Recently heard about this growing issue… Had the pleasure of going to Juarez, Mexico and meeting a deported veteran that went to Iraq and made it back home, only to get deported. With not a lot of support for these soldiers, I find myself appalled at the fact that in the name of god they killed and fought for a seat at this forth of July cookout.
For the visionaries of NSRGNTS, however, walls can also bring people together.
The art collective recently unveiled their latest mural at HomegrowNM Trading Post, on the corner of Central Avenue and Morningside Drive SE. “Abya Yala: Indigenous Freeways” depicts a single continuous landscape from south to north, united by an overarching rainbow.
“A lot of people, nowadays, when they think of borders, they think that borders are protecting us,” says Votan Ik, who founded NSRGNTS just over 20 years ago.
As he sees it, however, border enforcement fundamentally harms the land, fosters exploitation, and sows conflict.
“That is not something that we as Indigenous people of this continent have executed, right?” he says.
“Borders are still a very new concept,” adds Leah Lewis, Ik’s partner and fellow NSRGNTS activist.
Seeking to share their vision of an undivided continent, Ik and Lewis teamed up with local artist Saba to design the “Abya Mala” mural, supported by a grant from the Native Health Initiative.