In 2018, the Trump administration’s policy of separating undocumented families coming across our southern border created a national uproar. Images of children in cages with foil blankets, and adults in crowded and unsanitary conditions created a furor that seemed to deepen our country’s divisions and call into question our nation’s values. Added to this were the president’s previous pronouncements about immigrants from Mexico, and Central and South America, as rapists, drug dealers, gang members, low-lifes and animals.
This fractious national conversation served as the backdrop for US. I deliberately chose as my subjects people that resembled the ethnic and racial backgrounds of the separated families. US 1 shows a young Colombian woman I met in San Francisco who had just been named the Reina Internacional del Bambuco, USA (in English, the International Queen of Bambuco, a traditional Colombian music genre). US 2 and US 3 show mothers and their children in Guatemala, each in poses of love and connection so universal you could find them in any American neighborhood. Together, the pieces create a patchwork quilt of red, white and blue I believe is representative of the diverse nature of our country.