Bleeding Edges : Border Costs

Talk & Reception w/ John Mraz, Curator and Jaime Storey

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Bleeding Edges : Border Costs

Artist in Residence w/ Levi Bentley, Lead Artist

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Fall 2018

Introduction

A history, current reckoning, and dreaming forward of the limits and possibilities of political boundaries. Just as a single human is taken to be a closed sovereign unit that is nonetheless socially and environmentally co-constituted; states and their political boundaries are historically specific, interdependent, shifting. Territorial borders and the boundaries of citizenship are therefore open for debate and re-negotiation. As political thinkers, we often collapse identity, citizenship, and political realities into monolithic categories while ignoring specific histories and their complexity.

‘Bleeding Edges: Border Costs’ engages with histories of entanglement between the United States and Mexico, focusing on our shared labor histories and subsequent patterns of labor migration. We will look at legal work being done to defend human rights in the breach of current policies and try to understand current possibilities for solidarity amidst the “global mood” of increasing xenophobia. We will then strive to imagine possible futures. What would it mean for boundaries to prioritize the simultaneous well-being of a variety of individuals; citizens, migrants, “guest” workers, refugees of all stripes? How could they serve the most vulnerable and various peoples of multiple states; individuals from a wide variety of racial, and economic, backgrounds, with a variety of identities and relationships to ability, with varied political and social concerns? What would the best practices of such an orientation look like?

This project was active during Fall 2018, in addition to a significant planning phase preceding the active semester as well as a follow up once the semester had concluded.

Collaborators

Lead Artist

Levi Bentley organizes the reading series Housework and edits the journal Boneless Skinless, featuring work by Housework participants. A chapbook of poems “Bucolic Eclogue” was released from Lamehouse Press in July 2016. Levi has worked in publishing for a variety of clients including Copper Canyon, Ugly Duckling Presse, LUMA Foundation, and Jacket2 reissues at Kelly Writers House. They live in Philadelphia. // Chapbooks “Obstacle, Particle, Spectacle”, “&parts”, and “Stub Wilderness” were released from 89plus Luma Foundation, Damask Press, and Well Greased Press, respectively. Vitrine released a tape of sounds labeled “Red Green Blue”. Poems have appeared in 491, Apiary, Bedfellows, BlazeVOX, Boog City, Elective Affinities, Fact-Simile, Gigantic Sequins, No Infinite, Maestra Vida, Magic Pictures, Painted Bride Quarterly, Small Po[r]tions, Stillwater Review, Tinge and Truck. ​

General Counsel

Justice at Work

Justice at Work is a multilingual legal nonprofit founded solely to support organizations of workers in low-paying jobs. We envision a future in which all workers have the power to ensure safe and healthy conditions, fair wages, and dignity and respect.

Professor of History

Haverford College

My research focuses on problems of historiography and representation, religious history, and visual culture. Currently, I am engaged in two book length research efforts. The first, tentatively titled “The Benedictines, Slavery and the History of Colonial Brazil,” uses material culture including religious art and architecture to explore the Benedictine religious order in the Portuguese colonial world, from late medieval times through the late nineteenth century abolition of slavery in Brazil. The second, co-authored with my colleague David Watt, examines the life and times of the Quaker scholar and activist Henry Cadbury, one of the early twentieth century co-founders of the American Friends Service Committee. Previous publications include my first book, Rereading the Conquest: Power, Politics and the History of Early Colonial Michoacán (Pennsylvania State Unviersity Press, 2001). This book combined literary theory and historical research to analyze the origins and transformation over time of a specific conquest narrative. It was selected for the Association of University Presses’ Books for Understanding: Mexico Book List. My second book, Paul Strand in Mexico,1932-34 (Aperture, 2010) utilized photography and film to examine social and cultural history in twentieth century Mexico. As part of this project I served as co-curator for a photography exhibition appearing at several locations including the Aperture Gallery in New York (http://www.aperture.org/gallery). Reviews of the exhibit from a variety of perspectives can be found at artdaily.com and the Wall Street Journal.

Associate Professor of Political Science

Haverford College

Paulina Ochoa Espejo is an Associate Professor of Political Science. She works at the intersection of democratic theory and the history of political thought, and she is interested in questions about popular sovereignty and borders. She has written about populism, the boundaries of the demos, immigration and the right to exclude, the relation between democracy and territorial rights, the moral relevance of borders and border control. She is also interested in Latin American Political Thought. // Before joining the faculty at Haverford College, she was an Assistant Professor at Yale University, and a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellow at the University Center for Human Values, Princeton University. She has been visiting professor at CIDE in Mexico City, and a Carey Postdoctoral Fellow at the Erasmus Institute in the University of Notre Dame.

Events

Justice at Work: Arthur Read, General Counsel

Non-Profit Partner

990 Spring Garden Street, Suite 300, Philadelphia, PA

Justice at Work (formerly Friends of Farmworkers) supports low-wage workers as they pursue economic and social justice. We do this through the provision of Legal Services, Education, and Advocacy.
 
We advance our mission by providing  free legal representation  on employment-related issues to eligible workers. We also provide  community education  on legal rights for migrant and immigrant workers throughout the Commonwealth.
 
We serve  communities of workers that  include workers in industries that rely heavily on seasonal foreign guest workers brought in under H-2B visas, who often return to work for the same Pennsylvania employers year after year. We also provide legal assistance to income-eligible worker organizations.
 
For over 30  years, FOF has provided direct legal assistance to thousands of individuals and improved the living and working conditions of a much larger number through advocacy and  impact litigation, including representation of groups of workers and class action litigation.
Image Credit: Justice at Work/Friends of Farmworkers

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Levi Bentley, Lead Artist

Artist in Residence

Levi Bentley lives in Philadelphia and works in a variety of media including design, poetry, installation, publishing, etc.

The image above is the cover of their project Boneless Skinless edited in collaboration with Jonathan Hamilton and released in February 2017. Contributors include Brandon Holmquest, Brandon Kelley, CAConrad, Jai Arun Ravine, Jay Besemer, Jooyhun Kim, Raquel Salas Rivera, Ryan Eckes. Follow this link to purchase Boneless Skinless.
Image Credit: Levi Bentley

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Doing History with Modern Media w/ John Mraz, Curator

Presentation & Discussion

9.11

6-7:30pm, VCAM, Haverford College

Join curator, author, director and historian John Mraz for a workshop that suggests ways of thinking about and doing history given the influence of new medias and technologies. Dinner provided-seating is limited.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Bursese

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"Braceros: Photographed by the Hermanos Mayo" Exhibition

Talk & Reception

9.12

4:30-6:30pm, VCAM, Haverford College

BRACEROS
Photographed by the Hermanos Mayo
4:30-5:30 pm Talk with Curator John Mraz and Author Jaime Velez Storey (from Mexico City) VCAM Screening Room 001
5:30-6:30 pm Reception, VCAM Create Space 006
Light refreshments provided
Exhibition Runs: September 4 – 24, 2018
Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm

A specter is haunting the world – the specter of immigration. In this exhibit, we explore the experience of emigrating, as it was rendered by photographers who had also been uprooted. Today, as waves of migrations hurl themselves on the coasts and borders of the world, it seems appropriate to reflect on the Mexican braceros who were recruited to fill the boots of those US soldiers who had gone to fight fascism in the Second World War. Under the “Bracero Program, 1942-1964,” Mexicans were legally contracted to work in the USA as temporary unskilled laborers. We have chosen to tell this story through photographs made by other emigrants, Spanish refugees from that country’s Civil War (1936-1939), who — though they left their country for different reasons –nonetheless bring the particular gaze of emigrants to this task.

LOS BRACEROS
Fotografiados por los Hermanos Mayo
Curador: John Mraz
Un fantasma recorre el mundo: el fantasma de la inmigración. En esta exposición exploramos la experiencia de emigrar y la mostramos con imágenes hechas por unos transterrados. Hoy en día, mientras oleadas de migraciones
arrojan sus cargas humanas sobre las costas y las fronteras de todo el mundo, nos parece apropiado reflexionar sobre los braceros que fueron reclutados para reemplazar a los soldados norteamericanos que se habían ido a luchar contra el fascismo durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Con el “Programa Bracero” de 1942-1964, los mexicanos fueron legalmente contratados por los Estados Unidos como trabajadores temporales no calificados. Hemos elegido contar esta historia mediante las fotografías de otros migrantes –refugiados españoles de la Guerra Civil Española (1936-1939) — que tuvieron que dejar su patria por razones distintas.
Photo Credit: Haverford College Communications

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Borders, Immigration, and Citizenship & Visions of Mexico Course Visits w/ Levi Bentley, Lead Artist

Poetry Workshop

Multiple

1:30-4:00pm, VCAM & Hilles Hall, Haverford College

Lead artist Levi Bentley visited Paulina Ochoa’s course “Borders, Immigration, and Citizenship” and professor Jim Krippner’s “Topics in Latin American History: Visions of Mexico” multiple times throughout the semester.

Before the semester began, Bentley, Krippner, and Ochoa co-designed these workshops to give the students an additional way to process the complicated sociopolitical information they would be learning in both courses. Personal copies of all the books required for both courses were ordered for Levi and they read the assigned readings along with the students. In both courses, the writing assignments had more technical or structured guidelines. In conjunction with these assignments, developed by the collaborators to provide an alternate mode of expression, Levi would pose a weekly creative writing prompt. Their prompts gave students a space to think, write, and respond creatively, and during these workshops, Levi would respond to what the students wrote as well as how to write, read, and interpret poetry of all kinds.
Image Credit: Levi Bentley

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Open Lunch w/ Arthur Read, General Counsel, Justice at Work

Lunch & Discussion

9.14

12-2:00pm, VCAM, Haverford College

During this informal lunch conversation, members of the Haverford community had a chance to casually mingle, eat, and chat with Arthur Read, General Counsel at Justice at Work, our lead non-profit partner. In addition, John Mraz, curator and co-author of Uprooted: Braceros in the Hermanos Mayos Lens, as well as author Jaime Storey, were visiting from South America and were able to join the discussion.
Photo Credit: Haverford College Communications

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21st Century Models of Social Responsibility: Roles for Workers, Corporations, and Consumers

Symposium

11.8 -11.9

Multiple Times, Haverford College

This symposium, which tackles the concept of social responsibility in the context of a market economy in the 21st century, brought together organizations harnessing market mechanisms to effect change and move the market to produce the outcomes the society wants.

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Holding Goliath Accountable

Introduction & Keynote Address

11.8

4:15-6:00pm, Stokes Building, Haverford College

Holding Goliath Accountable talk (by Lucas Benitez, Co-Founder of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers; and Noelle Damico, Senior Fellow, National Social Economic Rights Initiative) opened the symposium focusing on how farmworkers and consumers have used market power of multi-billion-dollar food brands to achieve unprecedented human rights advances in US agriculture and a new paradigm for social responsibility.
Photo Credit: Haverford College Communications

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Harvest without Violence

Reception & Exhibition

11.8

6:00-6:30pm, Dining Center, Haverford College

Harvest without Violence is a mobile museum on sexual violence in agriculture and the Fair Food Program. 4 out of 5 women farmworkers have experienced sexual harassment or assault in US Agriculture. Ximena Pedroza’s, from Student/Farmworker Alliance, did a talk about the farmworker-designed program that’s stopping it.
Photo Credit: Haverford College Communications

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Workshop I: Organizing for Sustainable, Systemic Change

Workshop

11.9

9:30-11:00am, VCAM, Haverford College

A workshop on how the The Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Alliance for Fair Food used a human-rights approach to organizing that united hundreds of thousands of people to make the impossible, possible. Students looked at why this approach, gleaned from people’s movements in Mexico, Guatemala, and Haiti has been so successful in creating sustainable, systematic change that delivers results while catalyzing democratic practices. The workshop included a special focus on the power of student organizing and the crucial role students are playing in the movement for Fair Food.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Bursese

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21st Century Social Responsibility

Panel Discussion

11.9

12:30-2:00pm, VCAM, Haverford College

The last 50 years have seen the emergence of massive private corporations with economic power far greater than that of many states and with the responsibility born of that power to protect the communities in which they operate, the environments with which they interact and the human rights of workers toiling in their vast, global supply chains. The panel discussed models and approaches to social responsibility including standards development, monitoring, enforcement, and certification. It examined the role of consumers and investors in these approaches to social responsibility and the results achieved.
Photo Credit: Haverford College Communications

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Workshop II: The Power of Art and Symbolism in Social Movement

Workshop

11.9

2:30-4:00pm, VCAM, Haverford College

In this workshop students explored how the Coalition of Immokalee Workers used everyday objects that were emblematic of their exploitation – soiled clothing, worn-out shoes – to center powerful direct actions that made a direct and impossible to ignore the demand for corporate executives to recognize farmworkers’ humanity. They looked at how CIW repurposed iconic symbols such as the Statue of Liberty to capture their quest for equality and justice in America. They examined how CIW used what’s come to be known as “brand busting” to reposition exploitation in the minds of consumers who heard or saw corporate taglines and logos.
Photo Credit: Haverford College Communications

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Philadelphia’s &More (Donn T & Chill Moody)

Concert

11.9

8:00-9:30pm, VCAM, Haverford College

Chill Moody’s thought-provoking lyrics, and Donn T’s smooth vocals as this new duo and their band brought their special rap/alt R&B sound to the VCAM with a strong focus on community and justice in their songs.
Photo Credit: Haverford College Communications

Read more about &MORE.

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Bleeding Edges Share Out

Presentation & Discussion

12.11

VCAM, Haverford College

In this culminating event, both classes convened to share thoughts and process the connections that the students made over the course of the semester. both PACC classes met together with lead artist Levi Bentley, General Counsel of Justice at Work, Arthur Read, and their professors Paulina Ochoa and James Krippner.

Together with the lead artist Levi Bentley, and lead non-profit partner Arthur Read from Justice at Work, the large group of co-mingled students split in half and gathered at tables set on opposite sides of the room. With Bentley at one table and Read at the other, the collaborators asked the students about their experiences. Bentley and Read then switched tables so everyone in the room could have time to share their perspective within a smaller group.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Bursese

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Archive

Reference

Levi Bentley
Justice at Work

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