"US | THEM"
8" x 17" x 1/2" Handbound Book. Monotype, Screenprint, and Mixed Media. 22 pgs.
During my research on border topics and immigrant themes, I have found myself actively engaging in immigration forums and discussions online, always attempting to share my story and provide a different perspective to hateful, and ignorant opinions on social media. I would often take screenshots on my phone of particularly hateful and racist comments. After some time I noticed that I had compiled an interesting collection of quotes and noticed that the words began to resonate as one very unified anti-immigrant voice. These quotes would become the inspiration for “US|THEM”, a handbound book that aims to visually highlight the arbitrary nature of the walls found on the U.S./Mexico border. Juxtaposed with this imagery are the anonymous quotes found online. The book aims to compile this opposing view of immigration alongside sets of mirroring words that represent the concept of social mirroring: a term used in immigrant psychology to describe the way immigrants form a skewed sense of identity based off of society's view of them. The book mirrors the immigrant struggle: constantly faced with racist opinions that question their own sense of identity and belonging. This piece aims to humanize this marginalized group of people, while addressing an issue that transcends the borders of America.