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Forensic Empathy

Jose Figueroa, Omar Foglio, Paola Rodriguez
Jose Figueroa, Omar Foglio, Paola Rodriguez, Maite Zubiaurre, Jonathan Crisman

Family photos, cell phones, wallets, and worn-out shoes: these deeply personal belongings left behind in the Arizona Desert by migrants are the tangible evidence of the violation of human rights and deaths, thus a humanitarian crisis, along the US-Mexico Border. They reveal the reality of people who have left behind their families and countries in an attempt to cross a vast and harsh desert landscape that stands between them and the “American Dream”. These items point toward the migrants shared humanity with the medical examiners, forensic anthropologists, activists, and artists based in the Arizona Borderlands who empathetically engage with this crisis through a range of creative and professional work — most notably, responding to those who perish along their journey and must be identified and travel once again across international boundaries so they can be reunited with their families in death.