4358 - The United States - México Border Wall and the Detritus of Modernity in Ambos Nogales (Arizona and Sonora)

Many archaeologists now seek to write histories of the present that engage and make visible the detritus of modernity. Following Benjamin, they study ruins as petrified lives that give us access to the destructive processes of modernity. An increasing devastation of people and of things characterizes the modern era and reveals itself in wreckage and ruins. This detritus weighs on the present and shapes the future. Archaeological examination of these ruins unveils what the modern power machine seeks to hide. The United States-México border wall is one material example of the wreckage of modernity. The wall has failed to create an impregnable border but rather has generated material debris. Contemporary ruins on both sides of the border in Ambos Nogales, Arizona and Sonora, exemplify the destruction both caused and hidden by the wall.

Keywords: Borders, material culture, modernity, Walter Benjamin,

Author: McGuire, Randall (Binghamton University, Ud States of Am / USA)


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