Join the Center for Folklore Studies for our monthly (virtual) lunch! Each month we will feature a guest speaker (or speakers) who will share their work with us for 30 minutes, followed by an hour of Q&A and open discussion.
Dr. Danielle Schoon & Dr. Victor Espinoza will share out about their project, Brining the Border to Columbus.
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Bringing the Border to Columbus
While we currently live in a world in which transnational human mobility is at its highest level in history, restrictive immigration laws and the fortification of national borders are becoming more drastic and vigilant. One of the consequences of both the fortification of national borders and the radicalization of violence and global inequalities is a large increase in the flow of refugees and undocumented immigrants. The militarization of the US-Mexico border has severely impacted the lives of these migrants. In their transit through Mexico, Central Americans face extreme levels of violence, such as mass kidnapping, rapes, and massacres. The US-Mexico border has claimed the lives of thousands of people.
Located 2000 miles away from Columbus, Ohio, the violence of the U.S.-Mexico border may feel distant from the daily realities of most Columbus residents. However, the experiences of our neighbors living in sanctuary – Edith Espinal, Miriam Vargas, and “Angelica” – demonstrate how the border reaches into our communities far beyond its geographic limits. Both documented and undocumented immigrants living in Columbus experience the far reach of border violence in the form of ICE raids and traffic stops resulting in detention. While borderlands are often theorized as zones of mobility, the lived experiences of people in sanctuary throws into stark focus the immobilities created by contemporary U.S.-Mexico border violence.
The Bringing the Border to Columbus Symposium will take place virtually at The Ohio State University on April 12-16, 2021, supported by a Global Arts + Humanities Discover Theme grant. The symposium will bring art and scholarship about and from the border to the OSU and greater Columbus community. It will join together academics, activists, artists, and immigrants from The Ohio State University and the greater Columbus community to interrogate the politics of American south-to-north migrations in the borderlands between the United States and Mexico and the resulting death and disappearances in these borderlands. Furthermore, the symposium will ‘bring the border’ to Columbus, a community that may feel separated from border politics and experiences due to geographic distance. We aim to bring participants into the lived realities of our immigrant neighbors and bring to light how the policies enacted in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands have direct impacts on the lives of all U.S. Americans -- at the level of our civil liberties, in whose name our government acts, and in the lives of immigrants who continue to live in the borderlands under the protection of sanctuary.
A core element of the symposium will be the installation of Hostile Terrain 94 (HT94) https://www.undocumentedmigrationproject.org/hostileterrain94, a participatory art project sponsored and organized by the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP), a non-profit research-art-education-media collective directed by anthropologist Jason De León. The exhibition is composed of ~3,200 handwritten toe tags that represent migrants who have died trying to cross the Sonoran Desert of Arizona between the mid-1990s and 2019. These tags are geolocated on a wall map of the desert showing the exact locations where remains were found. Our intention is for this exhibition to be presented at The Ohio State University sometime in 2022, to engage students as well as local community organizers and activists in discussions about the role of art and artists in creating awareness of border violence.
If you require an accommodation such as live captioning or interpretation to participate in this event, please contact Cassie Patterson at Patterson.firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests made two weeks before the event will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet requests made after this date.