Children are the purest form of energy and humanity, so they change the world on a daily basis. Children know nothing about rules, borders, differences, and politics.
Having their purity in mind, Ronald Rael, an architecture professor at UC Berkeley, and Virginia San Fratello, an interior design professor at San Jose State University, dreamt of creating a place for kids at the barrier wall on the US-Mexico border.
After a decade, their idea finally came true now, and children on both sides of the border can play together on an innovative set of pink seesaws.
Rael posted a video of the project on Instagram, and explained that it is “one of the most incredible experiences of my and [San Fratello’s] career, bringing to life the conceptual drawings of the Teetertotter Wall from 2009 in an event filled with joy, excitement, and togetherness at the border wall.”
“The wall became a literal fulcrum for US-Mexico relations and children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side.”
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One of the most incredible experiences of my and @vasfsf’s career bringing to life the conceptual drawings of the Teetertotter Wall from 2009 in an event filled with joy, excitement, and togetherness at the borderwall. The wall became a literal fulcrum for U.S. – Mexico relations and children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side. Amazing thanks to everyone who made this event possible like Omar Rios @colectivo.chopeke for collaborating with us, the guys at Taller Herrería in #CiudadJuarez for their fine craftsmanship, @anateresafernandez for encouragement and support, and everyone who showed up on both sides including the beautiful families from Colonia Anapra, and @kerrydoyle2010, @kateggreen , @ersela_kripa , @stphn_mllr , @wakawaffles, @chris_inabox and many others (you know who you are). #raelsanfratello #borderwallasarchitecture #teetertotterwall #seesaw #subibaja
This border is quite literally a dividing line between the United States and Mexico, but San Fratello sees it as “a place where people come together. We wanted to create scenarios that would celebrate togetherness. And also highlight the ridiculousness of the border wall.”
The entire project is a spot of brightness amid the grey desert and the area that is constantly linked to death, detention and political posturing.
People on social media loved the installation, and Mexican actor Mauricio Martinez tweeted that is was a “beautiful reminder that we are connected: what happens on one side impacts the other”.