Art exhibition showcases migrant deaths on the US-Mexico border

Attendees participate in the Hostile Terrain 94 exhibition, now showing at Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art



The Hostile Terrain 94 art exhibition brings awareness to the deaths of migrants on the US-Mexico border

The Hostile Terrain 94 participatory exhibition will run from now to March 11 at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

Created by the Undocumented Migration Project and directed by anthropologist Jason De León, the exhibition showcases the importance of migrant rights and brings awareness to the deaths of migrants that continue to occur since the instatement of the Prevention through Deterrence border patrol policy.

At the exhibition, volunteers and attendees write the names of bodies that were found on the US-Mexico border and pin them to a map to demonstrate where each individual died.

“Students, faculty members and community members are invited to participate in something that is not educational, necessarily, but brings awareness,” museum visitor ambassador Becca Orth said.

The policy was made to discourage migrants from crossing near urban ports, causing them to go through unpopulated areas like the Sonoran Desert. According to the Undocumented Migration Project, many people die of hypothermia and dehydration while passing through the desert.

Another way to get involved with the Undocumented Migration Project is by attending Hostile Terrain 94 workshops occurring in January and February, found at

The exhibition also brings awareness to mental health since migrant rights are a sensitive topic to many people, especially in the Latinx and undocumented communities. The project also warns that the exhibition may exhibit graphic descriptions of migrant death and decomposing bodies.

Here are some resources the project listed:

  • Call or text 988
  • WSU students: Call Counseling and Psychological Services at (509) 335-4511 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. from Mondays to Thursdays or (509) 335-2159 after hours
  • WSU faculty, staff and community members: Call the project’s local 24/7 crisis line at (509) 334-1133

For more information, visit the Hostile Terrain 94 website at or email [email protected].