Confluencenter Creative Scholars Rewrite the Border Narrative through Art

Feb. 4, 2020

Public understanding of “the border” often focuses on militarization and the border wall. But what about the real experiences of those who live, work, and play in the border region? In effort to amplify real voices on the border, and expand public border narratives, Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry launched Fronteridades last year with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

As part of this exciting collaboration, three community-engaged border artist teams have each received $30,000 awards to support interdisciplinary art projects in collaboration with border communities, as Cohort 1 of the Mellon-Fronteridades Creative Scholars. “Being able to support and engage directly with border community leaders advances the goals of collaboration and community capacity building at the heart of Fronteridades,” says Confluencenter director, Javier Duran.

Awarded projects include:

DouglaPrieta Trabaja: Women of Color Leading Cross National Collaboration

 Project Leads: M. Jenea Sanchez, Gabriela Muñoz, John-Michael Warner, in close partnership with DouglaPrieta Trabaja
Dougla Prieta Press Photo

Above: The members of DouglaPrieta Below: Project liaisons from left to right, M. Jenea Sanchez, Gabriela Munoz and John-Michael Warner

DouglaPrieta Trabaja is collective of women supporting women rooted in social justice, permaculture practices, and community organizing, located in the Colonia Ladrillo neighborhood of Agua Prieta, Sonora. Grounded in prior partnership between this collective and the project leads, this project aims to expand the important work of this collective in the region. Activities include multiple skill-building convenings with collective members in both Douglas and Agua Prieta, as well as the documentation of 12 collective members’ oral histories and the creation of a DouglaPrieta oral history digital archive.

Promotoras Comunitarias Transfronterizas

Project Lead: Bernadette Eguía, in partnership with collective members César López, Carolina Iniguez, and Javier Brambila
COLMENA Press Photo

The members of COLMENA, left to right: Bernadette Eguía, Javier Brambila, Cesar López, and Carolina Iniguez

This project employs a community based process of training and intervention in emotional and community health issues, with women living in Ambos Nogales. Collective members leading this effort previously developed and implemented this specific program with family members of migrants in Jalisco. Drawing from multiple perspectives, from public health to popular education and community organizing, this series of trainings aims to address the distinct individual and collective experiences that are influenced by living on the border, such as family separation. This 20-session training program will culminate in a community art/action project, to be designed by participants during the course of the program.

Nogalería / Nogallery

Project Lead: Priscilla “Nefftys” Rodriguez, in partnership with artists Gerardo Frias and Antonio Lucero
Priscilla Rodriguez Press Photo

Priscilla "Nefftys" Rodriguez of Nogaleria

Paying homage to the history of Ambos Nogales as a busy tourist destination and cultural center, this project aims to bring life to the Ambos Nogales downtown area through a series of murals on both sides of the border, related to the city’s history. These murals will vary in techniques and styles, from graffiti to stencils, projections and free hand brush painting. The project will culminate in a community event, including a mural tour and street concert.