North Border
forced migrations

Action: September 2017 to October 2018. Mexico, United States and Canada.
Book: Download in English / Descargar en español
Exhibition: March and April 2019, Hotel de Inmigrantes UNTREF, Braque Prize, honour mention.

“Migrants are being constructed as political enemies” “Migrants are being incorporated into the discourse of war” “What’s new is not migratory movements, what’s new is this global regime of borders, this neoliberal fantasy of trying to govern human mobility” “Why can’t we understand that migration is the aftermath of colonialism and slavery?” “Migration is the very dispute of what we call borders!” “Migrant caravans are an uprising! A rebellion!” “The act that migrants are carrying out puts an end to an era, it invents a new historical and political moment” “To migrate is pure will of life” “All living beings move to where there is water, food, and light” “To migrate is to begin a new story for your life.”

Walking through cities, towns, border crossings and rural communities of Mexico, the United States and Canada, I ran into people that had to flee from the Global South and look for a new life in North America. I invited them to write a few poems. They spoke to me and I wrote down everything they said by hand. Each time they inhaled I started a new line. Nothing was recorded. We printed their books that day. The next day, when the circumstances allowed it, each person read their poems aloud in a round of nine chairs and gave the books to everyone who came to listen. In the beginning, during a get-together, spoken word becomes written word. In the end, poems occasion a gathering where the written word becomes oral. Poems are at last between two people instead of two pages.

With Roxana (Guatemala), Ahmed Moneka (Iraq), Almendra Reyna (Mexico), Njoud Aghabi (Jordan), Norma (Mexico), Leonilla (Mexico), Ceyla Valiente (Miccosukee), Kiki “Puntafina” (Cuba), Carlos (Venezuela), Delbert Zepeda (El Salvador), Jessica Collins (U.S.A.), Ronald Jackson (Haiti), Alex Gonzalez (Guatemala), Sayak Valencia (Mexico), Verónica Gago (Argentina), Amarela Varela (Mexico) y Alba Delgado (Colombia).