Border Film Project. Photo by migrants and minutemen on the U.S. Mexico border.

Three friends who had recently travelled the U.S. Mexico border whilst filming to document the issue of illegal immigration started this photography project in 2005. They came up with the idea to document the border through the eyes of the people who were actually there on the line to show the issue of illegal immigration in a new light.

They did this by giving disposable cameras to migrants and the minutemen trying to stop them with instructions to post them back.

To date, they have received 73 cameras — 38 from migrants and 35 from Minutemen — with nearly 2,000 pictures in total. They believe that the pictures show “the human face of immigration, and they challenge us to question our stereotypes and to see through new and personal lenses”. When put together in the book ‘The Border Film Project’ the images document the area from two different perspectives, revealing facets of the dispute previously unavailable to the public: men hopping fences, riding trucks, and sleeping in the desert.

This book interested me not because of the issue they are photographing but actually the way that they went about getting these images. I think it was a really good idea sending disposable cameras to the very people this issue affects and getting images from their point of view. This got me thinking about my project that I’m doing with dyslexic students. Instead of me photographing the students and asking their stories about being dyslexic what would happen if I gave them a disposable camera and ask them to take photographs on being dyslexic? I think this is a question that I would like to follow and see what outcomes I will get.

 

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