Scott Nicol, a Professor of Art at South Texas College and a founder of the No Border Wall group (http://notexasborderwall.com/) , is one of the most knowledgeable critics of the border wall. We (Miguel and Scott) recently went to photograph the border wall near the town of Progreso Lakes, a tiny town of roughly 250 that surrounds two small lakes. The town is located near the Progreso Bridge. Behind the border wall, on the southern side, are conservation areas managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. We passed through one of the gaps in the wall to take pictures of the area. We were almost immediately approached by border patrol agents who asked what we were doing in the area. Indeed, it is ambiguous whether or not we were permitted to be on the south side of the wall even though we are technically still on U.S. soil. While the border patrol agents were professional, asking why we were taking photographs, etc., the ambiguity of access to the southern side of the wall was disconcerting. (On a side note: Margaret and Miguel have been stopped from crossing through gaps because, border patrol agents told us, we were entering private property. We only put up a mild argument that we were on county roads.)
Scott Nicol took the following photographs of the wall at Progreso Lakes.
When we drove further back into the conservation area we came across an inner-tube that was tangled in a tree. Scott has used inner-tubes in some of his art/activist pieces. I shot the following photograph of Scott taking down the inner-tube.
In one of Scott Nicol’s more activist works he used an inner-tube that he found along the Rio Grande River, apparently used by an undocumented immigrant to come into the United States, to comment on U.S. border policy. Scott was kind enough to provide a photograph of this piece which has been displayed at a Brownsville art gallery.