Nogales, Arizona. U.S. 2015


Up Against the Wall first sparked a nerve in 2002 as I watched Israel begin construction on what is now a nearly 500 mile long, largely 25 foot high concrete wall inside the West Bank of occupied Palestine.

At the time, the idea to build a physical and militarized structure, that displaces and separates as a solution to something deemed a problem, blew my mind. So I began looking around. And I came to realize, building a structure to keep the Other out or lock Them in was not so unusual a reality. And that in many cases, people by the scores were willing to risk imprisonment or death in attempt to cross.

As I looked around it seemed that ample documentation exists of the people impacted by these structures yet little visual documentation seems to exist of the structures themselves and even less that set side by side all of the structures together. So I set out to help fill this documentation void and so began Up Against the Wall. Being able to juxtapose these images gives us space to visually comprehend global relationships of power. Considering these structures allows us to ask why these structures exist, who builds them, to what ends and who is impacted. Visualizing these structures offer those of us not forced up against the walls in this world a glimpse of the reality we are building.

But Up Against the Wall is also about making community connections and it becomes a canvas for collaboration across our various social movement work. I utilize exhibitions of Up Against the Wall as a space local grassroots organizations, communities and activists can host events. This type of collaboration helps to highlight and build from our social justice intersections, expose a broader audience to the involved organizations and to Up Against the Wall, which in turn offers exhibition visitors a means to get engaged with local social justice work. In this way, the reality of that which divides us is subverted into bridges that connect, and through these collaborations, solutions can be offered.

In my work and life, it is important to combine art and the political as a means of engagement, challenging the viewer to be affected and to effect change. Successful art moves the audience. Placing the viewer inside the art and letting the images speak for themselves is one of the most powerful tools I’ve found thus far. This allows creative work to be an instrument for exposing our social conditions, highlighting opportunities for change and moving people to act. I have been creating art from this premise for over 20 years and look forward to the opportunity to work with you to keep this type of work moving forward in your community. 


Up Against the Wall was first exhibited as a solo installation in Minneapolis, MN in 2011. Recently, the work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Slate Magazine and The Daily Express and CCTV's The Heat. Venues are now being scheduled for Up Against the Wall as it goes on the road.

Full Show Specifications:

  • 9 - 17"x25" prints in 32"x32" window frames
  • 30 - metal prints; Ranging in size, 4"x6" to 20"x24"
  • 3 - 15'Lx10'H free standing constructions; microfiber-printed photographs. Can be scaled down to 5'x5'  
  • Soundscapes

The exhibition is transformable to suit the space in which it is shown, including non-traditional locations. Stipend and cost of hosting Up Against the Wall is negotiable based on ability.

The Wall Street Journal
Slate Magazine
CCTV’s The Heat 
U.K.'s Daily Express
Slate Magazine "Best of 2015" 91.5 FM
Nogales International   


  • 2016 Metro.Co.UK
    -- Featured Photo Essay, Up Against the Wall
  • 2016 PetaPixel
    -- Featured Photo Essay, Up Against the Wall
  • 2016 KJZZ 91.5 FM
    --Interview, Up Against the Wall
  • 2016 Slate Magazine, 5 Best Photo Essays of 2015
    -- Featured Photo Essay, Up Against the Wall
  • 2015 Wall Street Journal
    Featured Photo Essay, Up Against the Wall
  • 2015 Slate Magazine
    -- Featured Photo Essay, Up Against the Wall
  • 2015 Nogales International
    Community Spotlight 
  • 2015 The Daily Express
    -- Featured Photo Essay, Up Against the Wall
  • 2015 CCTV's The Heat 
    The Philosophy behind the Wall
  • 2015 University of Arizona, Center for Middle Eastern Studies annual show
    -- Featured photographer
  • 2015 Hilltop Gallery annual May showcase
    -- Featured photographer
  • 2014 Resurfacing – Group show at Mission Cultural Center, S.F.
    -- Featured photographer
  • 2012 Witness Bahrain
    -- On-location team photographer
  • 2011 Up Against The Wall solo exhibit & Installation
  • 2010 Powderhorn 365
    -- Project photographer
  • 2010 Mizna 6th Annual Arab Film Fest
    -- Invited photographer
  • 2010 Mizna 10th Anniversary Celebration                                                               
    -- Invited photographer
  • 2009 Outside of Europe video documentary
    -- Production photographer
  • 2009 Triumph 67 feature length independent film
    -- Production Photographer
  • 2008 The Dominion
    -- Featured Photo Essay, Melilla   
  • 2007 Waite House Community Center youth photography project
    -- Creator and facilitator
  • 2007 Permanent Waiting Room: Artworks, Artists, Roundtables
    -- Featured photographer
  • 2007/2009 Café Intifada, an intellectual salon
    -- Writer and Director
  • 2006 ‘Welcome to Palestine’ solo photography exhibit
    -- Featured photographer
  • 2006 Mizna Twin Cities Arab Film Festival
    -- Invited photographer
  • 2005 ‘Babylon Reunion’ collaborative show
    -- Participant
  • 2005 ‘Black Dog Art’ collaborative show
    -- Participant
  • 2005 Danza Mexica Cuauhtemoc water ceremony
    -- Invited photo documentarian
  • 2003 Art Across Borders exhibit of Iraqi and Palestinian art
    -- Co-curator                                                   
  • 2003 ‘Art of Resistance’ collaborative show
    -- Participant
  • Critical Geographies academic thesis
    -- Featured photographer
  • Global Migration Resources website
    -- Featured photographer
  • Fotopedia website
    -- Featured photographer
  • International Trade Union Confederation website
    -- Featured photographer
  • Pulse of the Twin Cities
    -- Contributing writer and photographer
  • Electronic Intifada
    -- Contributing writer and photographer
  • Guest Contributor (writer and photojournalist)                          
    -- The Dominion
    -- Bilerico
    -- The Star and Tribune