The Border is a magnet. An interstitial Pynchonian Zone, a pandamonium. Like Sarajevo in the 90's, the rape of Ciudad Juarez has entranced the world: a civilizational car crash we cannot keep our eyes from. The problem is structural: the border. As long as First world meets Third World, as long as we War on Drugs, the violence, the insecurity state will continue. My colleague Sub-commandante has written this about the video above: Shadow People Project was inspired by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, where thousands of people were blown away, leaving only their shadows printed by heat on streets, bridges, walls, and granite steps. These shadow people were the first to be rendered faceless and nameless by a nuclear weapon, but they were neither the first nor the last people rendered shadows by a great power. The Shadow People Project is designed to bring shadow people out of the shadows.... shadowpeopleproject.org Ciudad de Juarez has endured a decade of extreme violence, fueled by the War on Drugs, endemic border corruption, and its position as a gateway city to the USA. As the restrictions/control/surveillance on the border have increased, counter-intuitively it has fueled greater violence, greater iniquity, and significant injustices to people on both sides of the border. Oddly, through all of this El Paso is one of the safest cities in the USA, but this plastic peace is kept with America's own Gulag archipelago, the largely privatised prison, and border security industrial complexes. These vast and corrupt bureaucracies have been created by the very people who speak of limited government, and freedom. We know that history repeats itself, but as a joke the second time around. And so we invoke St Ronnie, destroyer of the unions and the US middle class to say: "Mr. President tear down that wall!" We must take the money we are spending on our very own societal panopticon and instead invest in a Marshall Plan for Mexico. The funny thing about the border, the actual river on the border: it's really beautiful. It should be a park. Let us join hands with all of our norteamericanos (yes, Quebec too, but not those Albertans), and create an equitable continent wide society. With Big Big Love, sub-commandante sterling Filmed at El Panaderia in Cd Juarez, MX. Updated version
Sitting by the border painting. The first time I came down, I stayed El Paso side: I know urban areas enough to respect the danger: slowly slowly drawn in. The next time, I made it half way across Sante Fe bridge. I stopped at the middle, and painted from there on a beautiful day. The next time I had a friend, Bets Frontera: she introduced me to her posse: Resizte Crew. They took me down by the river: the border itself, you can touch it. Sometimes it is so quiet. Then a ghost is over your shoulder, watching you paint.