Last December I painted murals in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuaha and El Paso, Texas as a sort of independent binational public art project that I'd been planning for a few years with my friend David 'Grave' Herrera.
In 2012 I photographed participants in the Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity (Caravana por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad) when it passed through El Paso. The caravan was made up of people who had lost family members to the violence, corruption and injustice that has plagued Mexico for the last near-decade.
"Juarense y Poderosa", the mural I painted in Ciudad Juárez, was based on photos I took of a young woman from there named Diana who lost her mother to kidnapping. "Ánimo Sin Fronteras", the second mural, painted on the other side of the border in El Paso, was based on my photos of a man named Melchor, whose son was disappeared by corrupt police. Both Diana and Melchor represent countless others who've lost and suffered in recent years.
I felt a responsibility to paint these murals, to create images of inspiration and empowerment. In my own small way, with my own voice and platform, I hope to honor those that have suffered the effects of this ongoing injustice.
I lived for a short time near El Paso/Juárez in the mid-90s, and developed an appreciation for that border region. I met Grave there through graffiti back then and without his help these murals would not have happened. Grave coordinated much of the logistics and ground support for these murals, and also painted the background designs for the Cd. Juárez mural. This mural is located at the CEHLIDER building: Calle 20 de Noviembre #4305, Col. El Colegio
Gracias a Diana, Melchor, y los otros participantes de la Caravana por permitirme tomar sus fotos.
Thanks to Grave y la familia Herrera, Ari Bracamonte, Eric Heights, Jellyfish Colectivo, Ricardo Fernandez, Amor Por Juarez + Juarez Contemporary, Marina Monsisvais + KTEP, Culture Strike, and anyone else that helped or supported in any way.
All of the above photos by Eric Heights.
Photos of the El Paso mural to follow..