The United States-Mexico border is an unwelcoming place that has been weaponized to intimidate immigrants. But every once in a while, we see tender moments taking place in this space. The latest example came in Sunland Park, New Mexico and Juarez, where bright pink seesaws were installed on the border wall so that children from both sides of the border could play together.
The idea came from Virginia San Fratello, an associate professor of design at San Jose State, and Ronald Rael, an architecture professor at the University of California, Berkeley. On Instagram, Rael wrote that this was one of the most “incredible experiences” of his career.
“The wall became a literal fulcrum for U.S.-Mexico relations and children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side,” he wrote.
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One of the most incredible experiences of my and @vasfsf’s career bringing to life the conceptual drawings of the Teetertotter Wall from 2009 in an event filled with joy, excitement, and togetherness at the borderwall. The wall became a literal fulcrum for U.S. – Mexico relations and children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side. Amazing thanks to everyone who made this event possible like Omar Rios @colectivo.chopeke for collaborating with us, the guys at Taller Herrería in #CiudadJuarez for their fine craftsmanship, @anateresafernandez for encouragement and support, and everyone who showed up on both sides including the beautiful families from Colonia Anapra, and @kerrydoyle2010, @kateggreen , @ersela_kripa , @stphn_mllr , @wakawaffles, Chris Gauthier and many others (you know who you are). #raelsanfratello #borderwallasarchitecture
At a time when we continue to see the U.S. and Mexican governments keep immigrants from the border, this was a moment of levity, to show that we are united.
Art is such a powerful vehicle for change.
A beautiful installation at our southern border that reminds us that: “Actions that take place on one side have direct consequences on the other.”
We are all connected.
We are all one. pic.twitter.com/NaREd5Vd7z
— RAICES (@RAICESTEXAS) July 30, 2019