Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Susan Harbage Page Crosses the Border

Chapel Hill-based photographer Susan Harbage Page has worked tirelessly to humanize the border that distinguishes the USA from Mexico. 

Harbage Page, in her latest effort, plans “Cross the Border: An Art Action,” a day of crossing and recrossing that border.

Her Art Action is scheduled for
Saturday, December 19 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m at the Gateway International Bridge between Brownsville, TX and Matamoros, Mexico. 

In this Art Action, Harbage Page intends to see how many times she --and others who wish to join her -- can cross the border in an eight-hour period.

Harbage Page says she wants to know “why information, technology, goods, and culture can pass freely over international borders, but bodies can’t. 

"Why my privileged white body has permission to cross this border while other bodies don’t.

“Why must thousands of people annually put their bodies at great risk to walk the same path I walk easily, in an attempt to be safe, provide for their families, and simply belong?”

Since 2007, Harbage Page has made annual pilgrimages to the Rio Grande Valley and Brownsville, TX to work on her U.S.–Mexico Border Project

Over the years of her work on the USA-Mexican border, Harbage Page has walked, biked, and canoed along the border.

Harbage Page's project has developed in three movements: 1. photographs of the changing landscape, 2. an archive containing over 1,000 objects left behind on the border by people migrating north, and 3. a series of yearly site-specific performances.

These actions have ranged from a temporary floating bridge made from children’s inner tubes (2009) between Brownsville and Matamoros, to a protest—laying down in the middle of the bridge between Nuevo Progresso and Progresso (2012) in an attempt to humanize the border, a line most U.S. citizens think of as a straight black line on a map.

Harbage Page hopes that through this action she and those who join her in a day of border crossings can help make the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo a place where cultures can meet in personal exchange, rather than exist in separation.

This project is sponsored by Galeria 409 of Brownsville, TX.

If you want more information about Harbage Page's plans for the day, or if you happen to be in the Brownsville, TX part of the American South and wish to join her on Saturday, you may contact her at or by phone at 919-260-1602.


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