Sunday, Sep 20, 2020 | Last Update : 08:03 PM IST

180th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra118801585793332216 Andhra Pradesh6177765307115302 Tamil Nadu5364774812738751 Karnataka5113454048417922 Uttar Pradesh3362942632884771 Delhi2347011981034877 West Bengal2155801870614183 Telangana1713061397001033 Odisha167161133466722 Bihar164224149722855 Assam150349121610528 Kerala12221687341490 Gujarat119088999083271 Rajasthan109088906851293 Haryana103773816901069 Madhya Pradesh97906743981877 Punjab90032658182646 Chhatisgarh7777541111628 Jharkhand6710052807590 Jammu and Kashmir5971138521951 Uttarakhand3713924810460 Goa2678320844327 Puducherry2142816253431 Tripura2069612956222 Himachal Pradesh11190691997 Chandigarh92566062106 Manipur8430653951 Arunachal Pradesh6851496713 Nagaland5306407910 Meghalaya4356234232 Sikkim2119178923 Mizoram15069490
  Life   Art  10 Aug 2019  New art style shows history of deported in Mexico

New art style shows history of deported in Mexico

Published : Aug 10, 2019, 11:36 am IST
Updated : Aug 10, 2019, 11:36 am IST

Interactive border wall mural tells stories of deported.

The mural celebrates the history of immigrants who were deported. (Photo: AP)
 The mural celebrates the history of immigrants who were deported. (Photo: AP)

Mexico:  Lizbeth De La Cruz Santana returned Friday to the Mexican beach where her father entered the US illegally before she was born, this time to put final touches on a mural of adults who came to the US illegally as young children and were deported. Visitors who hold up their phones to the painted faces are taken to a website that voices first-person narratives.

There is a deported US veteran. There are two deported mothers with children who were born in the US. There is a man who would have been eligible for an Obama-era program to shield people who came to the US when they were very young from deportation, but was deported less than a year before the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, took effect in 2012.


The project blends Mexico’s rich history of muralists with what can loosely be called interactive or performance art on the 1,954-mile (3,126-kilometer) US-Mexico border. At the same Tijuana beach during an art festival in 2005, David Smith Jr, known as “The Human Cannonball,” flashed his passport, lowered himself into a barrel and was shot over the wall, landing on a net with US Border Patrol agents nearby. In 2017, professional swimmers crossed the border from the US in the Pacific Ocean and landed on the same beach, where a Mexican official greeted them with stamped passports and schoolchildren cheered. Last month, an artist installed three pink seesaws though a border wall that separates El Paso, Texas, from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.


De La Cruz Santana, 28, conceived the interactive mural as part of a doctoral dissertation at University of California, Davis, in Spanish with a focus on literature and immigrant experiences. The faces are affixed with barcodes that link to audio on the project website. Her dissertation will include written arguments for DACA-style benefits to anyone who comes to the US as a young child, without any of the disqualifiers like criminal history that former President Barack Obama included.

“Technology is one of the best ways and venues for people to tell their stories,” said De La Cruz, whose parents obtained legal status through former President Ronald Reagan’s amnesty law.


With a USD 7,500 grant, De La Cruz, who was born and raised in California, directed about 15 people who painted on polyester canvass at a Tijuana art gallery called “House of the Tunnel,” which was once used to smuggle drugs in a secret underground passage to San Diego. She partnered with Mauro Carrera, a long-time friend and a muralist who lives in Fresno, California.

The project is also deeply personal for Carrera, 32, who was born in Mexico, crossed the border illegally as a toddler, and obtained legal status through his father, who had amnesty. He grew up with friends and neighbours in the US illegally.

Carrera said the project aims to “see the people behind the politics.” The deportees painted at least 80% of their own faces under his direction. “I feel I’m right in the middle of the issue,” he said as others rolled canvases over steel poles that were topped with coiled wire installed after Donald Trump became president.


Last year, many Central Americans in a large caravan of asylum seekers gravitated to the beach, which is downhill from a light tower, bull ring and restaurants. The US side of the beach is usually empty, except for Border Patrol agents parked in their vehicles and occasional hikers.

De La Cruz Santana is struck by the lively atmosphere on the Mexican side and quiet in the US. “If you look past this wall on the US side, there’s nothing,” she said. “I wanted to erase the border.”

Tags: painting, art, mexico wall