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When the world should be building bridges between nations and globalization was supposed to tear the barriers down, Donald Trump decided that a wall of 1989 miles would solve the problem of illegal immigration from Mexico to the U.S. Trump is trying to deal with a wicked situation using the most obvious and uncreative solution, particularly when, as history shows, we don’t have examples of walls solving problems. Since his election artists and architects have unified their creative forces to make a point on this unreasonable and impossible plan of the new president, a plan that most of all will encourage the very behaviors he is trying to avoid.

“Plastic Jesus” creates a miniature wall around Donald Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame Star

Courtesy of WENN.com. Photograph: Nick Stern

The LA street artist Plastic Jesus who is known for his political or news inspired artworks erected a tiny concrete wall, which is topped with barbed wire and “Caution Border: Keep Out’ signs”, around the star on Hollywood Boulevard, to make a point about Trump’s “ludicrous” and “isolationist” plans for the border wall. “Donald Trump is obviously a huge target for artists like myself but I wanted to do something that wasn’t just attacking him visibly, about his hair, he told us. ‘I wanted to attack him on his policies of isolation”, says the artist and calls people to start thinking of the president’s xenophobic and unrealistic plans.

Mary Mihelic and David Gleeson begin building the wall

Courtesy of The New York Times. Photograph: Sandy Huffaker

Made from 52 cinder blocks, the beginning of this wall is built near the edge of Jacumba Hot Springs, California, standing 20 yards from the actual  U.S.- Mexico border. Covered on one side by a large campaign ad for Mr. Trump,  and studded with wilting fruit, flowers, cleaning items and hardware, their wall was meant to symbolize the economic effects that curtailing immigration and closing borders would have on agriculture, industry and domestic life. The artist duo, who work at the art collective t.Rutt  in these disruptive and contentious moments, art has to be present more than ever and hope that more artists will add to the project.

Khaled’s Ladder

Courtesy of Culture Runners. Photograph: John Mireles

The Palestinian artist Khaled Jarrar offers a different message to Trump Wall by stealing a piece from the fence that already exists along the border and transforming it into a ladder. The piece titled “Khaled’s Ladder” is installed in Juarez, close to the wall on the Mexican side. “I want to cross the walls and to interact with other people, and I will not let the walls stop me or be controlled by the fears”, says Khaled having already the experience from the wall in Jerusalem. This work is about transforming material that was used to separate people into a bridge that brings them together and shows that people by working together they can dismantle walls and recycle the materials to build what they really need: schools, houses, and ladders.

IKEA Börder Wåll

Courtesy of IKEA

The Scandinavian furniture maker proposes a much cheaper solution to Trump Wall. At a cost of only $9,999,999,999.99, “Börder Wåll” is significantly cheaper than a conventional wall, that is estimated to cost between  $15 and $25 billion. All the US government has to do, is to buy it from the nearest IKEA branch, follow the 12,000 pages instruction manual and install it where they need to. The IKEA Börder Wåll comes with a 5-year guarantee, it’s made of pressboard with a birch effect and can be assembled with the help of a hex key. The basic model of the wall is 33ft (10 m) tall and 1,954 miles (3,144 km) long, although the height and length can be extended as desired. As shown in the graphic above it will need hundreds of thousands of panels and barbed-wire coils, along with millions of screws, but only a single Allen key for assembly.

The pink wall of Estudio 3.14

Courtesy of Estudio 3.14

The interns of a Mexican architecture firm from Guadalajara, Estudio 3.14, have made a proposal on this controversial matter of the border wall. Envisioned as a tourist attraction, their version of the wall will be a tribute to one of Mexico’s most respected architects and include a prison. Inspired by Louis Barragán’s colorful architecture, the wall will be painted pink to make it “beautiful”, as Trump said. The pink wall will be a self-sufficient wall containing healthcare center, administrative offices, prison and a shopping center. The American side is outfitted with stairs so Americans can walk up to the top and look out over Mexico.

The Binational Border City by Fernando Romero

Courtesy of Fernando Romero Enterprise

The Mexican architect Fernando Romero believes that with today’s technology borders are obsolete and building bridges to increase economy and trades should be the realistic solution. That’s why he has now designed a master plan for a walkable, connected metropolis straddling the U.S.-Mexico border. The masterplan features themed zones laid out in a hexagon, each with an epicenter containing medical, cultural or industrial services. Avenues radiating from their centers would link with neighboring zones. Romero proposes establishing a special economic zone between the two countries with its own governance like it’s happening in today’s Andorra. This scheme could be replicated globally to create sustainable cities as populations grow and migration increases.


Why a Wall Won’t Stop Immigration.

Trump assured the public that the country of Mexico would pay for the “wall” to be built along the 2,000 mile-long border, which includes many different terrains, environmentally protected areas, Indian reservations and private property. It could prove easier said than done, according to experts and it will most likely cost many billions of dollars to build. Adam, from CollegeHumor Media, delivers this message in a comedic content.

References

Parry H., (2016). Star stuck! Street artist mocks Donald Trump by erecting a ‘wall’ around his Hollywood Walk of Fame star. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3699677/Street-artist-mocks-Donald-Trump-erecting-wall-Hollywood-Walk-Fame-star.html [Accessed 01 February 2017]

Ruzik M., (2016). Artists Begin Building Trump’s Border Wall, Sending Mexico the Bill. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/09/arts/design/artists-begin-building-trumps-border-wall-sending-mexico-the-bill.html [Accessed 01 February 2017]

Van de Boom J., (2016). Creativity Trumps All. Retrieved from http://popupcity.net/creativity-trumps-all/ [Accessed 01 February 2017]

Misra T., (2016). Instead of Trump’s Wall, Why Not a Binational Border City? Retrieved from http://www.citylab.com/design/2016/09/instead-of-a-wall-build-a-binational-city-us-mexico-border-trump/499634/ [Accessed 02 February 2017]

Mairs J., (2016). Borders are “primitive” limits says designer of US-Mexico binational city. Retrieved from https://www.dezeen.com/2016/09/09/border-city-binational-conceptual-masterplan-mexico-usa-fernando-romero-london-design-biennale/ [Accessed 02 February 2017]

Kalsi J., (2016). Dismantling Walls through Art. Retrieved from http://gulfnews.com/culture/arts/dismantling-walls-through-art-1.1941607 [Accessed 02 February 2017]

 

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