Immigration has become one of the most important and contentious issues of our time. While undocumented migrants cross borders seeking a better life, the human cost of migration can be high. Border crossers risk injury, attack, rape, and death, while undocumented workers often toil under dangerous and exploitative conditions in the United States.
These harsh realities constitute the heart of Exodus/Éxodo, a powerful series of photographs by Julián Cardona that puts a human face on migration in the face of state violence and borders across which goods, but not people, are allowed to move freely. Exodus/Éxodo documents the forced modern-day exodus of people from Mexico to the United States. According to the United Nations, nearly 60 million people are currently displaced by conflict and persecution in an unprecedented series of worldwide migrations. Cardona’s photographs offer a distinctive perspective on our regional participation in this global story.
Cardona’s images embody the fear and violence that plague many Mexican border towns in the context of low-wage maquiladoras and the drug trade, creating a visual narrative of the migrants who risk their lives crossing the desert between Mexico and the United States, and the realities of life beyond the crossing.
This exhibit, on loan to the Center from the Los Angeles United Methodist Museum of Social Justice from November 1, 2015 through February 20, 2016, provides an intimate look into the human cost of so many journeys in search of a better future.
This post was contributed by student worker Cynthia Mosely.