Borderlands National Park

By Cheyenne Concepcion, Gabriela Navarro

Borderlands National Park surveys a beautiful, wild, and highly politicized landscape at the edges of two countries and two cultures. The National Park Service’s stated mission is to protect and preserve America’s unimpaired natural and cultural resources. Our project responds to this mission and questions the concept of protected lands in this complex environment: If National Parks were established to preserve noble American relics and landscapes, then what would today’s society preserve? What do we believe in most? Which monuments best represent us and our national dialogue?

Borderlands National Park was deployed through a series of art-installations on-site and off, crafted objects as souvenirs, and a co-opted Nationalistic dialogue. The art disguises itself as an economic development and tourism campaign to visit the borderlands. Layered in approach, the project takes monuments of colonialism and security-architecture and brands them as tourist destinations, or relics of American excellence. Ultimately, Borderlands National Park is a tongue-in-cheek effort to blur the lines between environmental protection, national-security, immigration, and racism.

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