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Under the Shadow of the Wall

Taylor Genovese
United States, 2022, 9 min.

In English.
Includes adult language.

This video essay focuses on the landscapes of the Sonoran Desert—and the project of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico—as a way of investigating the manner in which something as seemingly generic as a wall can take on particular political and affective forms. This short provocation explores the ways that violent and distasteful objects create, and subsequently come to characterize, malevolent spectacles.

Director's Statement

I initially wanted to put together a photo essay that would document the border wall at the tail-end of the Trump era, but after seeing it in person, I knew that a film was necessary. In a way, this film exists as my bittersweet goodbye to the Sonoran Desert—a uniquely gorgeous environment that I have witnessed being disemboweled by real estate developers, mining corporations, and energy executives over the course of my 36 years here. This summer, I’ll be moving, leaving behind the place where I was born and grew up. In many inescapable ways, I will always be a desert rat, but this is not the same place I trekked through as a child. It isn’t the same magnificent desolation that I explored as a teenager. It isn’t the setting of raw vivacity I would, as an adult, frequently pitch a tent inside of and just stand in awe. But it could be. As my mentor David Graeber used to say: “The ultimate, hidden truth of the world is that it is something that we make, and could just as easily make differently.”

Category: Short Doc.

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