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Many deported persons ended up inhabiting the Tijuana river. In Mexico, the repatriation system is not effective for the immigrant society from California and other states. Without documents they’re not accepted as humans. In both countries they’re captured by police forces. The majority is badly treated, awfully discriminated against and oppressed until they get to the edge of the river. Where they cohabit with water from the Tijuana city sewages, fire, animals, resistant flora and materials in decomposition.


The majority of the people who inhabit the channel were in a constant cycle of persecution. Starting with capture, then jail, liberation, relief, substances, food, friendship, distress, sadness, desire, danger, persecution, capture, jail, memory, liberation, relief, community, desperation, scape, insanity, blessings, fear, raids, capture, confinement, remembrances, craziness, liberation, violence. Freedom is ephemeral, and the only thing that belongs to them is their body and memory. They fear losing their memoirs.


Perla, David, Wero Laikas, Sapo, Estela, Negro, Cocho, Seven, Conejo, Martha, Lorena, Andobar, Gato, Gallo, el 30, Chaparro, Tres puntos and many more were self employed. During night shifts they gather different types of materials, then categorize them and sell them to recyclers. They walked through the city to find large amounts of cardboards, plastic, aluminum, and objects in general. They spent hours inside trash dumps, burned copper and sometimes cleaned it with their teeth. Being dirty is a constant. For the gaze of society, dirtiness is not accepted, for this reason the dirty ones are disgusting. There were those who even refer to themselves as trash. This reveals that a border can even grow inside a human being. 


The first time I was invited to show the project Ñongos in the United States, I decided to gather frames that they found during their recycling labor. When I visited the river I would get a pair of picture frames, but they never accepted my money. After months I collected around 40, and reused 15 for the series: Recycle. The act of crossing the border with the work signifies taking some deported persons back to their non-motherland.

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