The wall is the materialized representation of this idea of a border. In English people call it a “fence” and in the U.S. that fence means “defense”; something that in American minds brings protection. Interestingly enough you would have to ask them, “Protection from who or what?” And this same wall or barrier or fence means an “offense” to Mexicans.
—Norma Iglesias Prieto
By Perry Vasquez
The U.S./Mexico border is falling apart. Like Chipotle Swiss cheese, it is shot through with gaps, holes, lacunae, erasures, and stretches of emptiness. The border exists—but at times its existence seems to collapse beneath the weight of its own sovereignty.
How does the border both exist and not exist at the same time? How does it manage to appear in strategic locations and disappear in non-strategic ones? Why do we think of the border as having a fixed and permanent national identity instead of a contingent and temporary one?
Like every national myth, the U.S./Mexico border began life as a collective act of imagination. [Read more…]