While the world is continuously stressing upon building walls and dividing people in the name of religion, nationality, caste and gender, here are some artists who through their creative skills are trying to reunite people and remind us that we are connected in more than one way.
Ronald Rael, an architecture professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Virginia San Fratello, an associate professor of design at San Jose State University came up with the idea of creating the “Teeter-Totter Wall” at the border that separates the United States and Mexico.
According to CNN, it was a long time coming. In 2009, the two designed a concept for a binational see-saw at the border for a book, “Borderwall as Architecture” which uses “humor and inventiveness to address the futility of building barriers.
Ten years later, the conceptual drawings of the Teetertotter Wall became a reality. Custom-built see-saws were transported by Rael and his crew to Sunland Park, New Mexico, where a steel fence separates it from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.
Sharing his joy and excitement, Rael wrote this in one of his Instagram posts. “The wall became a literal fulcrum for the U.S. – Mexico relations and children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side.”
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One of the most incredible experiences of my and @vasfsf’s career bringing to life the conceptual drawings of the Teetertotter Wall from 2009 in an event filled with joy, excitement, and togetherness at the borderwall. The wall became a literal fulcrum for U.S. – Mexico relations and children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side. Amazing thanks to everyone who made this event possible like Omar Rios @colectivo.chopeke for collaborating with us, the guys at Taller Herrería in #CiudadJuarez for their fine craftsmanship, @anateresafernandez for encouragement and support, and everyone who showed up on both sides including the beautiful families from Colonia Anapra, and @kerrydoyle2010, @kateggreen , @ersela_kripa , @stphn_mllr , @wakawaffles, @chris_inabox and many others (you know who you are). #raelsanfratello #borderwallasarchitecture #teetertotterwall #seesaw #subibaja
Fratello also shared multiple images of the wall on her social media that spoke volumes about the fact that together we can break border walls, reset and start afresh.
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Twitter appreciated their kind gesture too:
Artists installed seesaws at the border wall so that kids in the U.S. and Mexico could play together. It was designed by architect Ronald Rael.
Beautiful reminder that we are connected: what happens on one side impacts the other.
🇲🇽 ❤️ 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/vSpfxhtvkX
— Mauricio Martínez (@martinezmau) July 30, 2019
That's a great idea! Trump's retoric is so full of hate that immigrants have been dehumanised, the only way to stop that is with love.
— Franco Cavalla (@francocavalla) July 30, 2019
American, Mexican, whatever … we are all the same. Everything we do effects each other – if only we could hit reset and start again
— chris spencer (@cspencer1983) July 30, 2019
This is so sad and beautiful at the same time #Unity
— Magali Boysselle #NoSoyBot (@MagaliBoysselle) July 30, 2019
Well if kids can play together that proves we don't need boarders right?
— Kay Bingo 🇬🇧🇺🇲 (@Kingbingo_) July 30, 2019
That is beautiful.
— Victor Pizarro (@Colombianeando) July 30, 2019
Rael’s and Fratello’s untamed attempt to unite beyond borders is commendable and proves that there are more reasons that unite us than those that divide us.