On American Borders: Migrants, Animals, Refugees


Dreams of Pain, Dreams of Light: A Mexico to US Asylum Experience Through One Man’s Nightly Visions
Miranda Dahlin (McGill University)

Filling in the Gaps: Walls Without Limits, Sovereignty With Exceptions
Miguel Diaz Barriga and Margaret Dorsey (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley)

Non-Human Animal Rights in the Mexico-U.S. Border: Activism and Legality
Ivan Sandoval Cervantes (University of Texas at El Paso)

For four years (2008-2012), Ciudad Juárez was considered the most dangerous city in the world. Today, violence has decreased but it is still part of the day-to-day life of its inhabitants. This presentation focuses on the activists efforts of Ecocanis de Asis, an activist organization that is seeking to enforce a legal system that has already deemed animal abuse as a punishable offense. Ecocanis, however, navigates an uncertain terrain filled with contradictory messages, corruption, and indifference.

Visualizing Immigrant Displacements in Phoenix: An Urban Ethnographic Research Collaborative
Kristin Koptiuch (Arizona State University)

Flying below the radar of planners and public acknowledgement, migrants are busily remaking Phoenix. Globally displaced, 20% of Phoenix is foreign born. Migrants revive stagnant neighborhood economies, bring magical-realist redesign, and add colorful flair to the cityscape’s subdued design palette. Migrant planners-from-below transnationalize Phoenix urbanism with local versions of global religions, cuisines, cultures. Visualizing Immigrant Phoenix, a research collaborative at Arizona State U., explores migrant displacements thru vibrant visualization of immigrants’ urban imprint, embracing their transformative, creative, subversive power.

Mis Manos No Son Mis Manos (My Hands Are Not My Hands)
Argenis Hurtado Moreno (Arizona State University)

This poetic-visual exploration focuses on the movement of humans from one country to another and the resulting outcomes from one generation to the next, through the photographic documentation of migrant hands. The spoken narrative emerges from the author’s reflection of the catalytic action of migration and the remnants of “home” in seemingly ordinary customs such as making tortillas. Using his mixed-citizenship-status family as muse, his ethnographic art encourages experimentation by examining migrant displacement through daily life, memory, and especially, the body.

Que Colores! Tires and Tacos in Phoenix
Sanhareb Nano (Arizona State University)

Proliferation of taquerias and tire shops reveals the growing Mexican community displaced to metro Phoenix. Taquerias bring the authentic flavor of Mexican food to our city. The maturity of the immigrant community is shown by restaurants offering regional cuisines from specific Mexican states and cities—such as Tacos Tijuana. Mexican-run tire shops or llanteras import another aspect of Mexican culture. Tire shops add dazzling colors to our cityscape by making an artist’s canvas of their exterior walls, like llanteras in Mexico. Migrants play an essential role by launching businesses that bring cultural values and vibrant ideas to Phoenix.

Mr. Sweets: A Lebanese Bakery in Phoenix
Nina Rocket (Arizona State University)

In Phoenix neighborhoods where white America predominates, look closely and the presence and influence of migrants emerges. This project walks us through a Lebanese bakery in north Phoenix. The owner was displaced from Lebanon with his family during the 1970s Lebanese Civil War. His success in America is explored with visually delicious images of his hand-crafted Middle Eastern pastries that bring sweet flavors to the community. Many displaced migrants are forced to make new lives in unfamiliar cities like Phoenix. Retaining their culture is an important part of their identity; sharing it is a gift to their new homeland.

Pakistani Cricket in Phoenix
Hussein Mohamed (Arizona State University)

In the Phoenix metropolitan area, there is an underworld subculture of a sport that is hugely overlooked: cricket. Though it is the second most viewed sport in the world, here in United States many people have never heard of it.This video project is a 5-minute documentary that puts into perspective the subculture of cricket, the immigrant base that makes-up the sport in Phoenix, and the challenges they face from the city’s Parks and Recreation facilities management, and various elementary school fields where they play.

Our Pictures: Resettled Refugees’ Images of Their Own Lives
Kathryn Stam (SUNY Polytechnic Institute)

In Utica, NY, one quarter of the population resettled from war-torn countries or extended stays of up to twenty years in refugee camps. This presentation features photographs that resettled refugees have taken of their new homes and lives. The images were collected from friends’ Facebook accounts with permission from the owners, and highlight perspectives of refugee settlement that remain mostly unseen by outside viewers. The refugee photographers are Karen (from Burma), Bhutanese-Nepali, and Somali-Bantu from Kenya.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.