A Wall In Between is a multi chapters photography project, which explores how our modern society tends to build walls, whether visible or not, between people, populations, and nations. 2016 was the year with the most walls built in the history of mankind. In total there are almost 70 walls across the world today which no longer divide different ideologies, but the rich from the poor: in 1989, the year of the fall of the Berlin Wall, there were 15. These walls have become symbols of a miscarriage that often concedes primacy to prejudice, xenophobia and nationalism and incorporate both the fear of having to host the migrants and the hopes of those who try to climb over them. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has estimated that there are 214 million international migrants throughout the world; so many in fact that, if should they be brought together they could become the fifth most populated country in the world. Today, many embark on a journey which runs up against a barrier, built to confront the uncontrollable migrant influx. These barriers and the humanity around them, represent the common thread binding together the stories in my documentary project.
CHAPTER ONE: The Long Journey to the Great Wall of Mexico
The United Nations estimate that every year more than 3 million people attempt to immigrate illegally into the United States through its southern border. With the American presidential elections and the announcements made during the election campaign by Donald Trump wanting to reinforce the border and build new sections of wall, the number of migrants undertaking their dangerous trip towards the U.S. increased exponentially. In August, September and October 2016, the three months preceding the presidential elections of 4th November, along the Southwest border with Mexico, the U.S. Border Patrol has captured more migrants than the same period in each of the past five years (source U.S. Customs and Border Protection).
Shortly before the American elections I travelled along the dangerous route of the illegal migrants, going along the frontier between Mexico and Guatemala, up to the United States of America Southwest border with Mexico. Here the migrants end up at the wall, that stops their “American Dream”. There are approximately 20,000 migrants who, along this route – every year – are victims of murders, robbery, kidnapping and rape. From 2000 to today, according to International Organization for Migration, more than 6,000 migrants have lost their lives trying to cross the border between Mexico and the United States of America.
The wall runs along a third of the border between Mexico and the United States, between two nations where the gap between the income per capita is among the highest in the world.
During his election campaign, Donald Trump promised that he would complete the building of this wall, but many believe that this will not stop the illegal migrant influx coming in from Mexico.
”I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”*