wall of tags
Hostile Terrain 94
Hostile Terrain flyer

Join sites across Nebraska, on and off the University of Nebraska -Lincoln campus, for Hostile Terrain 94, an exhibit about the humanitarian crisis at the US-Mexico border and how it connects with Nebraska stories and communities.

Directed by UCLA anthropologist Jason De León, Hostile Terrain 94 (HT94) is a participatory art project sponsored and organized by the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP), a non-profit research-art-education-media collective. The exhibition is composed of ~3,200 handwritten toe tags that represent migrants who have died trying to cross the Sonoran Desert of Arizona between the mid-1990s and 2019. These tags are geolocated on a wall map of the desert showing the exact locations where remains were found.

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Exhibition Dates

Subject to change based on local health directives.

  • The Crib, Nebraska City Campus Union, Sept. 21-26
  • Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, Sept. 30-Oct 10
  • East Campus Union, The Loft Gallery, Oct. 13-17
  • International Quilt Museum, Oct. 20-24
  • Amplify Arts Gallery, Omaha (with OLLAS, UNO), Nov. 5-29
people viewing wall exhibit

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Activities

Witnessing & Remembrance Participatory Workshops

One of the innovative aspects of the Hostile Terrain 94 project is its participatory nature. The Witnessing & Remembrance Workshops commemorate and advocate for the migrants who have died trying to cross the Sonoran Desert of Arizona between 1994 and 2019. Through this participatory activity, by writing the names of those who have died on toe-tags, we remember that these migrants are not just data on a sheet of paper or dots on a map. We come together in the toe-tag inscription workshops to bear witness to this humanitarian crisis at our border. After completion of the 3200 toe-tags that make up the exhibition, the tags are pinned to the exhibition "map," consisting of quilted textile panels offering a gesture of solace and comfort to those whose lives were lost. Within the past three weeks, our partners and volunteers organized and participated in over 20 Witnessing & Remembrance workshops. All of the 3200 toe-tags have been inscribed! Thank you!

A Moment of Global Remembrance

Join the HT94 call for volunteers to read names of the deceased on film for a video called “A Moment of Global Remembrance." Email hostileterrain94@gmail.com with the subject line “HT94 Video Compilation” and include your name and location* in the body of the email. If you would prefer to keep your identity anonymous this name and location are optional. Audio-only recordings are also accepted.

Our Partners and Sponsors

  • Department of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design, UNL
  • Institute for Ethnic Studies, UNL
  • Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, UNL
  • Department of Classics and Religious Studies, UNL
  • Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education, UNL
  • School of Global Integrative Studies, UNL
  • Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, UNL
  • International Quilt Museum, UNL
  • Latino Research Initiative, Institute of Ethnic Studies, UNL
  • Robert J. Kutak Center for the Teaching and Study of Applied Ethics, UNL
  • Office of Latino/Latin American Studies, UNO
  • College of Law, UNL
  • Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services (OASIS), UNL
  • Honors Program Student Advisory Board, UNL
  • UNL Faculty Senate Convocations Committee
  • Humanities Nebraska
  • First Plymouth Church
  • College of Arts & Sciences IDEA Committee, UNL
  • Office of Diversity and Inclusion, UNL

Organizers

Claire Nicholas - Dept. of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design
Jonathan Gregory - International Quilt Museum
Effie Athanassopoulos - Anthropology/Classics, School of Global Integrative Studies

Social Media: Adria Sanchez-Chaidez - Dept. of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design
Website: Brooke Adam - School of Global Integrative Studies

Organizing Committee

James Garza - Dept. of History and Institute of Ethnic Studies
Cristián Doña-Reveco - Sociology and Office of Latino/Latin American Studies, UNO
Ted Hamann - Dept. of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education
Courtney Hillebrecht - Dept. of Political Science and Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights & Humanitarian Affairs
Emira Ibrahimpasic - Global Studies, School of Global Integrative Studies
Julia Reilly - Global Studies, School of Global Integrative Studies
Adam Thompson - Robert J. Kutak Center for the Teaching and Study of Applied Ethics
Loukia Sarroub - Dept. of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education