, en vosotros..

Cada cierto tiempo iremos enviando actualizaciones de nuestros pasos a los backers que nos apoyan, permitiéndoles conocer todas las novedades de la campaña y todos los avances en la edición de este libro.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Our deepest gratitude plus a bookmark and a postcard designed for this project.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A tote bag custom designed to honor our immigrant ancestors "¡Este eras tú!"
    + a bookmark and a postcard.

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    A copy of the book INVISIBLE IMMIGRANTS
    + a bookmark and a postcard.

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    201 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    2 copies of the book INVISIBLE IMMIGRANTS + one DVD: 'Dan Albert's Paella'
    + two bookmarks and two postcards.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    "FAMILY PACK"
    5 copies of the book INVISIBLE IMMIGRANTS + 2 DVDs (Dan Albert's Paella)
    + 2 tote bags
    + a complete set of bookmarks and
    postcards (3 + 3)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    IN MEMORY OF...
    As a way of paying tribute to your Spanish ancestors, we will print up to four of their names in the entire edition
    + 5 copies of the book
    + DVD
    + tote bag
    + set of bookmarks and postcards (3 + 3)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    SUPPORTER
    1/8 of a page devoted to your immigrant ancestor(s)
    + listing of your ancestor's names (up to 4)
    + 10 copies of the book
    + DVD
    + tote bag
    + set of bookmarks and postcards.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    BENEFACTOR
    1/4 page of the book (with optional photo) devoted to your immigrant ancestor(s) or business,
    + listing of your ancestors' names (up to 4)
    + 15 copies of the book
    + DVD
    + tote bag
    + set of bookmarks and postcards.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    PATRON
    1/2 page of the book (with optional photo) devoted to your immigrant ancestor(s)
    + listing of your ancestors' names (up to 4)
    + 25 copies of the book
    + DVD
    + tote bag
    + set of bookmarks and postcards.

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    Limited 1 backer
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Funding period

- (31 days)