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*"We have a wall"* ❝(« We Have a Wall » is a feature length documentary film coming in the fall of…

"We have a wall"

(“We Have a Wall” is a feature length documentary film coming in the fall of 2013, formerly titled, “The Art of Survival: Life and Death on the Tinaja Trail” during production. For more information, go to

Undocumented Immigration. Politics. Humanitarian Response. Art. Technology. Poetry.

At the border, the difference between humanitarian service and illegal activity is not always black and white.

Natural water sources in the American Southwest are extremely rare and, where they do exist, often extremely hard to get to (think: bottom of the “Grand Canyon,” for instance). For centuries, survival in this unforgiving land has hinged on one’s ability to locate natural cavities or wind-carved cisterns in rocks called tinajas (tee-NAH-hahs). Capturing rain during the rare desert storm, and shaded from the sun, these catch-basins— often only inches across, centimeters deep, and teeming with insects and their larvae— are precious, lifesaving treasures to desert-dwelling animals ... and desert-traversing humans.

It seems reproachfully paradoxical, then, that this region would today host the primary trail of hope for thousands of people seeking gainful work and the promise of a brighter future. It’s a desperate journey— one that has cost the lives, and ended the hopes, of hundreds of people per year since 1999.

It is likewise a politically supercharged arena; a legal, moral and political maelstrom poised like a flame near a tinderbox of sentiment.

For years, volunteers have dropped water and aid containers along popular routes of migration and have searched the desert for dying immigrants. In one case, the Transborder Immigrant Tool presents itself as a technological tinaja: an art project that promises to guide migrants to caches of water placed along migratory trails.

To some, these are selfless and inspirational efforts that give new and poignant context to the phrase “the Art of Survival.” To others, such action irresponsibly induces illegal border crossing, tantamount to aiding and abetting unlawful conduct. From the perspectives of both the undocumented migrants and the aid-givers, “We Have a Wall” provides a compelling tale of life and death, and compassionate service, along the Tinaja Trail.

#film #documentaire #mur #frontière #Mexique #USA #migration

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