Crossing Over – A Floating Intervention
Art at the International Bridge
Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros, Mexico
May 24, 2009
Artist Susan Harbage Page sponsored by Galeria 409 of Brownsville, Texas held a community art intervention/happening using children’s inner tubes to make a floating bridge between Mexico and the United States in protest of the border wall scheduled to be built in downtown Brownsville. Community members on both sides of the International Bridge between Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros, Mexico inflated inner tubes and tied them together end to end to form the bridge. Harbage Page swam a line of inner tubes to the middle of the Rio Grande from the Mexican side of the river where she was met by David Freeman with a line of inner tubes from the U.S. side. She symbolically tied them together linking both sides of the border.
Participants also set up a Welcome Station for immigrants swimming across the border with running and swimming trophies and medals to commemorate the illegal crossings that take place in the area. Part of the event was a reclamation of borderlands along the river which traditionally are used only by members of the Border Patrol but could be the site of recreational areas such as River walks in San Antonio, Texas and Wilmington, North Carolina. A photograph of an earlier boardwalk in Brownsville can be found at the Historic Brownsville Museum.
Thanks to everyone who participated especially Betty Clark, Mark Clark, David Freeman, Lee Basham.
Special thanks to David Freeman for sharing his photos of the event. Photos below were made by David Freeman and Susan Harbage Page.