In President Donald Trump's America, life on the border is obscure. We feel disconnected from the land so hotly debated in the White House. Trump made the concept of a wall between the United States and Mexico border the forefront of his controversial campaign — now, however, reports show the wall could cost as much as $70 billion to build, and Congress has yet to approve the move.
Still, deliberation on the effectiveness of the wall are ongoing. Despite the political conflict, life on the border continues. Two brothers, Yonathan and Jordan Moya, are documenting the communities nestled along the 2,000-mile stretch of land between San Diego, California, and Brownsville, Texas, via their Instagram account borderperspective.
We were able to freely walk through and even admire some of the art work within the border station in Nogales, Arizona. Unlike the open air, cement path we were on, people who are deported from the U.S. into Mexico have to leave the country through this barricaded walkway that's completely enclosed by chain link fence material. This walkway only has a entry door on the U.S. side and an exit door on the Mexican side. #borderstories ————————— Pudimos caminar libremente y incluso admirar algunas de las obras de arte dentro de la estación fronteriza en Nogales, Arizona. A diferencia a el camino de cemento en el que estábamos, las personas que son deportadas de los Estados Unidos a México tienen que salir del país a través de esta pasarela barricada que está completamente encerrada por el material de la valla de enlace de cadena. Esta pasarela sólo tiene una puerta de entrada en el lado de los Estados Unidos y una puerta de salida en el lado mexicano.
The brothers themselves grew up along the border. They completed the photo project in late February and early March, Mashable reports.
"Who we are today is largely shaped by growing up in this region of the U.S.," Yonathan said to Mashable. "But even though we grew up on the border, we realize that we don't know everything about life on the border. As much as we wanted to share the border with others, we also wanted to learn more for ourselves."
Yonathan said the brothers had "no agenda" with their project.
"When we hear perspectives about the border they often only represent a structure, and most of the time, these perspectives overlook the humanity of the border," he says. "The only perspective many people have about the border is how the media portrays the region, which is often only the negative side of life, like drugs and illegal immigration."
Jose was deported to Mexico about 3 months ago and has been coming to the migrant shelter ever since. Shortly after his arrival, he started putting his passion for art to work. He portraits "the journey of the illegal immigrant" in many of his paintings. His portrayals are very realistic. Very often it's the people sitting around him at the shelter, who are attempting to make their American dream a reality by attempting to cross into the U.S. through the very treacherous Arizona dessert. #borderstories —————————— José fue deportado a México hace unos 3 meses y ha venido al refugio de migrantes desde entonces. Poco después de su llegada, comenzó a poner su pasión por el arte para trabajar. En muchas de sus pinturas retrata "el viaje del inmigrante ilegal" de una manera artística. Él toma su inspiración de la gente sentada alrededor de él, que son los que intentan hacer su sueño americano una realidad cruzando el postre traicionero de Arizona.
As we spend time in Nogales, we're up close to the border fence that divided the Mexican state of Sonora and the U.S. state of Arizona. #borderstories —————————— Mientras pasamos tiempo en Nogales, estamos cerca de frontera que dividía el estado mexicano de Sonora y el estado de Arizona de los Estados Unidos.
We made the front page of @monitornews, our hometown newspaper! GAINING PERSPECTIVE: Brothers’ photographic journey along US & Mexico border spurs new dialogues. | Thanks for sharing about our journey, @dnflrs! LINK IN BIO #borderstories —————————— Estamos en la primera página del periódico! PERSPECTIVA: El viaje fotográfico de los hermanos Moya a lo largo de la frontera entre Estados Unidos y México impulsa nuevos diálogos.
The brothers are reportedly applying for grants to provide funding for more trips along the U.S. and Mexico border, so they can continue spotlighting the region.
And in doing so, they're making it all the more human.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Flickr user Ted Eytan