Children are the ones that display great true affection not being aware of the existing borders, politics, rules and differences. They show incredible humanity and have the ability to change the world on a daily basis. Children know nothing about rules, borders, differences, and politics.
Unfortunately, we are still living in the world divided with borders and walls, but the children are the same everywhere showing same interests and emotions. The US-Mexico border is that place where the division is visibly seen and the children from both sides cannot fully understand it. Therefore, Ronald Rael, an architecture professor at UC Berkeley, and Virginia San Fratello, an interior design professor at San Jose State University had a dream of making a place for the children of both sides to play together not being burdened with the current politics. Their dream came true after a decade and the children on both sides can play together on an innovative set of pink seesaws.
Ronald Rael has posted a video of the project on Instagram, and described it as “one of the most incredible experiences of my and [San Fratello’s] career, bringing to life the conceptual drawings of the Teetertotter Wall from 2009 in an event filled with joy, excitement, and togetherness at the border wall.”
“The wall became a literal fulcrum for US-Mexico relations and children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side.”
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One of the most incredible experiences of my and @vasfsf’s career bringing to life the conceptual drawings of the Teetertotter Wall from 2009 in an event filled with joy, excitement, and togetherness at the borderwall. The wall became a literal fulcrum for U.S. – Mexico relations and children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side. Amazing thanks to everyone who made this event possible like Omar Rios @colectivo.chopeke for collaborating with us, the guys at Taller Herrería in #CiudadJuarez for their fine craftsmanship, @anateresafernandez for encouragement and support, and everyone who showed up on both sides including the beautiful families from Colonia Anapra, and @kerrydoyle2010, @kateggreen , @ersela_kripa , @stphn_mllr , @wakawaffles, @chris_inabox and many others (you know who you are). #raelsanfratello #borderwallasarchitecture #teetertotterwall #seesaw #subibaja
Although the border and now the wall is a dividing line between the United States and Mexico, San Fratello perceives it as “a place where people come together. We wanted to create scenarios that would celebrate togetherness. And also highlight the ridiculousness of the border wall.”
This project is a new beacon of hope and the lightness in the gloomy desert that is persistently linked to political posturing, detention, and death.
The installation was posted on social media and the response was huge many people liking it and approving it. The Mexican actor Mauricio Martinez tweeted that it is a “beautiful reminder that we are connected: what happens on one side impacts the other”.