An interactive mural made for a doctoral dissertation, was considered an act of vandalism. In 2021, a group of people helped paint self portraits onto pieces of cloth, and then cut them out. These pieces of 15 individuals were then placed onto the border that separates the United States and Mexico. The University of California Davis alumni that made this possible was Lizbeth de La Cruz Santana, who called this artwork “The Playas De Tijuana Mural Project”, and used it to bring attention to undocumented immigrants that were brought to the United States at a very young age. This mural is interactive since it has QR codes shown that you can scan, and find the stories of each person depicted on the mural. Some of these immigrants are still in the United States thanks to the DACA program, while others have been deported due to petty crimes they committed.
An example of a person that was illustrated was Alex Murillo, who served in the U.S. Navy, but was deported due to a marijuana offense. Having this brought to our attention with real stories of real people is more important than simply knowing the number of people that were deported that year. Although many may argue that these people who were deported had a reason to be deported, there are also many U.S. citizens who were born and raised here, and have done worse than the migrants, yet they are still untouched.
Others may say that this act of vandalization is rude to not only the border, but the country, since it is a part of us and what separates us from Mexico. The only response I have to that, is that California used to be a part of Mexico before it was stolen. The border can be moved or can be found a way around it, but people do more damage than the border could ever do. If we all tried to understand each other’s situation, we wouldn’t need to do things like take three years to plan a way to bring people’s attention to an issue many are dealing with. Us humans divide ourselves, making us the worst border there could be.