Seesaw Beyond Borders: Two Professors Turn The US-Mexico Border Wall Into A Playground
In a heart-warming video circulating on the internet, children and adults can be seen enjoying the seesaws installed across the US-Mexico border wall in New Mexico.
Ronald Rael, an architecture professor at the University of California and Virginia San Fratello, an associate professor of design at San José State, installed three pink see-saws on July 29.
Brainchild Of Two Professors
The initiative by the California professors who made the wall separating Sunland Park, in New Mexico, and Ciudad Juarez, in Mexico, a common point for both countries to come together, especially children.
The professors first got the idea while working on some architectural project near the border. After they witnessed the increased border security and the construction of the wall, Rael and Fratello began working towards the idea.
Rael and Fratello said that they chose that location as they saw it as a place where people in both countries could directly approach the fence.
A 2,000-mile border wall between the US and Mexico has been one of the most crucial goals of US President Donald Trump.
The two professors said that the seesaw recognises “that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side”.
— The Logical Indian (@LogicalIndians) July 31, 2019
An Attempt To Celebrate Togetherness
Taking to Instagram, the two professors shared photos and videos of their initiative, and since then, the posts have gone viral across all social media platforms.
“The wall became a literal fulcrum for US-Mexico relations, and children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side,” Rael’s post on Instagram read.
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One of the most incredible experiences of my and @vasfsf’s career bringing to life the conceptual drawings of the Teetertotter Wall from 2009 in an event filled with joy, excitement, and togetherness at the borderwall. The wall became a literal fulcrum for U.S. – Mexico relations and children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side. Amazing thanks to everyone who made this event possible like Omar Rios @colectivo.chopeke for collaborating with us, the guys at Taller Herrería in #CiudadJuarez for their fine craftsmanship, @anateresafernandez for encouragement and support, and everyone who showed up on both sides including the beautiful families from Colonia Anapra, and @kerrydoyle2010, @kateggreen , @ersela_kripa , @stphn_mllr , @wakawaffles, @chris_inabox and many others (you know who you are). #raelsanfratello #borderwallasarchitecture
Witnessing the project come to life was “one of the most incredible experiences” for Rael and Fratello, describing the activity and happiness at the border as “filled with joy, excitement, and togetherness.”
“The see-saws were painted in hot- pink to pop and be vibrant, but also to honour the women who died during the femicides and the time of violence in Juárez,” says San Fratello, referring to the hundreds of women and girls murdered in Ciudad Juárez since 1993.
Netizens lauded the initiative, calling it an attempt to create an environment that celebrates togetherness across borders.
Artists installed seesaws at the border wall so that kids in the U.S. and Mexico could play together. It was designed by architect Ronald Rael.
Beautiful reminder that we are connected: what happens on one side impacts the other.
— Mauricio Martínez (@martinezmau) July 30, 2019
This is beautiful. Artists installed seesaws at the US/Mexico border to show how connected our kids are. pic.twitter.com/bAkN2v5YqF
— Claude Taylor (@TrueFactsStated) July 30, 2019
Architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello installed 3 neon pink seesaws at US-Mexico, to show that “actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side.” pic.twitter.com/KYMuOwg9If
— Amarnath Amarasingam (@AmarAmarasingam) July 31, 2019