Imagine a world without borders. For a brief moment yesterday in Tecate, Mexico, that is what it felt like for many who simply had a meal together. The group gathered on the Mexican-American border for the last day of the massive art installation by French artist JR that has a little boy looking over the Mexican border wall into the United States.
This graphic piece, titled “Kikito” – the name of the boy – can be regarded as a symbol of peace and innocence in the debate of immigration.
“Each time I’ve seen walls that have caught my attention, or that I’ve heard about a lot in the media, they would stick in my mind,” JR told the New Yorker. “I would even dream about it. When Trump started to talk a lot about a wall along the Mexican border, one day I woke up and I saw a kid looking over the wall. I was wondering, What is this kid thinking? What would any kid think? We know that a one-year-old doesn’t have a political vision, or any political point of view. He doesn’t see walls as we see them.”
Yesterday was the last day of that beautiful installation, so JR and others decided to have a feast. A kind of communal picnic that is so powerful, it broke down borders.
“GIANT PICNIC at the border today in Tecate … people eating the same food, sharing the same water, enjoying the same music (half of the band on each side) around the eye of a dreamer … we forgot the wall for a minute …” JR tweeted.
GIANT PICNIC at the border today in Tecate … around the eye of a dreamer … we forgot the wall for a minute … pic.twitter.com/ECpRmUNFLl
— JR (@JRart) October 8, 2017
The sight of this gathering is so stunning for a variety of reasons, but one of them is the idea that peace between two countries that is being forced to be divided is possible.
As hokey as it may sound, art, music, and food brings people together, even if a border keeps them apart.