Hostile Terrain 94

Alondra Quechol, Elizabeth Papandria, Grace Mussell, Abigail Ambrose, Cassie Kinney & Zachary Small, “Hostile Terrain 94”
Mentor: Jasmine Alinder, History

This research project is committed to acknowledge and raise awareness about the violent impact of immigration policies at the U.S. and Mexican border. It aims to contextualize the pop-up exhibition Hostile Terrain 94 (HT-94), a multidisciplinary project created by the Undocumented Migration project based on the research of anthropologist Professor Jason De Leon. HT-94 is a wall of toe tags representing the death of migrants in the Sonoran Desert. The research analyzes the rhetoric and system of immigration policy and how it has led to increased violence and migrant deaths. The interviews, anthropologic evidence, statistical studies, and material culture show the direct consequences of immigration policy on migrants, their communities, and more broadly society. The project takes into account how the geography of the Sonoran Desert functions as a tool for violence on migrants and how border conflict impacts indigenous communities. We are analyzing the personal, economic, and political motivation that was developed from the U.S. over time and how it has affected migration at the southern border. This research will culminate in an exhibition in collaboration with the Emile H. Mathis Gallery which will include primary source, text, photographs, oral histories, and objects left behind by migrants crossing the desert, in addition to HT 94, Overall, our goal is to use this exhibition and coordinate events that support and involve the migrant communities in Milwaukee and on our campus.

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