Photo Essay: Re-Mapping the US-Mexico Border/lands


Alejandro Lugo 
Independent Scholar

Photo Essay: Re-Mapping the US-Mexico Border/lands

Abstract: The United States-Mexico international border has been unilaterally re-mapped by the US government for almost three decades. A series of US congressional acts have intensified efforts to secure the border, inlcuding by building fences and walls. This photo essay presents images of the border barriers as well as borderland images. The fence or wall images are then intended, on my part, to be juxtaposed with borderland images that capture the social and political relations that manifest the complex ways the borderlands are being remapped through walls and their consequences—all in the context of the still so-called ‘American Dream.’ The goal of the photo essay is to help identify the different ways the remapping of the U.S.-Mexico border itself is being carried out, with or without the “great, beautiful wall” Donald Trump and his supporters are currently imagining and proposing.

Keywords: photography, US-Mexico border, imperialism, the everyday, photoessay


photography; US-Mexico border; imperialism; the everyday; photoessay

Published : 2018-06-30

LugoA. (2018). Photo Essay: Re-Mapping the US-Mexico Border/lands. Review of International American Studies, 11(1). Retrieved from

Alejandro Lugo
Independent Scholar USA  United States

Alejandro Lugo is a former Professor and Director of the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University. Lugo is a cultural anthropologist and photographer of the US-Mexico borderlands and beyond. Some of his photographs on border violence belong to the permanent collection of the Mexican Museum of Art in Chicago and his photographic essays on the border wall and on border life have been exhibited in museums and galleries. His award-winning book about the border, Fragmented Lives, Assembled Parts: Culture, Capitalism, and Conquest at the U.S.-Mexico Border (Univ. of Texas Press), was published in 2008. He previously taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, and at the University of Texas at El Paso. 

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