Elliot Ross and Genevieve Allison, American Backyard
220 people pledged $19,184 to support this project on Kickstarter.
Migrant workers, border patrol, Native reservations, schools, gas stations, and sand—these are just a few of the people, places, and things photographer Elliot Ross and writer and artist Genevieve Allison captured during their Herculean 2017 project to drive the entire length of the U.S.–Mexico border.
With the help of 220 backers and the independent publisher Gnomic Book, Ross and Allison were able to tell a more nuanced story than the 2016 U.S. election could offer: a story of inequality, surveillance, diversity, and compassion. The resulting book, American Backyard, asks many questions—chief among them who actually lives on the border, and how do they actually feel about the wall?
“Diagnosing pro or anti-wall sentiments was futile,” Allison notes, “because no matter if they were Trump supporters or anti-NAFTA, we couldn’t find any voices who were solemnly pro-wall.” Ross adds, “In an environment where the movement of both people and goods is vigilantly regulated, examined, and controlled—and where federal laws regularly don’t apply—questions of social injustice and discrimination are matters of resounding consequence.”