One of the big promises of President Trump's 2016 campaign was "to build a great, great wall on our southern border" and "have Mexico pay for that wall." Trump has recently seemed to put that plan into motion with the creation of eight border wall prototypes constructed in San Diego.
On Nov. 18, a group of activists came together to protest the wall through the usage of art and light. The group used projections of light graffiti on each of the prototypes, revealing phrases “Refugees Welcome Here", "Build Bridges, Not Borders” and pictures of the Statue of Liberty and luchador masks (mask typically worn by Mexican wrestlers).
According to Mitú, the group is "made up of Tijuana-based artist Jill Holslin, artist Andrew Sturm, Tijuana journalist Jorge Nieto and William Johnson and his colleagues from the activist groups Overpass Light Brigade-San Diego and People Over Profits of San Diego." The majority of the group had not met prior to the protest and the project was primarily planned via Facebook messenger.
Overpass Light Brigade - San Diego is a known service organization that uses humor to interrupt and causes people to reflect on the harmful rhetoric that is occasionally pushed forward in our society by various officials. Hoslin says how Trump is a huge conveyer of harmful rhetoric, which is why this artistic protest was important, “That’s why Trump has used violence to throw out the protesters from his events because they make him look stupid. So we wanted to do the same thing with the prototypes. They are absurd, and we wanted to make them look like the absurdly stupid things that they are.”
Other symbolism used in the light exhibit was a ladder to humorously convey how the U.S. government wants to pay millions of dollars for something that can be easily overthrown through an exponentially cheaper ladder.
The 8 prototypes standing tall in California are each 30 feet by 18 feet large and cost anywhere from $300,000 and $500,000 to build. Contractors from all over the country hope that theirs will be chosen and they will be given a contract to create the wall that is suppose to divide Mexico from every connected state in the U.S.
Check out the video published by Tijuana journalist, Jorge Nieto below!