Suzanne Sanders / Women’s Museum of California
According to the common understanding, a liminal state is supposed to be one we use to pass from one phase to the next. It’s a threshold, so to speak. But what happens when that liminal state is a permanent residence?
Gloria Anzaldua, the noted Chicana, tejana-originating, lesbian-feminist poet and fiction writer (who also spent a great deal of her life in California), explores this state in her seminal 1987 cultural criticism Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza.
Although Anzaldua passed away in 2004, her ideas may be even more relevant today. As an American-born Chicana, Anzaldua explores the contradictions and challenges of being considered neither one nor the other. She notes often in her writing that this Otherness is socially and culturally – and sometimes – infrastructurally constructed. She writes in Borderlands, “The U.S.-Mexican border es una herida abierta [an open wound] where the Third World grates against the first and bleeds. And before a scab forms, it haemorrhages again, the lifeblood of two worlds merging to form a third country—a border culture” (25). We must question, then, the effects on this third country, this border culture, when President Trump’s physical wall becomes a reality. [Read more…]
By George Howell
So, I find myself sitting in an old stuffed chair with worn arm rests, waiting for artist-activist Rocio Hoffmann to paint my portrait (video). As she preps her canvas with a wash of flat red acrylic, Rocio chuckles. “I always start with rojo, red, because this is the name of my gallery, ‘Roho!’”
A small, round-faced woman with a permanent smile and a sharp sense of humor, Hoffmann regularly interviews Baja artists, musicians and dancers while she does their portraits, posting the live feeds to her Facebook page as part of a project called “Conversaciones in ROHO.” Galeria RoHo, her small, but vibrant studio-school-market space, is located in the artisanal district along Boulevard Popotla, just south of the big hotels and tourist shops of downtown Rosarito.
Today, we’re switching roles. Ever since I met Rocio a few years ago at Festiarte, Tijuana’s exuberant celebration of the arts, I have wanted to interview her because she is a rich source of information about art and culture in Baja Norte. [Read more…]
On Wednesday, April 5th, Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina — a life-long IB resident and avid surfer — went on KUSI News to expose another sewage spill from Mexico into the Tijuana River after a resident complained of a renewed fetid smell.
Only days before, the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) published “Report of Transboundary Bypass Flows into the Tijuana River,” a subdued 56-page explanation of events with no immediate relief for residents on either side of the border. [Read more…]
The Mexican Repatriation and hard times
Editor Note: “Build a wall” and “Send them all back” have become the mantra of the Trump campaign and Republican party. This is not the first time in our history that racism and xenophobia have threatened our democracy and the lives of our citizenry.
Between 1929 and 1944, over two million people of Mexican descent were repatriated to Mexico. Sixty percent of these individuals, 1.1 million, were American citizens. This encore presentation of Maria Garcia’s article originally published in 2015 provides insight into how this policy affected the lives of people living in San Diego at the time.
As William Faulkner observed “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” [Read more…]
Cost, impossible logistics, political opposition, and community resistance could spell the end of the president-elect’s anti-immigrant scheme
By Lauren McCauley / Common Dreams
President-elect Donald Trump built his campaign on a pledge to build a wall and deport two to three million undocumented immigrants, but the likelihood that his promises will be kept are looking increasingly slim, as reality takes hold and lawmakers and community leaders begin to build their resistance.
The failure to execute Trump’s oft-repeated deportation plans could “be one of the first reality checks on his administration,” Politico reported Friday.
According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the average cost for each deportation is $12,213, excluding personnel salaries. So, to deport two million people, would add up to more than $24.4 billion over four years. [Read more…]
By Robert Terrell
Two of the largest mural collections in the world are on the remnants of the Berlin Wall and the architecture that encompasses San Diego’s Chicano Park.
One adorns a wall that for decades stood for the division of Europe and Cold War animosity, and has since come to symbolize the enduring spirit of freedom and peaceful revolution. The other is a memorial to another history of power, exploitation, and marginalization. It is a space that remains contested in the city of San Diego just as our president-elect promises to build a new wall to keep Mexicans out.
Twenty-seven years to the day after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Donald Trump began his transition to power, his long effort to deliver on many divisive promises. Border wall included. [Read more…]
By Stefan Falke
I have chosen an appropriate location for my newest photography exhibition titled LA FRONTERA: Artists along the US Mexican Border the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
I display eighteen large-scale images from my ongoing project. You can find the photographs along the left hand fence that leads to border control on the Mexican side in Tijuana.
In this photography project, I focus on artists who live and work along the U.S.-Mexico border, documenting their individual stories and their arts’ positive influence on their communities. To date I have photographed over 200 artists on both sides and along the entire length of the border, from Tijuana to Matamoros, from Brownsville to San Diego. [Read more…]
The government has been using the border as a dragnet to pressure people into becoming informants
By Hugh Handeyside, Staff Attorney / ACLU National Security Project
Recently leaked documents published by The Intercept show that the FBI and Customs and Border Protection have been using CBP’s authority to search travelers at the border — along with the troves of information collected as a result — to troll for potential sources and pressure people into becoming informants. We’ve gone through the documents, and they heighten our concerns that these agencies are exceeding their authority, targeting minority communities and vulnerable people, and trying to evade accountability for doing so.
These documents also highlight a broader problem with the government’s official guidance on the use of race by federal law enforcement agencies. That guidance purports to ban racial profiling, but it includes exemptions for border screening and national security — exemptions that the leaked documents demonstrate are dangerous and unwise. [Read more…]
Molière is smiling. The multi-talented actor and playwright, Herbert Siguenza, has breathed new life into his play, The Imaginary Invalid. Manifest Destinitis is set two centuries later in 19th century “old or Alta California”. This high energy play is also brimming with clever and scathing 21st century social commentary on the upcoming election, Trump and his ‘wall’, and the present day health care system.
Siguenza is becoming a San Diego treasure in the theater world with his plays, Steal Heaven, An Evening with Pablo Picasso, El Henry (a favorite of mine), and now Manifest Destinitis. [Read more…]
Hector now lives in Tijuana while he awaits citizenship papers. In the meantime, he fills his time as director and founder of the Deported Veterans Support House, a shelter located in Otay, Mexico. He created the shelter in 2012 and currently six people live there, including one female who is not a veteran, but is staying at what he called ‘the bunker.’
“We try to do what we can. We try to help each other out. We live by the motto leave no man behind,” Hector says. “We have veterans deported from 24 different countries, from the Vietnam War to Iraq and Afghanistan. They served honorably, but after their service they got into some kind of trouble with the law. It could be a $300 check to something like a discharge of a firearm, like myself. I did three years in prison. I had my legal residence. I was not undocumented.”
One of the issues Hector is working on is to allow deported veterans to still get their medical benefits. Just because they are deported, doesn’t mean they lose their health care. However, since they can’t come across into the United States, they can’t be physically present for their appointments. Hector is working to get the VA to outsource those programs. That way, all these men who fought in Iraq and Vietnam and have PTSD can, at the very least, receive treatment. [Read more…]