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Teeter-Totters at US-Mexico Border Allowed Children to Play Through Fence

By Gary Trock

Children from Mexico and the United States briefly joined forces over the weekend to participate in an art installation that was 10 years in the making.

Custom-built seesaws were placed on both sides of the steel border fence that separates the U.S. and Mexico at the border crossing in Sunland Park, New Mexico.


The installation of a "Teeter-Totter Wall" was made possible by Ronald Rael, an architecture professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Virginia San Fratello, an associate professor of design at San Jose State University.

In 2009 the two designed a concept for a binational seesaw, which was aimed at addressing the "humor and inventiveness to address the futility of building barriers."


Rael shared photos and video of the installation, and wrote that it was an event, "filled with joy, excitement, and togetherness at the borderwall."

The seesaw parts were pre-assembled and made to be installed quickly, using a fulcrum that was previously cut to sit on the fence between the two countries. The entire event lasted about 30 minutes and was a huge success.

Rael explained that, "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."

He also gave a shout out to the, "beautiful families from Colonia Anapra," which is a neighborhood slum in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

The two architects may not be done with the border wall, as they've also designed mock ups for an instrumental Xylophone Wall and a Burrito Wall, which would feature a grill against the fence and a counter for patrons to sit and eat on both sides.

Something tells us President Trump would have a better shot at getting more people behind the funding for his wall if it featured burritos.

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