Seesaws have been constructed on the border wall between the United States and Mexico encouraging children in the two countries to play together.
The event was the brainchild of two professors of architecture and design, who came up with the idea back in 2009 as a way to represent the fact that “actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side”.
Ten years later, Ronald Rael (professor of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley) and Virginia San Fratello (associate professor of interior design at San Jose University) were present as their concept was brought to life at a section of the wall near Ciudad Juárez and El Paso on Sunday.
Writing on Instagram, Rael said: “One of the most incredible experiences of my and @vasfsf’s career bringing to life the conceptual drawings of the Teetertotter Wall from 2009 in an event filled with joy, excitement, and togetherness at the borderwall.
“The wall became a literal fulcrum for U.S. – Mexico relations and children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side.”
The seesaws, which used part of the wall as a fulcrum, were created as a temporary installation at the border, constructed in a metal workshop in Juarez and designed to be narrow enough to fit through the slats in the wall.
The designers worked with Colectivo Chopeke, a Juárez-based group whose aim is to bring communities together through design, to bring the project to life, and got locals from El Paso in Texas and Anapra in Juárez to take part.
When the idea was conceived as the Teetertotter Wall, the concept was intended to illustrate “a story of trade and labour imbalances”, but recent political events have thrown a different light on it.
In an email, San Fratello told the Press Association: “The Seesaw demonstrates how those immediate relationships between people can create an environment where happiness and play are also important aspects of life on the border and that our relationships with our neighbours can extend past political relationships but also humanistic relationships.
“This is incredibly important at a time when relationships between people on both sides are being severed by the wall and the politics of the wall.
“The wall, and the unfortunate politics of the wall, not only separate countries, but regions, cities, neighbourhoods, families, and more recently, a separation of children from their parents.”
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?