Artist Paints Mexico-US Border Fence Sky Blue to ‘Erase’ It

Ana Teresa Fernández seeks to raise awareness of migrant rights.

Ana Teresa Fernández paints the Sonora border fence blue. Photo: Valeria Fernandez/AP via Yahoo News

A Mexican-American artist has launched a project to “erase” the Mexico-United States border fence in Nogales, Sonora. On Tuesday, Ana Teresa Fernández, with the help of a team of 30 volunteers, began painting the barrier in a light blue hue to camouflage it against the sky.

“This wall has become a symbol of pain, a symbol where we lament the lives who have not been able to cross it,” the Mexican-born and San Diego-raised artist told Yahoo News.

Fernández hopes the project will raise awareness of migrant rights and human rights internationally. “For me the border, the border wall, is like a tombstone,” she explained.

The artist previously painted a section of the border in Tijuana in 2012 as part of a video performance. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

The artist previously painted a section of the border in Tijuana in 2012 as part of a video performance.
Photo: Courtesy of the artist

U.S. and Mexican border police have paid little attention to the painters, who were busy covering over 30 feet of the fence in sky blue paint. “It’s not erasing the border, it’s pulling the sky down to use,” Fernández said.

One of the volunteers, 36-year-old Luis Guerra—who was deported two years ago despite having lived in the U.S. since he was thirteen—explained his decision to volunteer. “It gives me strength. It makes me feel like I’m strong.” Guerra has two American-born children whom he cannot visit, as he’s not allowed to enter the U.S. “Now I don’t feel like I’m in jail,” he said. “It looks nice.”

Fernandez says the border benefits only America and not Mexico. Photo: blog.rtve.es

Fernández says the border benefits only America and not Mexico.
Photo: blog.rtve.es

“We’re not doing anything illegal. We’re a humanitarian organization and we’re not going to shy away from these topics,” Susannah Castro of the Border Community Alliance, who invited Fernández to lead the project, added.

Fernández previously painted a section of the border fence on a beach in Tijuana in 2012. At the time, she said that the fence existed for the benefit of Americans, not Mexicans.

Meanwhile, in Germany, a radical artist collective symbolically buried drowned migrants in Berlin to raise awareness over the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe, calling on politicians to act.


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