New Mexico State University’s Art Museum announces a timely exhibit focused on social justice issues impacting the Las Cruces and El Paso Borderlands region. “Pasos Ajenos: Social Justice and Inequalities in the Borderlands” will be on display at the University Art Museum in July of 2021 in the Bunny Conlon Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery. This exhibit is motivated by current social crises and responds to the call for a deeper understanding of local history and complex relationships based on race, nationality, gender, and intersecting social statuses.
The exhibit was created by Dr. Dulcinea Lara and Dr. Nicholas Natividad, professors in NMSU’s new Borderlands and Ethnic Studies program. Their areas of expertise include Borderlands history, identity formation, and the study of race and racism. The exhibit designer is local artist, Mr. Daniel Aguilera. Aguilera is an Exhibits Fabricator at the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces.
“We hope this museum exhibit will facilitate much-needed dialogue about all the dehumanizing practices in the border region,” Natividad said. “We are at a critical moment in this country where we need to increase conversations on social justice and develop and build “re-humanizing” educational curricula. The exhibit and NMSU’s new Borderlands and Ethnic Studies program works to achieve both.”
Pasos Ajenos is an art exhibit that features educational installations designed to appeal to a wide audience, ranging from school children to elders, and is tailored to examine regional issues of justice and inequality as they pertain to identity, labor, environment, history, immigration, law, and faith. Due to Covid-19 conditions, the exhibit’s educational programming will be altered in accordance with public health parameters. See the UAM website for updates. https://uam.nmsu.edu/
“Ultimately, it’s time we start understanding and healing generational traumas associated with colonization, war, environmental damage, and assimilationist education. These phenomena have led to racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia in our beloved Borderlands communities,” Lara said.