A huge image of a young child has been erected on the U.S Mexico border, peering over the wall into the United States. It arrives just as Donald Trump announced plans to roll back DACA, a scheme that gives undocumented migrants who arrived in the states as children the opportunity to live and work there.
The 65-ft mural cut-out sits on the border close to Tecate, Mexico. The black and white image illustrates a smiling child, fingers over the steel wall, peering downwards inquisitively. According to the New York Times, the pictured child is a one-year-old who lives in Tecate.
It was created and orchestrated by a French artist known as JR. “As an artist, I try to bring back perspective,” he told the NYT. “For this little kid, there are no walls and borders.”
The artwork comes at a time when dialogue surrounding immigration is fierce: Trump intends to pull the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, and his administration has accepted more proposals for building the 2,000 mile-long border wall.
“Now as an artist I think that it’s amazing that the piece arrived at a moment when it creates more dialogue,” JR told the Guardian. “Because the idea itself is to raise more questions.”
The artist has created other similarly large pieces in Paris slums and buildings in Rio de Janeiro, as well as giant photobooths in Israel and Palestine. He previously tapped issues surrounding immigration with a 2014 installation inside a derelict building on New York’s Ellis Island, where immigrants entered the U.S during the 19th and 20th century.
This current artwork will stay in place for one month.
The border has been an ample and well-used space in recent times for artists. Chim Pom, a Japanese group, built a ‘USA Visitors Centre’ treehouse close to Tijuana, while another project by Guillermo Galindo and Richard Misrach created instruments from objects left behind by people attempting to cross the border.