Make. Act. Resist: A Teach-In on Borders and Migration

Make. Act. Resist. A symposium organized by Irene Cheng, Jose A. Brunner and Kim Anno.
October 12–26, 2020

Made possible by generous support from Creative Citizens in Action, the Architecture Division, the President’s Diversity Steering Group, the Film Program, and the CCA Libraries.

Over the last four years, artists and designers have deployed their skills to oppose Trump’s anti-immigrant and nationalist rhetoric through critical artistic projects that build cross-border alliances and give voice to migrant experiences. This virtual teach-in will focus on art and design practices that address the politics of borders and migration. The aim of the “teach-in” is to simultaneously mobilize the CCA community while making scholarship and art public and outward facing.


Monday, October 12, 2020, 6pm–8pm

Screening of The Infiltrators, a film by Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra

Introduction by Nilgun Bayraktar. Post Screening discussion moderated by Nilgun Bayraktar and Jeanne C. Finley.

The Infiltrators is a docu-thriller that tells the true story of young immigrants who intentionally get arrested by Border Patrol, so they will be placed in a shadowy for-profit detention center where they can support immigrants who are threatened with deportation.  Marco and Viri are members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group of radical Dreamers who are on a mission to stop deportations. And the best place to stop deportations, they believe, is in detention.  However, when Marco and Viri try to pull off their heist – a kind of ‘prison break’ in reverse – things don’t go according to plan. By weaving together documentary footage of the real infiltrators with scripted re-enactments of the events inside the detention center, The Infiltrators tells the story of these courageous activists in boundary-crossing cinematic language.  The Hollywood Reporter said of the multiple award-winning film “rather than feeling like homework, watching it is a thrill.”


Monday, October 19, 2020, 6pm–7:30pm, streaming live on Zoom at this link

Keynote lecture by Sarah Lopez 

Sarah Lopez is a built environment historian, as well as a migration scholar. Lopez’ research focuses on the impact of migrant remittances—dollars earned in the U.S. and sent to families and communities in Mexico—on the architecture and landscape of rural Mexico and urban USA. By approaching architectural history within the context of migration, Lopez examines multiple sites across international borders, arguing that we must examine the spatial and built environment histories of discrete places simultaneously. Her book entitled, The Remittance Landscape: The Spaces of Migration in Rural Mexico and Urban USA was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2015 and won the 2017 Kostof Book Award from the Society of Architectural Historians.


Monday, October 26, 2020, 6pm–7:30pm, streaming live on Zoom at this link

Keynote lecture by Ron Rael

Ron Rael is a design activist, author, and thought leader within the topics of additive manufacturing, borderwall studies, and earthen architecture. His research interests connect indigenous and traditional material practices to contemporary technologies and issues. Professor Rael holds the Eva Li Memorial Chair in Architecture at the University of California at Berkeley where he directs the printFARM Laboratory (print Facility for Architecture, Research and Materials). He is the co-founder (with Virginia San Fratello) and principal of Rael San Fratello, which in 2014 was named an Emerging Voice by The Architectural League of New York—one of the most coveted awards in North American architecture. In 2017 he published Borderwall as Architecture: A Manifesto for the U.S.-Mexico Boundary.


Make. Act. Resist. is presented in partnerships with CCA Fine Arts Division, CCA Humanities and Sciences Division, CCA Critical Ethnic Studies Program, and CCA Film Program with generous support from Creative Citizens in Action, the President’s Diversity Steering Group, and the CCA Libraries.