Stunning visuals and poignant words dominated the room as community members gathered in Cady Hall on March 22 for the opening reception for “Lens on the Border:
Creative Resistance through the Eyes of Borderlands Photographers.” The travelling exhibit, hosted by Voices from the Border and the Sierra Club, seeks to present realities of life on the U.S.-Mexico border region through various techniques—from wildlife and landscape photography to portraits of indigenous youth to a sort of migrant shrine in the center of the room, replete with powerful tokens that have come to represent migrant lives. Folks mingled and drank wine while meandering throughout the exhibit, which utilized every corner of the hall.
Lens on the Border serves as “an act of resistance against the stereotypes, sensationalism, paranoia, and xenophobia” of the border region. Eight artists were featured in the exhibit: Krista Schlyer, photographer and curator of Continental Divide, and author of the book by the same name; Raechel Running, freelance creative and curator of Lens on the Border; Jasmine Stevens, a 9th grade Tohono O’Odham student and photographer from Baboquivari High School in Sells; Alejandra Platt, a fine art photographer from Hermosillo, Sonora; Morgana Wallace Cooper, a community-based artist and creator of The Border Project; Dr. Deni Seymour, internationally recognized scholar on protohistoric and historic Native American and Spanish colonial archaeology and ethnohistory; Khaled Jarrar, a Palestinian multidisciplinary artist; and Bill Hatcher, a documentary photographer for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Discovery, GEO, Newsweek, and others.