Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

May 28, 2012

VIDEO: O'odham Ofelia Rivas 'Erase the Border' 2012

Erase the Border is an art project with the O'odham youth from Ali Jegk community on O'odham lands divided by the United States/Mexico border. A Project by Boston artist Catherine D'Ignazio and O'odham VOICE Against the WALL founder Ofelia Rivas.

By Ofelia Rivas, O'odham
Censored News
May 28, 2012

Hello Friends,

We recently had a art project "Erase the Border"  with O'odham youth from  Ali Jegk (Little Clearing) community on the Tohono O'odham Nation adjacent to the US/MX International border.
This is a project of artist Catherine D'Ignazio from the Boston of Institute of Infinitely Small Things group and Ofelia Rivas of O'odham VOICE Against the WALL.
This is our first YouTube video.
It was a crazy windy day on May 24, 2012. We put crepe paper flowers with colorful streamers on the fence, brought tables and chairs, art paper and pigments. The children painted the border fence to produce works of art with the presence of parents and grandparents. The parents and Grandparent comment on how they enjoyed watching the children just have fun, despite what the border has brought to our children and families in our community. The Border Patrol arrived and got out of his vehicle, he was unusually friendly as he talked with the only non-O'odham in the group. He asked the question: "Were you guys out here all day."
We know as community members know they (the border patrol) absolutely do not man the border but monitor our community and drive around at high speeds in our community instead.
The border impacts our community by fear, humiliation and criminalization into the daily lives of our children and families by United States border policies, the border armed forces and Arizona racist laws.
This project hopes to extend the discussion of this impact on our children and families. We are seeking galleries to exhibit the art works. We are also seeking funding or a donation of professional framing of the art works. 
Peace, Ofelia
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