Picturing the Border

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By Nadiah Rivera Fellah, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art with contributions from Natalie Scenters-Zapico

The US-Mexico border has undergone dramatic changes over the past six decades, becoming increasingly industrialized, urbanized, and militarized, especially in the aftermath of 9/11 and the War on Terror. Mainstream and conservative news coverage has often reinforced or exacerbated such developments, characterizing the border as out of control and describing migrants in derogatory terms, in the process fueling xenophobic sentiment.

A foil to this reductive and dehumanizing narrative, this presentation of Latinx photography offers more nuanced portrayals of life in the borderlands. Ranging from the 1970s to the 2020s, images by Louis Carlos Bernal, Graciela Iturbide, and Laura Aguilar, as well as emerging artists such as Ada Trillo, Guadalupe Rosales, and Miguel Fernández de Castro display alternative photographic vocabularies with regard to place, identity, and race. With subject matter spanning from intimate domestic portraits and youth counterculture to border crossings and clashes involving Border Patrol, this richly illustrated volume also features scholarly essays and new work by fronteriza poet Natalie Scenters-Zapico, providing a timely new perspective on life in this fraught and misunderstood region. 

134 Pages, 91 images

Published July 2024