Borderlands is a political experiment on the geopolitics of El Paso, TX and Ciudad Juarez, MX.
El Paso and Ciudad Juarez confront one another like an estranged couple – surrounded on all sides by desert and mountains, separated only by the thin trickle of the Rio Grande River.
Historically these cities have exchanged many moments with one another having once been a single thriving community. However they are now severed by the recent enforcement of the policies of the U.S. / Mexico border. The border between El Paso and Juarez is not some abstract line drawn on a map – the border in this region is the Rio Grande River. The state of the two cities is reflected in the state of the river that runs between them. Before the border was set in place, the river flowed without any interruption or constraint – and as did the people to crossed it daily. The river is objectified running through concrete channels, regulated in flow by upstream dams.
Today the river is dry appearing to be nothing more than a voided spectacle. However the Rio Grande river has a strong political significance. According to bi-national legislation states that the national territory of El Paso and Juarez is only defined as land leading up to the river front – this means that the river space – water – and airspace above it is unaffiliated with US or Mexico – thus considered to be a No-Mans-Land.