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Giant portrait of toddler peers over US-Mexico border wall

Giant portrait of toddler peers over US-Mexico border wall

TECATE: A photo of a giant toddler stands in Mexico and peers over a steel wall dividing the country from the United States.

The boy appears to grip the barrier with his fingers, leaving the impression the entire thing could be toppled with a giggle.

A French artist who goes by the moniker “JR” erected the cut-out of the boy that stands nearly 65 feet tall and is meant to prompt discussion of immigration.

On Friday, a steady stream of people drove to the remote section of wall near the Tecate border crossing, about 64 kilometres southeast of San Diego. Border Patrol agents warned visitors to keep the dirt road clear for their patrols and not pass anything through the fence.

Elmond Davantes, a software developer from Carlsbad, California, took photos from the US side.




“It’s larger than life,” he said. “It just draws attention to the whole issue in a positive way.” On the Mexican side, families scrambled down a scrubby hillside to take selfies with the artwork. Children in school uniforms played tag under the scaffolding supporting the photo. People on each side of the wall waved to each other.

Salma Montoya, 18, a student in Tecate said her town is abuzz about it.

“It’s beautiful,” she said.

JR has done other large-scale portraits around the world, with much of his recent work focused on immigrants. He told reporters at Wednesday’s unveiling of the portrait that he was spurred by a dream in which he imagined a kid looking over the border wall.

“And when I woke up, I wondered: ‘What was he thinking?’” he said. “Like for us we know all the implications, what it represents, how it divides, but for a kid, I didn’t have the answer.”

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2017

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