In light of the recent immigration and refugee issues in the US and around the world, it’s imperative now more than ever that we do everything we can to protect our friends and neighbors regardless of their ethnicities, background, and citizenship status, from hate and bigotry. I recently came across some jolting art that really shed a glaring light on the lives of those that immigrate to this country – but especially those who lost their lives in the process.
“State of Exception” is currently located in Parsons School of Design. It is the product of a collaboration between photographer Richard Barnes, artist Amanda Krugliak, and University of Michigan’s anthropologist Jason De Léon. This exhibit is part of the research by De Léon of his Undocumented Migration Project.
The exhibit showcases the belongings of the illegal immigrants who perished trying to cross the deadly Sonoran Desert from Mexico into Arizona, whether it be from border patrol, robbers, or the deadly wrath of Mother Nature. It’s a truly eye-opening look about the lives of those who risked it call trying to come to America, looking for a better life. Many of these belongings are strikingly similar to things that we have in our own homes, and puts into perspective the raw humanity of each of these individual stories. This exhibit definitely takes you to a new place, and really makes you revel at the quality of life for those of us who can call America our home.
All images (c) Richard Barnes.0