At the juncture of San Diego, California; and Tijuana, Mexico, the border wall’s rusting steel bars plunge into the sand, extending 300 feet into the Pacific Ocean, and casting a long and conflicting shadow.
The Wall is a documentary project about Friendship Park, a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border where families meet to share intimate moments through the metal fence that separates them.
Physical borders create symbolic boundaries that reinforce the rhetoric of “us versus them,” in which immigrants are seen as a threat to traditional narratives ingrained in various communities across America. The existence of these fences illustrates anti-immigrant sentiment, legitimizing exclusionary practices and justifying harsh government action. Once erected, they become enduring, permanent features of the geopolitical landscape and a powerful, aggressive reminder to immigrants that they don’t belong.
By calling attention to the human interactions at Friendship Park, where families visit and speak with one another through a metal fence, Griselda San Martin attempts to neutralize what this wall was built to create —separation.
San Martin’s goal is to transform the discourse of border security into a conversation about immigrant visibility, addressing audiences on both sides of the wall by challenging popular assumptions, or by reminding them that they are seen, heard, and that they matter. She believes this work is especially meaningful now, given the current socio-political global context.
United Photo Industries is proud to announce our fourth collaboration with the NYC Parks Department and the DUMBO Business Improvement District to display photographer Griselda San Martin’s very powerful project on the already existing wall that divides the United States and Mexico, which will be exhibited as a large scale photographic public art exhibition in DUMBO Brooklyn at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian entrance.