Monday, April 12 to Friday, April 16, 11am-4pm, Hopkins Hall Gallery, 128 N. Oval Mall

Located 2,000 miles away from Columbus, Ohio, the violence of the U.S.-Mexico border may feel distant from the daily realities of most Columbus residents. While we currently live in a world in which transnational human mobility is at its highest level in history, restrictive immigration laws and the militarization of national borders have become more drastic and vigilant. Meanwhile, global inequities and the radicalization of violence have led to a large increase in the flow of refugees and undocumented immigrants at these borders. In their transit through Mexico, Central Americans face extreme levels of violence, such as mass kidnappings, rapes, and massacres. The U.S.-Mexico border has claimed thousands of lives. Deterrence policies have forced people to migrate to cross the border illegally through the Sonoran Desert of Southern Arizona. Between just 2000 and 2014, the bodies of 2,721 migrants were recovered in the Arizona desert.

This interactive exhibition invites visitors to engage and think about the role of art in creating awareness of violence at the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. A core element of this exhibition is the installation, in process, of Hostile Terrain 94, a participatory art project sponsored and conceptualized by the Undocumented Migration Project. The final installation will be composed of 3,200 “toe tags” that represent migrants who have died trying to cross the Sonoran Desert of Arizona between the mid-1990s and 2019. These tags will be geolocated on a wall map of the desert, which is included in this exhibition, showing the exact locations where remains were found.

Because of the limitations imposed by the pandemic, this participatory artistic installation is being developed in two stages. Visitors are encouraged to help build this artistic display by filling out several “toe tags” with the information we have on 3,200 migrant bodies found at the border with Arizona. The completed installation, with all of the tags, will form part of a larger exhibition on art and migration planned for the next academic year.

Use this link to pre-register for your visit. [The “default” of this web page is “Urban Arts Space”; be sure to select the “Hopkins Hall Gallery” option before continuing].

In conjunction with Bringing the Border to Columbus: A Virtual Symposium, April 12-16.


Monday, April 12, 2021 - 12:00pm

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