Artist, photographer, and writer Diana Molina has made a life-long study of the borderlands of Mexico, New Mexico and Texas. She brings her observational experiences together in a presentation called “Seven String Barbed Wire Fence” at Mesa Public Library at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 17, in the Upstairs Meeting Rooms. Photos, montages, three-dimensional installation examples, and a short video document the formidable barriers along the border.
Seven strings of barbed wire delineate the boundary between the United States and Mexico along many sections of the border; this is fast-changing into more formidable barriers. The dividing line is nation’s most controversial landscape and the fortification of the border is an integral argument in the emotionally-charged immigration debate of the post-9/11 era as the Department of Homeland Security implements the expansion of infrastructure along private land, national parks and university campuses.
“My portrayals of the border view the fence from different angles in consideration of the long term consequences to the impending barriers and the effects upon our national psyche and international relations,” Molina said Monday in a telephone interview.
“There are those who propose walls as a key solution to our security as a nation, those who foresee disastrous consequences to our environment and border society, those whose home it divides and those who view it as an obstacle to progress,” Molina said. “Miles of plate-metal and fence already split the United States and Mexico – dividing societies and geographies – and hundreds more miles have been proposed by many federal legislators. What are we prepared to sacrifice in order to isolate ourselves from our neighbors?”
“My journey of discovery along the borderlands is deep-rooted,” Molina said. “It began with my very first steps taken less than a mile from the Rio Grande, the line of connection and division between the United States and Mexico. From my birthplace in El Paso, Texas I found myself witness, first-hand, to the dramatic merging and clashing of cultures by the river’s edge. In the wide desert expanse, the crossroads of language, culture and lifestyle were at my doorstep and I learned, at an early age, the impact of the borderline upon my home as it wove in and out of my life and family history.”
Molina attended the University of Texas in Austin and earned a degree in computer science. After years of employment as a software engineer for IBM, she integrated her computer background with photography and journalism to begin a new career as a multi-media specialist. Molina has prepared feature articles for Elle, Esquire, Geo, GQ, National Geographic Traveler, Vogue, Texas Highways, and New Mexico Magazine.
Exhibits of her work have appeared at the World Museum of Art in Rotterdam, Holland; The Art Museum of the Americas in Washington, D.C.; The Albuquerque Museum of Art and other venues across the country. Her work depicting the border wall is currently on display at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. In her work, Molina strives to illustrate the borders of her homeland and those she crosses, not only in the literal sense of a governmental division of territory, but also by the influence of ideologies, customs, politics, economics and views of life.
The Los Alamos County Library System presents free programs for adults and children regularly throughout the year. For more information about Library programs and events, call 505.662.8253, or visit the Events calendar on the Library website, www.lacnm.us/Library.
This program is supported by the New Mexico Humanities Council and the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.
Listen to Nancy Coombs’ interview with Diana Molina on KRSN’s archives: http://krsnam1490.com/PriorInterviews.html.