Witnessed — Lost in the Desert Crossing the Mexico-United States Border
Narration by Taliesin Gilkes-Bower
Audio by Elphick Wo
Photos by Taliesin Gilkes-Bower
With the political rhetoric and mass media firestorm shaping, if not commanding the immigration debate in the United States, it’s easy to find oneself distant and apathetic to the very issue at hand—people going from one place to another.
In this Witnessed, photographer Taliesin Gilkes-Bower shares his experiences traveling along the Mexico-United States border producing his “Hard Stop: Along The Wall” photo series and accompanying Aguilas del Desierto (Eagles of the Desert), a San Diego-based non-profit that searches for lost or abandoned migrants crossing through the hostile deserts of California and Arizona hoping to cross an increasingly militarized border.
[She] was told that under the threat of death, she would be responsible for a 9-year old child that she was gonna bring across into the U.S.
— Taliesin, describing the experiences of a 22-year old woman from Guatemala after reaching the border
Despite conversations about building a wall, there's already 700 miles of border fence along that 2000 mile border.
They'll give them water and recommend they turn themselves in to Border Patrol. Because once you get lost in a landscape like that without water, it's highly unlikely you'll survive.
— Taliesin, describing a common course of action for Aguilas del Desierto volunteers
At around an hour before sunrise, they were up preparing for a full day of searching in the desert. They're up sunrise to sunset, Saturday and Sunday. Then they finish up their search and drive home to be at work on Monday.
— Taliesin, describing the working class men and women that make up the team of volunteers