Call for Volunteers: Hostile Terrain 94

Toe-tags with information about deceased persons
This close-up of the Hostile Terrain 94 installation shows the toe-tags that mark the locations where individuals’ bodies were found.

The Kenan Institute for Ethics invites volunteers from the Duke and Durham community to participate in an art installation project the memorializes the 3200 people who died attempting to cross the US-Mexico border between the mid-1990s and 2019.

This installation, Hostile Terrain 94, is conceptualized by the Undocumented Migration Project. It will be simultaneously installed at more than a hundred institutions across the United States and globe.

In small groups of 15 people, volunteers will fill out toe-tags for the individual victims. Once 1600 toe-tags are filled out, groups of five people will then install the toe-tags on a temporary map on the wall of the exhibition space, making visible the human cost of the United States’ “prevention through deterrence” policy.

A number of 45-minute and 60-minute volunteer slots are open from March 16 to April 20. Jose Ortega-Estrada, Stephen & Bear Postgraduate Fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, will lead these volunteer sessions.

“My hope is that this project will help individuals emotionally connect with the information on the tags, memorialize and stand in solidarity with these lost lives, and spark conversations of the root causes behind migration,” said Ortega-Estrada.

To sign up for a volunteer slot, please visit this page.