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Posts Tagged ‘border wall’

Photo: Suzanne’s Mom.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
“That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
“And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
“And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. …”

I was going to make some pompous observations about old-time walls meant to clarify property lines, not keep people out or prevent neighborly conversations. But then I read a merciless spoof of bloggers trying to be profound. So I decided just to show you how cleverly these old dry walls were built to last, smaller stones tucked into gaps to keep higher ones balanced.

The spoof was in a strange, delightful novel called Winter, by Ali Smith. And although I bristled at the unproofread mess of her fake blog post, I recognized the temptation to invent or reinterpret something from childhood because … who will know the difference?

But I must stay honest, like the old, sturdy dry walls. They were not the kind that blow over in a high wind as the one in this 2020 story: “A portion of [the] border wall blew over from gusty winds Wednesday, falling on the Mexican side of the border.

“The newly installed panels were a part of an ongoing project to improve existing parts of the wall in Calexico, California. Agent Carlos Pitones of the Customs and Border Protection in El Centro, California, told CNN that the new concrete foundation had not yet cured when the wall panels fell down amid windy conditions.”

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Photo: Christian Chavez/AP
Children on the Mexican side play on a cross-border seesaw that two professors designed to highlight human connection.

The language of illegality has for many decades gotten in the way of our communal understanding that seeking asylum is a basic human right. Seeking asylum doesn’t necessarily mean being granted asylum — efficient processes have to be put in place to weigh individual circumstances — but it is not illegal to ask.

I get very discouraged about the way our country has long been treating human beings who have run for their lives. Then I see that not everyone is on board with the policies.

Lanre Bakare writes at the Guardian, “A set of fluorescent pink seesaws has been built across the US-Mexico border by a pair of professors seeking to bring a playful concept of unity to the two sides of the divide.

“Installed along the steel border fence on the outskirts of El Paso in Texas and Ciudad Juárez in Mexico, the seesaws are the invention of Ronald Rael, a professor of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and Virginia San Fratello, an associate professor of design at San José State University, who first came up with the concept 10 years ago.

“In an Instagram post that has received tens of thousands of likes [see @rrael ], children and adults can be seen playing and interacting on both sides of the fence using the seesaws, which provide ‘a literal fulcrum’ between the countries, according to Rael. He said the event was about bringing ‘joy, excitement and togetherness at the border wall.’

“He added that it was also about finding ‘meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side.’ …

chim-pom-la-cmiranda-1484692729-snap-photo

Photo: Carolina Miranda/ LA Times
Japanese art collective Chim↑Pom is one of many groups to build art projects along the U.S.-Mexico border. This one is a tree house called USA Visitor Center.

“Other art projects have been planned for the border. Estudio 3.14, an architectural practice in Mexico, designed a pink interpretation … inspired by the 20th-century Mexican architect Luis Barragán, employing the pink pastel colour he often used in his designs.

“Dozens of artists have used the wall as a setting for projects, including the Japanese art collective Chim Pom, which created a treehouse in Tijuana with ‘USA Visitor Center’ written on the side.” More at the Guardian, here. And for the Carolina A. Miranda Los Angeles Times report on the treehouse, click here.

 

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