Synopsis: This project seeks to expose the ways in which different inhabitants of the Tijuana-San Diego border, be they transborder or not, experience and represent the space they occupy. The project also examines the complex processes of transborderization in the subjects.


The Use of Space and Its Relationship with the Border Experience:
The Tijuana-San Diego Border

This project starts from the idea that borders are not only geopolitical demarcations between two or more Nation States. Nor are they, According to David Newman, “the drawing of a line on a map or the construction of a fence in the physical landscape,” rather they are processes through which the notion of belonging, of difference, or of separation is built.1 Similarly, Georg Simmel states, “the border is not [only] a spatial fact with sociological consequences, but [it is also and above all] a sociological fact that is spatially formed.”2 These postulates emphasize the importance of understanding how the different social groups that inhabit the border region experience space and how, from these different experiences, space is redefined. Social experiences are thus emphasized in order to understand the construction and redefinition of space.

In that same sense, it can be said that the border is experienced in many different ways, depending on life conditions (sociocultural aspects) and legal conditions (nationality, visas, etc.). According to Norma Iglesias, to understand border dynamics, it is important not only to pay attention to the spatial aspect, but also to the borderisms (fronteridades), or the ways in which each individual, based on his/her identity, experiences the border. In other words, identity (as a process) marks the way we live and use space. It is possible to analyze identity, through identity marks, and these may be obvious (being a man or woman, child, or adult) or ambiguous (personal experiences). Depending on the identity marks, each subject will experience greater or lesser tensions, conflicts, and even contradictions. He or she may also develop greater or lesser capabilities to adapt, negotiate, or ignore the border as a geopolitical delimitation (demarcation of the Nation State).3 Identity marks, such as immigration status, nationality, gender, ethnicity, age, skin color, sexuality, social class, language, ideology, political views, ability and frequency of crossing the border, among other factors, define our border experience.

A series of records requested from six persons with contrasting profiles will be used to identify how space is experienced, as well as the meanings that these spaces have in their lives and the shaping of their identity. The records are: (a) mental map, (b) photo/diary (journal), and (c) mapping of daily routes. These records will capture the dialectical relationship between how space conditions the subjects, as well as the way in which the various subjects make up and redefine space.

1Newman, David. “The Lines that Continue to Separate Us: Borders in Our 'Borderless’ World”. Border Poetics De-Limited. Eds. Johan Schimanski & Stephen Wolfe. Hannover: Wehrhahn, 2007. P. 35. Traducción de la autora. “The process through which borders are demarcated and managed are central to the notion of border as process and border as institution. […] Demarcation is not simply the drawing of a line on a map or the construction of a fence in the physical landscape. It is the process through which borders are constructed and the categories of difference or separation created.”

2Simmel, Georg. “The Sociology of Space”. Trans. Mark Ritter & David Frisby. Simmel on Culture: Selected Writings. Eds. David Frisby & Mike Featherstone. Londres: Sage, 1997. P. 142. Traducción de la autora.

3Iglesias-Prieto, N. 2011. “Coming and Going: Transborder Visual Art in Tijuana.” In Rosana Blanco-Cano and Rita E. Urquijo-Ruiz (Editors), Global Mexican Cultural Productions. Palgrave-McMillan, New York. Pp.175-196.


eng / esp

1. Andrea Carrillo

Age: 27 years (1986)
Residing: Los Angeles, USA
Birthplace: Mexico D.F.
Profession: Graphic Designer

2. Iván Morales

Age: 26 years (1987)
Residing: San Diego, USA
Birthplace: Chula Vista, USA
Profession: Brewer/business owner

3. Sara Solomani

Age: 34 years (1980)
Residing: San Diego, USA
Birthplace: Iran
Profession: Graduate student

4. Derek Chinn

Age: 32 years (1982)
Residing: Tijuana BC, México
Birthplace: Ohio, USA
Profession: English professor