Seesaws Linking Kids at US–Mexico Border
A simple piece of playground equipment was installed to serve as a bridge between the United States and Mexico. Read on for more.
Echoes of Laughter at the Mexico Border
Over the weekend, the residents from both sides of the border were surprised by the joyous moment of celebration, and the cause for that scene was a temporary art piece called Teeter-Totter Wall.
This project became a media sensation; the images and videos of children smiling and giggling on three pink seesaws at the section of the border wall in Sunland Park went viral and amazed the world.
The proposal came from a famous architecture studio owner, Rael San Fratello, who insisted on the collaboration with a San Jose State interior design faculty member, Virginia San Fratello, and Ronald Rael, the author of the Border Wall as Architecture: A Manifesto for the U.S. – Mexico Boundary, from 2007.
Unfortunately, this project was ten years in the making since the authorities were continually refusing further development of this work.
This trio created the basic conceptual outline in 2009, and as they stated, the whole project was inspired by the Secure Fence Act of 2006.
Essentially, the idea features three pink seesaws that are installed between the slats and the border fence since this is the only part of the border that allows the residents from both countries to see each other.
San Fratello stated that the building walls severed the relations between these two states. He continued explaining that the wall and current politics were not only separating two countries but also hurting regions, families, and what he sees as more troubling -— separating children from their parents.
Fratello focused on explaining that U.S. Border Patrol soldiers oversaw the whole installation and that everything was designed very quickly since the entire set-up of the design took them half an hour.
Ronal Rael has stated that he is happy to hear about such a great turnout, mainly because these sorts of actions have direct consequences on the improvement of these families’ lives.
He has added that he is pleased they managed to “push this through” since this project directly points to how the community is responding to President Trump’s efforts to build a wall along the border.
The same group of architects and designers created a project named “Burrito Wall” in which they ask for a food cart placed right next to the border wall, to improve the circulation of the food since there are no food establishments nearby.
Alongside these two projects, the last one is named “Wildlife Wall,” but unfortunately, experts think that this project has the lowest chances of realization. This project was created to ensure that endangered species transferred between Mexico and the U.S. were safely transported. The easier circulation of endangered species seems to be the last in line when it comes to the priority of concerns at the U.S.–Mexico border.
Javier Perea, Sunland Park’s mayor, stated that this movement displayed plenty of creativity and proved that even in the most critical political times, faith in humanity could be restored. He added that this showcased the obvious — people who live along the border have genuine relationships and get along well, despite of the wall and other political disruptions.
Lastly, he added that this seesaw installation made this small city smile and that he was pleased to hear echoes of children laughing when he visited the site.