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DESERT EXPOSURE

SEPTEMBER 2018 • 11

ARTS EXPOSURE

The Roads Most Traveled

By the Book

Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist shares experience documenting human migration

A

fter almost four decades working along the U.S./ Mexico border, Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Don Bartletti believes migration for survival is as old as humanity, unstoppable as the wind and frequently misunderstood. In his one-hour illustrated lecture he details how he photographed courage, fear, joy, hate, hope and heartbreak on both sides of this political boundary.  The New Mexico Humanities Council is hosting Bartletti’s presentation of “The Road Most Traveled: Causes and Consequences of Illegal Immigration” in Las Cruces on Oct. 30. The event is free to the public.   Like a visual anthropologist Bartletti takes his audience through 38 years and 1,200-miles of the border fence.  In 1979 it’s little more than barbed wire pounded into the mud by thousands of feet; in the mid-80s it looks like a schoolyard barrier with countless hands clinging to the chain links.  By the turn of the 21st Century it’s a two-story bar-

rier topped with coiled razor wire between Tijuana and San Ysidro. On the east side of the Colorado River, it’s a 12-foothigh steel plate that extends arrow straight across miles and miles of the vast Sonoran Desert.  Along the winding Rio Grande River in Texas the steel pickets occasionally take a shortcut, putting some ranches and homes on the south side of the fence. Bartletti is unapologetic about his success as a documentary photojournalist. “It took a great amount of research, an exhausting amount of time and a fair amount of luck,” he said. “The easy part was being honest and ethical.”  On the U.S. side of the border, deportation, nativist backlash and protests large and small are fodder for pundits, politicians and your neighbors.  Bartletti’s narration of his photographs is mercifully devoid of spin about America’s most politically charged debate. He keeps us clearly focused on what he witnessed in real time.   “Ethical reporting with a

camera organizes the chaos of life,” Bartletti said. “The hard won right to visually document our democracy in all its grandeur and intimacy creates the real time evidence we need for contemporary reflection and historical preservation.” In 2003, his six-part photo essay in the Los Angeles Times, “Enrique’s Journey,” was awarded a Pulitzer for Feature Photography. Bartletti was the first U.S. photojournalist to document the ongoing Central American diaspora of children clinging to freight trains and their dreams of crossing into the U.S. Bartletti retired from the Los Angeles Times in late 2015. He is a guest lecturer and teacher at universities, high schools and civic organizations in the U.S. and Mexico.  His photographs have been exhibited in museums internationally and are published in books and scholarly studies. For details about Don Bartletti’s program, visit www. nmhumanities.org or call 505633-7374.

PRADO

Don Bartletti‘s 6-part photo essay “Enrique’s Journey” was awarded a Pulitzer for Feature Photography. He was one of the first photojournalists to document the ongoing Central American diaspora of children clinging to freight trains and their dreams of crossing into the U.S. Success came only to the brave and the lucky. Selections from “Enrique’s Journey” can be found at www.pulitzer. org/winners/don-bartletti. A book of some of Bartletti’s work, “Between Two Worlds: The People of the Border” was published in 1992 and is still available on line.

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continued from page 10 the Spanish Royal collection. The Prado in Las Cruces is an educational outdoor exhibit displaying 92 masterpieces from the Prado Museum’s collection, photographically reproduced at a 1:1 scale. The collection features artwork of Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Goya, Titian, Rubens, and El Greco among others. The exhibit was listed as one of USA Today’s “Top 25 Must-See Exhibits in

2017.” The outdoor location and free admission allow this traveling exhibit to expose art to new audiences of a variety of demographics while continuing the Prado’s tradition of supporting cultural preservation and the advancement of historical knowledge and art to the people. The City encourages viewers to stop, admire, and reflect on what they see.

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Join Us Saturday, September 1st 3 - 6pm to meet the Photographer Tom Boblett and check out his collection

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Desert Exposure - September 2018  
Desert Exposure - September 2018