The Borderlands Archive is an active collection of research, mappings and contributed artifacts from the U.S.- Mexico borderlands that symbolize connection across territorial divide. Collected objects and information represent physical, social, political and environmental connections that form a counter-narrative, or collective public record about a contested space between two countries. 

Through The Wall
by Sam Gebb
(Specific) Location: Playa de Tijuana, MX |  N32.53431, W-117.12374
Item Number: BLA160218-01
Description/Materials: Digital Photo Collage (GIF)
Date Collected: Feb 16, 2018
Name of Contributor: Sam Gebb


A. What cross-border connection(s) does this object represent?
This object contemplates removal of the Wall along Playa de Tijuana and imagines the possibility of moving freely along the beach, heedless of what country the sand belongs to.

B. Additional Notes about the item or its history or how you found it.
I was inspired by joggers on the Playa who would run northwards along the water’s edge all the way up to the Wall, abruptly turn around within an arm’s distance of it, and continue their jog back south.

C. What is your relationship to the artifact you contributed? (Or the place where the object comes from?)
I made it.

D. Has the construction of a border changed your objects’ relationship to the place where you found it?
Yes. One cannot stroll infinitely along the beach here, as is possible once well north or south of the border.

E. Why did you contribute to the archive?

I’m contributing this object specifically because I’ve always found the beach to be an open, lateralizing, community-generating space, no matter what country I’m in. Especially in the context of the extreme limiting of cross-border interaction at Friendship Park, it saddens me that this swath of land and sea that should be uninterrupted is bifurcated by a wall, a fence, and an invisible buffer zone.

Punto de Reunion, by Lizzie Sturr
(Specific) Location: El Paso, TX, US |  N32.53431, W-117.12374
Item Number: BLA250219-01
Description/Materials: Video, On-Site Installation
Date Collected: Feb 25, 2019
Name of Contributor: Lizzie Sturr


A. What cross-border connection(s) does this object represent?

Punto de reunión, green dots deliberately marked in the urban landscape throughout Mexico. Oftentimes in different shades of green and forms–offer nuance and personal interpretation of what should be a common and fixed image, and symbolize a place of gathering.
This marking has evolved to become a decorative tag throughout the city, one that does not have a single, clear purpose. Instead, the green dots are human moments, points of focus and reflection in a vibrant city saturated with noise–a good intention with an inefficient result, composing a larger collective symbol for the country.
This project brings the concept of punto de reunión–and its homonymic relationship in the landscape– directly to the borderwall, changing the meaning of the borderwall itself. Separated from the borderwall, the green dot is a place to gather and view the crisis. When located on the borderwall, the green dot shifts the borderwall to a place of meeting.

B. Additional Notes about the item or its history or how you found it.

Created object, not found.


about    contribute    files