The California-based architects Virginia San Fratello and Ronald Rael transformed a stretch of the border fence between Mexico and the U.S. into an international playground on Monday. The pair installed three hot pink seesaws between the slats of the fence where Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua abutts Sunland Park, New Mexico, allowing people on both sides of the increasingly militarized border to play together.
In a post on Instagram, Rael, an architecture professor at the University of California Berkeley, explained that he and San Fratello, a professor at San José State University, first had the idea for the piece, Teetertotter Wall, in 2009. He added: “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.”
In addition to worsening the humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. President Donald Trump’s xenophobic immigration policies have sparked a slew of creative interventions along the border. In 2017, the artist JR created a large-scale photo mural and cross-border picnic table in Tecate, Mexico. Also in 2017, the artists ERRE and Margarita Garcia Asperas hosted a dinner on the Mexican side of the border fence at the foot of a giant mirror. Earlier this year, the artist Cosimo Cavallaro built a version of Trump’s proposed border wall out of cheese.