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Flor is fifteen foot tall; she is from Sonora. Toby is fifteen foot tall; he is from Arizona. Flor and Toby are meeting for the first time this November in Nogales, where the US/Mexico border wall runs through the middle of town. Toby and Flor will transcend all kinds of boundaries and go whatever distance is necessary to unite. Let them guide you to see if it is possible to see ourselves reflected in our neighbors and let our humanity take us Beyond The Wall.
After the election, we were thinking a lot about how to connect our artistic work with the current political climate. The weekend after Trump’s inauguration, Jess took a young friend to the playground in Brooklyn, and ran into one of her Kindergarten classmates and his dad, a Latin American immigrant. As the kids ran off to play, one of them hopped over the fence around a tree and they began to play around and through it. Considering how the kids didn’t care about the differences between them, or their different cultural backgrounds, Jess wondered whether we could use giant puppets to recreate that same spirit of curiosity, turning the infamous “wall” into an object of play.
Ana jumped immediately on board, and suggested we involve the local community in the puppetry construction and performance. We hosted our first event in November of 2017, and in collaboration with community partners Stephanie Bermudez, Raul Leyva, Startup Unidos, Nogales Community Development, Colectivo Taco de Perro, and more, the project grew from one puppetry performance into a two-day binational festival including an art exhibition, a block party, and a concert. We were joined by the filmmakers from 24 Fotogramas who are making a documentary feature film about the project and the community.
We are so excited to help show the world the truth about life at the border, and the incredible community that comes together there.
Raúl Humberto Leyva (Nogales, SON Event Leader) is a journalist born in Guaymas, Sonora with thirty years of experience, and has been a cultural promoter for twenty years. He is currently the coordinator of the Colectivo Cultural Taco de Perro, which has been promoting all kinds of arts, particularly music, urban art and visual exhibitions of all kinds at the border for the past 6 years. Additionally, he organizes a Tattoo Festival with tattoo artists from various cities in Sonora, Sinaloa, and other Mexican states.
Elena Vega (Nogales, SON Event Leader) has a BA in Publicity and Marketing, and currently works as an indie publisher, professional freelance photographer, cultural promoter, poet and almost musician. Her publications include: What the river carries (2017, Lata Oscura) from an artistic residency in Tubac, AZ; Sirena Maldita, (2017, Lata oscura); De que madres hablas, (2010, project FECAS); Dividida (2014, Rizoma ediciones), Lumia (2013, Guayabas Cartonera). She has performed her poetry, songs, and musicalised poetry in the Museo de Arte Nogales (Nogales), Horas (Hermosillo), Mujeres en su tinta (Hermosillo), Noche Erotica (Alwun House, Phoenix), and on Radio Educación with Rafael Catana (Mexico City). She has toured her work to Nogales, Mexicali, Tijuana, Guadalajara, Puebla, and Mexico City. In addition, Elena has participated in many regional art festivals, including the San Luis Rio Colorado Literature Festival; the Encuentro Internacional de Escritores Horas; the first youth book fair in Navojoa, Sonora; the FAOT festival; the migrant poets festival Colorado, and the first Beyond the Wall festival (Nogales).
Talya Chalef (Artistic and Producing Consultant) is a Brooklyn based South African/Australian interdisciplinary theatre-maker who has developed and presented new projects since 2004. She is the co-founder of Public Works Department with Sofy Yuditskaya and a member of Mapping Spectral Traces - a global group of artists, scholars and academics concerned with cultural geography. Talya explores themes of social justice, memory, history and identity and seeks out new forms of performance. Projects include: SITE (2006), IN OTHER WORDS (2007 Melbourne & 2009 Argentina both nominated in the Victorian Green Room Awards.), EYTON RD (2009 Melbourne & Cape Town), AN IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE (2011) for the NY Fringe, L'CHAIM (2013) Horace Mann Theatre, PORT CITIES (2016) & WE DON'T LIVE ON MARS YET (International Theatre Program, University of Rochester). Talya has participated in numerous artist residencies in both Melbourne and NYC including: ArtsHouse North Melbourne Meat Market, Abbotsford Convent Melbourne, Watermill Centre NY, Space on Ryder Farm, Mount Tremper Arts, Centre for Advanced Study University of Minnesota and was an invited guest artist in Maynooth Dublin. Talya completed an MFA at Columbia University (2013) and holds a graduate diploma in Animateuring (Theatremaking/Devising) from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne (2004). She is the recipient of multiple awards including the Columbia Dean's Fellowship, the prestigious Elizabeth Murdoch Travel Fellowship, multiple Besen Family Foundation Awards and The Australian Council of the Arts ArtStart Grant.
Jacksubeli González (International Coordinator)
Jimena Pacheco (PR/Marketing Coordinator)
Analía Briones (Project Manager)
[VIDEO] "Une a dos Paises Festival de las Fronteras" Azteca Sonora, 26/11/2017.
[VIDEO] "Jóvenes Neoyorquinos filman en Nogales parte del documental 'Más allá del muro'" Meganoticias, 24/11/2017.
[VIDEO] "Construyen títeres gigantes fronterizos Azteca Sonora" 21/11/2017.
[VIDEO] Conferencia de Prensa, borderlinea.com 23/11/2017.
[VIDEO] Entrevista, Diversa la Voz, 24/11/2017.