Border Film Project is a collaborative art project giving disposable cameras to two groups on different sides of the border: undocumented migrants crossing the desert into the United States, and American Minutemen trying to stop them. To date, we have received 73 cameras — 38 from migrants and 35 from Minutemen — with nearly 2,000 pictures in total. The pictures show the human face of immigration, and they challenge us to question our stereotypes and to see through new and personal lenses.
To recruit migrant photographers, we visited migrant shelters and other humanitarian organizations on the Mexican side of the border. In the busiest areas, these shelters housed dozens of migrants every night, providing them dinner, a place to sleep, and sometimes clothes and medicine for the journey. We met the migrants in groups and told them about the project. Since many had never used cameras before, we also became impromptu photography teachers—pointing out the flash and film wheel and teaching them how to aim through the viewfinder.