A few hours after the announcement of the decree to extend border closures to non-essential activities until September 21, two events of enormous symbolic significance to the collective memory were held. On the wall that simultaneously separates and unites the cities of Mexicali-Calexico and Tijuana-San Diego, the concert of the Northern Regional Music Band Intocable and the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Friendship Park were held, respectively.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about profound transformations in different areas of human life. These changes have left important traces on the frontiers of the world. In the cross-border area between Mexico and the United States. There were negative repercussions on the daily lives of thousands of workers, on medium-sized trade flows and on the economy at the macro level.
It affected the micro-social levels, where hundreds of families who historically weaved community networks behind the Wall were seriously affected, and today are seriously affected by their potential for socialization and interaction.
In this context, on Friday, August 21, he performed vocals in a dirt place, guarded by elements of the border guards, the northern regional band Intocable. This party, as a marketing strategy to counter the crisis due to border closures, was sponsored by the mall known as Calexico Outlets, located in the United States directly on the dividing wall with Mexicali.
In his visual novel, photojournalist Victor Medina Gurusayev demonstrates the convergence of cultural symbols that convey the structural interconnectedness that characterizes life across the border between Mexico and the United States.
The music galvanized dozens of families who joined the accordion and the sixth bass concert across the wall. Patrols were ramped up in the Powder Patrol. Some users’ live broadcasts via Instagram and Facebook have attracted thousands of followers and this activity has been pinned to the wall in the collective memory.
Two days later, on the wall erected between Tijuana and San Diego, the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Parque de La Amistad was celebrated, which contains a part settlement area in each of the two already mentioned cities. On the North American side, it’s still closed. On the Mexican side is open. It is the narrative of the unequal relationship between these two countries. It acts as a memory location. stick. Even with the wall separated, this space radiates of historical and cultural intersections with a magnetism that calls for symmetry. summons. join.
As Maria Lewis points out, the association “between closing borders, controlling movement and determining permissible and healthy movement abounds in the imagining of borders as an effective instrument of territorial control.”
On March 20, 2020, the first announcement was made that the borders would be closed to non-essential activities. An unprecedented fact. 17 months passed. The wall was about the longest. History teaches us that social and cultural processes find the channel of existential fluidity, despite boundaries and limits. The Intocable party and celebration at La Amistad Park are data that support this argument.
*[No. 45/2021]. The author of this post is a Research Professor in the College of the Humanities, UABC.
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