Quipu Fronterizo/Border Quipu engages US/Mexico border commuters on both sides of the border by asking about their experiences and asking them to anonymously tie a knot. The AMBOS team walks among the cars in traffic, pedestrians waiting in line, and surrounding areas of the crossing asking for participation in an art project that focuses on the lives of those who cross the border and/or live in the borderlands. Postcards that read “¿Qué piensas cuando cruzas esta frontera? / What are your thoughts when you cross this border?” are passed out with pencils for participants to record their thoughts in the space provided. All of those who work or live along the border are invited to participate, and asked what they think if they can cross the border, and if not, their opinions on living there. On the opposite side of the postcard, there is a explanation of the exercise for the quipu that we create with the help of participants. Commuters are given two strands of thread and asked to tie them into a knot reflecting their time and emotions spent crossing. The strands represent the US and Mexico’s relationship to one another, our self at either sides of the border, and our own mental state at the point of crossing.
These knots were on display at the Renwick, which allowed us to spend time in prayerful contemplation of the current situation.
Let us pray for all those at the border in Tijuana and an untangling of this humanitarian crisis.
Let us walk in the holy presence.