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Beyond Surveillance and Moonscapes: An Alternative Imaginary of the U.S.–Mexico Border Wall



This article argues that visual representations of the U.S.–Mexico border wall in the popular media, including Time Magazine and National Geographic, portray the border region as lifeless and desolate. These representations negate the possibility of viewing the border as a dynamic and diverse area that is verdant and home to communities and rich cultural histories. The article begins with an overview of popular representations of the U.S.–Mexico border, focusing on the ways that this imagery reinforces calls for militarizing it. The authors then offer alternative representations of the border through their own anthropological photo essay of the U.S.–Mexico border wall.