All photos by Susan Harbage Page. Essay by Inés Valdez.

The folks from Emory University, Southern Spaces e-Journal, have done it again. They consistently select multimedia works that illustrate the shifting boundaries of the U.S. South.

This time, “Residues of Border Control” collects photos of the U.S.-Mexico border area and the physical remnants of crossings. The photographer “offer[s] a critical account of the danger and potential violence involved in the border crossing and, through that critique, suggest[s] the need to come up with new imagined geographies of the border. The accompanying essay suggests “that the highlighting of these residues acts as a powerful sign of the unfinished status of even the most secured border, and by extension the possibility of changing the existing terms of the debate and ultimately the shape of the border and the options offered to migrants upon arrival.”

From Southern Spaces editors: “This essay offers an interpretation of the Border Project’s intervention on the immigration public debate. By photographing the border area and the physical remnants of crossings that are not sanctioned by the law, the photographer highlights the institutions of coercion that characterize border control. The photographs offer a critical account of the danger and potential violence involved in the border crossing and, through that critique, suggest the need to come up with new imagined geographies of the border. By concentrating on the border, the photographer illuminates dimensions of this space that are hardly ever considered in a conversation that revolves around fortification, fencing, and security. The objects depicted can be identified as residues of border coercion—evidence that even tightly fenced borders offer, on closer inspection, unrounded edges, gaps, and traces. I suggest that the highlighting of these residues acts as a powerful sign of the unfinished status of even the most secured border, and by extension the possibility of changing the existing terms of the debate and ultimately the shape of the border and the options offered to migrants upon arrival.”

I love it when academics turn a little edgy even through the academese. This is another great collection that deserves a wide audience. See for yourself.

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