In July 2012, I traveled to Rio Rico, AZ to install a very special series of cardboard cutouts in the desert. The Desert Project experience was necessary in order to understand for myself, beyond the media's coverage, the realities of the hostile, national issue. As an American-born child of Mexican Immigrants, The Desert Project is my way of honoring those who have made, as well as those who never completed, the treacherous trip through the unforgiving desert.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
The border crossing
Nogales, AZ and Nogales, Mexico were literally divided by this man-made border.
A strange mix of quiet locals idled around on both sides. A line queued on the Mexico side waiting to enter The U.S. There was no line waiting to enter Mexico. As I observed the customs agents, I realized their cold militaristic demeanor was a direct reflection of the hostile situation covered by the media. Unlike the media's coverage however, the quiet reality of this location was much more complex. "no pictures" was the constant yell by customs agents towards us as if taking pictures was against the law. I realized nothing was calm about this situation and everyone seemed to be in a constant state of alert. The more I sat there, the more I felt that same restlessness and it was incredibly uncomfortable. "What does it all mean?" I asked myself. I do not know, but I hope everyone who has an opinion about the border, could sit there and experience it themselves.