Roadsigns of the Borderlands

Wild Life Still

Four Legged Coyotes,
     Tracking Your Hike 
     Through the Hills.
Attempting to Stay Unseen,
Sailing Through the Brush,
Showing off Breakfast in the Mouth.

Two Legged Mules,
     Cruising, Camo Pack Laden
     Through the Bush,
     Carrying their Loads.
Invisible.
Under the Constant Gaze of La Migra.
And, Except We Can All See Them.
Lazing on the Porch, Watching,
     Our Own Private PBS.

Brilliant Mewing Peacocks,
     Free Ranging the Hood,
     In Their Full Splayed Rainbow Dress.
One, Pure White.
Cawing and Meowing
Like Wild Time Cats.
The Mac Daddy,
     Daily Ritual
     Challenging His Reflection
     In the Shiny Morn Truck Bumper

The Phatest of the Fat Toad-ster,
     McToaderson,
     Holding Down the Night Time Streets,
     And Holding Down the Roach peeps.
Tale Tells,
     If You Lick Him, 
     You Get to Speak His Tongue.

A Million Gatos,
     Lounging,
     Fighting,
     Cruising

Bi-National Perros
Know No Borders,
     And Attempt to Run as One Crew.
Yet Barrier,
Upon Barrier,
Block Their Way.

Big, Hairy-Legged Tarantulas,
     Molting Mid Road.

Free Flyin Hummingbirds

La Cucarachas
     Creeping Around
And Creeping Me Out.

Spiders
     Of Thin Legged
     Fat Legged
     Bulbous Bodied
     Varieties

Stinging Scorpions
     Crawling Their Way
     Through Dreams and
     Across Porches

Ginormous Hawks
     Cruising the Wind Waves
     At Mountain Top Eye Levels


 

The People You Meet

If you pay attention just a bit, the stories you meet just walking around town will break or heart or, I guess, gladden it if you one of that type. Me? The stories destroy me. And infuriate. 

Fransisco, 33 years old, was in the U.S. since he was 13. He was a diesel mechanic in Phoenix with a wife and two kids. Fransisco was picked up for a routine traffic violation and ended up in detention for 4 months, shuttled around between Arizona, California and Texas until he was deported to Nogales, Sonora. 

Eduardo, in his 50s lived in Phoenix for over 20 years. He has a wife and several grown kids. Eduardo was picked up because he phoned in a domestic abuse alert to the authorities. He was deported in 2010 and has been trying to get back to his family ever since. 

Augostine, in his 40s, travelled from Vera Cruz, Mexico. He attempted to walk through the desert to find work in the U.S. but was caught and deported after three days. 

Nelson, 31, first walked through the desert when he was 16. Worked, married, had babies (two with one on the way) in NYC. Got picked up for driving without a license and deported, flown to Honduras. Immediately turned around and headed north to get back with his family. Spent two months traveling the treacherous voyage to reach Nogales, Sonora where he waited for an opportunity to cross. After weeks of getting to know Nelson, one day he was gone. Hopefully successfully north to his family. For 6 months since he wanders through my mind, me sending out prayers of his safety and success. 

Jesus, mid-30s, lived in L.A. with his family. Got picked up and deported. Attempted, unsuccessfully, to recross the desert, got bite by a spider that caused a huge cavernous hole in his arm. Has been in Nogales, Sonora for three months since. Waiting.

Two girls from Oaxaca, looked very young but said they were 20. Attempted to cross through the desert in a group of 6 women. Got lost and wandered for three days until picked up and deported. Not sure where the other four women are. 

Fernando, mid-20s, from Palenque, first crossed into the U.S. when he was 13 and was there 12 years. Lived in South Carolina, married, 1 kid and 1 on the way. Picked up for a D.U.I and charged for weed. Deported. This was his second deportation - first was two years ago, after which he successfully walked back into the U.S. This time, he attempted to once again walk back but got lost and wandered in the desert for a week. Saw rattlers and drank cactus water. He met up with and joined another group in the desert but fell behind and got separated. Joined with another group but got caught by Border Patrol and deported. 

 

 

Featured

"The Daily Bread," an image from the Palestinian village of Qawawis, Hebron Region, featured in the 2015 University of Arizona Center for Middle Eastern Studies annual show. 

Jail House Visits

On weekends, mamas, babies, grandparents, gather on the U.S. side to visit their relatives deported/stuck on the Mexico side. It is like witnessing prison visits - families attempting time together but not able to really connect for a huge steal-beam wall in their way. People take pictures embracing each other through these steal barriers. I don't want to photograph these encounters because those folks have enough shit without being exploited by an outsider's camera, so luckily Chicken and his pal agreed to demonstrate the situation.

And Then the Rains Come

Monsoon Season. 
Near daily moving in of glorious, cooling, mile high clouds that open up upon us, letting the deluge fall, chasing the rats above ground to seek dry safety where they can.
The thirst of the land, quenched, for the time. Streets turn to rushing rivers, mountaintops take into the magical realm above it all. 

Just Another Evening Stroll

Around every corner the obvious reality of the border is apparent unlike the much more subtle but just as present and pervasive aspects in the interior of the country. 

This night, I was just on an evening stroll with Chicken, my trusty sidekick, when we stumbled across these folks. I was unsure if we found them mid-act of entering or leaving the U.S. but it soon become quite obvious that the Border Patrol had also spotted them and was rushing to the scene. 

The person at the top of the wall climbed into Mexico while the person on the ground was ultimately detained by said Border Patrol. 

Just another night living on the line. 

Up Against the Wall Opens in Minneapolis.

During the month of Up Against the Wall (Aug 12- Sept 17, 2011) the below organizations and individuals will be presenting events in order to highlight the intersections of all the work we do and struggles we are a partCheck out below for the list of amazing events throughout the month.

  -> Fri August 12, 7-11pm, Opening -> Mon August 15, 5.30-8pm, Avenue's GLBT Host Home,  -> Thu August 18, 5.30-8pm, Women's Prison Book Project   -> Mon August 22, 5.30-8pm, MN Break the Bonds Campaign   -> Thu August 25, 5.30-8pm, Kulture Klub Art Garden -> Sat August 27, 11am-1pm, Mizna   -> Mon August 29, 5.30-8pm, Oyate Nipi Kte   -> Thu Sept 1, 5.30-8pm, Trans Youth Support Network   -> Sat Sept 3, 11am-1pm, RARE Productions   -> Thu Sept 8, 5.30-8pm, Twin Cities Anti Sexual Violence Workers -> Sat Sept 10, 11am-1pm, International Jewish anti-Zionist Network, Twin Cities   -> Mon Sept 12, 5.30-8pm, 2 Spirit First Nations Collective  -> Thu Sept 15, 5.30-8pm, Chicano Studies & The Borderlands  -> Sat Sept 17, 2-5pm – Closing Reception All events at Vine Arts Center, 2637 27th Ave S, Mpls

 

-> Fri August 12, 7-11pm, Opening
-> Mon August 15, 5.30-8pm, Avenue's GLBT Host Home
-> Thu August 18, 
5.30-8pm, Women's Prison Book Project  
-> Mon August 22
, 5.30-8pm, MN Break the Bonds Campaign  
-> Thu August 25
, 5.30-8pm, Kulture Klub Art Garden
-> Sat August 27
, 11am-1pm, Mizna  
-> Mon August 29
, 5.30-8pm, Oyate Nipi Kte  
-> Thu Sept 1
, 5.30-8pm, Trans Youth Support Network  
-> Sat Sept 3
, 11am-1pm, RARE Productions  
-> Thu Sept 8
, 5.30-8pm, Twin Cities Anti Sexual Violence Workers
-> Sat Sept 10
, 11am-1pm, International Jewish anti-Zionist Network, Twin Cities  
-> Mon Sept 12
, 5.30-8pm, 2 Spirit First Nations Collective 
-> Thu Sept 15, 5.30-8pm, Chicano Studies & The Borderlands 
-> Sat Sept 17, 2-5pm – Closing Reception

All events at Vine Arts Center, 2637 27th Ave S, Mpls

Featured: "Melilla" on The Dominion

Fortress Europe:
The Spanish/Moroccan Border

by K. Flo Razowsky
http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/1727

Spanish/Moroccan border fence Photo: K. Flo Razowsky

"As the gap between rich and poor widens around the world, those in the so-called Third World are desperate to reach the countries where food, jobs and ‘security’ remain. Similar to the US/Mexico border that is slowly being sealed off to those from the south, Fortress Europe is working hard to close itself off from those on the ‘outside.’

This essay is part of a larger project focused on borders that are becoming increasingly militarized and deadly, and the people and land they are dividing. These shots were taken from Melilla, Spain, a Spanish enclave in the north of Morocco. Migrants travel for four, five, sometimes six years to reach this side of the line, only to be held in migrant holding centres, sometimes for years, awaiting their papers or a deportation order back to where they started."

View the entire photo essay here: http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/1727