In the Peak of Summer

Francisco Velazquez

As I arrived in the peak of summer to a heat, harsh and unforgiving, I questioned how anyone could call these endless valleys home. 11 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, the small town of Arivaca, Arizona is home to a population of about 700 people. One may argue that this small town is an open field for migrants crossing the desert, but others may view this open field as a destructive parade of the human experience. In this project, I aim to present a body of work that touches upon visual and auditory elements in which the audience is encouraged to create dialogue, ask questions and most importantly draw upon a new perspective regarding the experience and severity of migration. In doing so, this presentation currently touches upon the research lead by the Undocumented Migration Project. In this triptych, the presentation entails an 18-minute looped video that gives viewers a first-person perspective of the trains in which migrants ride on their trek to the United States. In addition, there is a photography series included as we recount the hike of Maricela’s shrine, the team, and the endless Sonoran Desert valleys. There are approximately 10 photographs that will give a synopsis of the two-week research program. By bringing this conversation of migration directly from the desert to the viewer, there is no longer a skewed middle-man, but rather a place in which the audience questions and creates their own dialogue surrounding the work presented.