Featuring work by eight artists, and a new project from Magnum Photos, the first in a series of exhibitions at the Bronx Documentary Center examines America’s political transformation since Trump’s regressive immigration policies
We are now into the third year of Donald Trump’s presidential term, and the ripples of his radical anti-immigration policies have been felt far and wide. His administration’s “zero tolerance” approach has separated families and detained children, even using force to stop migrants from entering the US. At one point, Trump even suggested shooting people in the legs to prevent them entering and has repeatedly referred to illegal immigrants, many who are fleeing dangerous situations in their home countries, as criminals.
Curated by Michael Kamber and Cynthia Rivera, Trump Revolution: Immigration is the first in a series of exhibitions at the Bronx Documentary Center, New York City, which will examine America’s political and social transformation since Trump came into power. Through image, video, text, and audio interviews, the exhibition traces how the overturning of decades of American immigration policy has profoundly affected American society and the lives of millions of immigrants.
Among the exhibiting artists is Kholood Eid, who accompanied a bus of mostly Arab and Muslim female activists from New York City to the first Women’s March in Washington D.C., the day after Trump was elected.
“As a Palestinian-American Muslim woman, and the daughter of immigrants, I found myself struggling to process this new America,” Eid said, in a statement provided by the gallery. “But this America wasn’t all that was new to me. It reminded me of the days in late September of 2001— a time filled with tension, anxiety and fear.”
The exhibition also includes video work by Laura Saunders, and images by John Moore, who won World Press Photo of the Year 2019 with his image of the crying Honduran girl.
Elliot Ross will exhibit work from American Backyard, which documents the lives of people who live on the US-Mexico border. “There is a larger, less transparent story to be told about our borderlands to do with acculturation, surveillance, diversity and compassion,” said Ross, in a statement provided by the gallery.
Elsewhere, Griselda San Martin explores the symbolic boundary of physical borders, photographing the families who meet at Friendship Park, a stretch of the US-Mexico border where people can share intimate moments through a metal fence, and Luis Antonia Rojas exhibits his documentation of the Central American migrant caravan as it made its way through Mexico toward the U.S. border.
Also on show is Greg Constantine’s Seven Doors: American Gulag, an investigation into immigration detention centres in the US, and Cinthya Santos-Briones’ Living in Sanctuary. Santos-Briones’ collaborative project explores links between migration and religious solidarity, documenting how the persecution of migrants is changing the roles of faith leaders, their institutions and communities.
Alongside these works is the first showing of Magnum Photos’ touring exhibition, LINEA: The Border Project. In May 2019, 16 Magnum photographers spent two weeks on either side of the US-Mexico border, in San Diego, Tijuana, Juárez and El Paso. The photographers featured include Antoine d’Agata, Olivia Arthur, Jim Goldberg, Cristina de Middel, Rafal Milach, Mark Power, and more.
“We made this work and this show to reflect these ideas, and will bring it to public spaces across both countries and the political divide inside the USA,” said Magnum in a collective statement provided by the gallery. “In an era of polarising rhetoric and relentless attempts at dehumanising the other, we hope our work can serve as a counterpoint and an antidote.”