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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. Amazing thanks to everyone who made this event possible like Omar Rios @colectivo.chopeke for collaborating with us, the guys at Taller Herrería in #CiudadJuarez for their fine craftsmanship, @anateresafernandez for encouragement and support, and everyone who showed up on both sides including the beautiful families from Colonia Anapra, and @kerrydoyle2010, @kateggreen , @ersela_kripa , @stphn_mllr , @wakawaffles, @chris_inabox and many others (you know who you are). #raelsanfratello #borderwallasarchitecture #teetertotterwall #seesaw #subibaja
Custom-built pink seesaws have been placed between both sides of a slatted border fence that separates the United States and Mexico, and it’s warming our hearts and reminding us that the world isn’t in fact only dark and full of terrors (to borrow a phrase). The “Teeter-Totter Wall” as it is officially known, was placed between Sunland Park, New Mexico and Juárez, Mexico where a steel fence separates the two cities. CNN reports that the location is the same place where a militia recently detained migrants and a private group has attempted to build their own border wall using money raised from a GoFundMe campaign.
The concept for the hot pink seesaws comes from Ronald Rael, an architecture professor from the University of California Berkley, and Virginia San Fratello, an associate professor of design at the San Jose State University and dates back all the way to 2009, when the pair first came up with the idea of a binational seesaw for a satirical book called Borderwall As Architecture. According to UC-Berkeley, Borderwall as Architecture uses “humor and inventiveness to address the futility of building barriers.” Word!
While Rael had planned for the event, no planning was done on the Mexican side of the border. Still, families from both sides came together to play on the seesaws.
“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.” writes Rael on an Instagram post regarding the seesaws.
While seesaws may not be enough to humanize our neighbors for those filled with hate, its a nice reminder for any Americans who still have compassion that togetherness and community can’t be separated by walls.