Hostile Terrain 94 Münster
All around the world and for many different reasons migrants seek to cross borders. A lot of border crossers are driven by the hope of reaching a place where they might find a job, security, a new home. Oftentimes, however, they do not survive the journey. The fortification of the Borderlands and fatal border politics, particularly in the United States, are at the core of the global participatory exhibition project “Hostile Terrain 94”.
The project draws attention to the state-sanctioned violence of the US border enforcement strategy “Prevention through Deterrence”. Since 1994, this strategy has instrumentalized the "hostile terrain" of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona as a natural deterrent against undocumented migrants. Thou-sands of migrants each year who seek to cross the border are left with no other option than to traverse the desert, a journey which spells death – by starvation, fatigue, frostbite, and brute force. In the ungrieving bureaucracy of state apparatuses, their deaths are reduced to deterrents and clinically recorded numbers.
"Hostile Terrain 94" seeks to transpose the statistical language of the US border regime into a community-based practice of remembering the individuals who lost their lives in the Sonoran Desert. Volunteers engage in the arduous task of manually filling out thousands of toe tags that represent the perished migrants in resistance to the silenced deaths happening in the Borderlands of the United States.
In 2020 and 2021, “Hostile Terrain 94” takes place in over 100 locations worldwide – including Münster.
Despite the lockdown, the project proceeded as planned and the exhibition could still be visited.
Where: Inner Courtyard of the Bible Museum, Johannisstraße 20, 48143 Münster & online (via Instagram livestream, lecture series, and Augmented Reality experience)
When: 18 - 29th January 2021, extended until 31th January 2021
Learn more about the background of the exhibition here.