While these digital sources gave me a highly varied, multi-media look at conditions on the border through a bunch of different viewpoints (authors’ interpretations in Continental Crossroads, artists’ representations and opinions in Zone of Contention, and the objective lenses of Photogrammar), they almost raised more questions for me than they answered!
Having gotten a taste of the Weatherspoon’s interpretation of the affects of contemporary border issues in North Carolina, I now wonder how the debate over the border is seen in other areas of the US and by various groups in Mexico. While this is not technically related to my original question, which targeted those living on the border, I found the Weatherspoon’s interpretation of border issues into life in North Carolina to be both surprising and worthwhile, and I think it would be interesting to pursue in a broader context.
Continental Crossroads provided a strong depiction of the diversity at the border circa the turn of the 20th century. How have these diversities shifted and reordered themselves today? Have hierarchies changed? Does framing an issue through a specific lens (say through the eyes of one particular ethnic group) mean the same thing in the late 20th century or now as it did then? What new complexities have arisen since the 1920s?
An additional source I looked at that I feel is connected to both Photogrammar and the Zone of Contention exhibit is this business webpage for David Taylor's photography projects:
What I find interesting about Taylor's project "Working the Line" is that in his effort to document all the historical monuments marking the border between the US and Mexico (put up mostly in the last decade of the 19th century), he necessarily ended up documented modern border life, snapping shots of contemporary Border patrol officers, migrants, smugglers, and drug busts.
I think this is indicative of the interwoven aspects of the physicality of the border with the variety of people and motives that inhabit it. Like Photogrammar, Taylor's shots portray an objective view of the border, but shots like this one, "Backpack Scars"
bring me back to thinking about the Weatherspoon exhibit, and the toll the border takes on those who attempt to cross it. This raises another question for me: how have the struggles surrounding border crossing changed and in what ways have they remained the same? Are communities still as relevant in crossing today as Lytle Hernandez made them out to be in the 20th century? All these sources give me a nice, broad base of information about border life, but there's still so much more to discover!
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