Jason De León

Talk by Jason De León, Undocumented Migration Project and creator of Hostile Terrain 94—The Land of Open Graves: Raising Awareness about Migrant Life and Death along the U.S./Mexico Border

Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at 4:30pm

FREE! Reservations required.

Since the mid-1990s, the U.S. federal government has relied on a border enforcement strategy known as “Prevention Through Deterrence.” Using various security infrastructure and techniques of surveillance, this strategy funnels undocumented migrants towards remote and rugged terrain such as the Sonoran Desert of Arizona with the hope that mountains ranges, extreme temperatures, and other “natural” obstacles will deter people from unauthorized entry. Since the 1990s, thousands of people have died as a result of this policy. In this talk, Jason De León will discuss the politics of migrant death in Arizona, describe the ongoing global exhibition Hostile Terrain 94 (HT94) that seeks to raise awareness about this issue, and highlight the new collaboration between the Undocumented Migration Project and the Colibri Center for Human Rights.

Jason De León is Executive Director of the Undocumented Migration Project and the Colibri Center for Human Rights, a joint 501(c)(3) organization focused on raising awareness about issues related to migration and assisting families of missing migrants search for their loved ones. He is Professor of Anthropology and Chicana, Chicano, and Central American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and Head Curator of the ongoing global exhibition Hostile Terrain 94. He is the author of the award-winning book The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail and a 2017 MacArthur Fellow.

This talk is co-sponsored by Wesleyan’s Anthropology Department. This event is held in conjunction with the exhibition fron/terra cognita + Hostile Terrain (HT94), on display from Tuesday, November 1 through Sunday, December 11, 2022. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday from Noon to 5pm. For more information, please visit the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery website. Funding for the exhibition and related programming is provided by the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, the College of the Environment, the Anthropology Department, the Thomas and Catharine McMahon Fund of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, African Studies, and CT Humanities.