Borders are a reality. I knew it before I had visited a town on the Syrian border on the south-east of Turkey almost 10 years ago. I knew it but I did not fully acknowledge it until I saw the high walls, fences, armed soldiers and even mine fields at that small border town.
I acknowledged “border” many times after that first experience.
border was artificial.
border was problematic.
border was bureaucratic.
border was separatist.
Being in Nogales, a city that touches, the Mexican-US border, revitalized those memories, which are mostly bad memories and images from my personal experience as well as from stories I heard and watched. Standing next to those huge tall iron blocks that make the border makes you realize what border is about.
We had the privilege of being given a presentation and a tour by the border patrol officers and heard their stories. The impact of the border on me was ironically a blurring of the boundaries between reality and fiction. The fictional stories that I watched on TV and movies on drug and human trafficking were becoming real while my brain was trying to convince itself that those bitter realities could not be true.
What I learnt is that border is not about countries, border is about people.
by Derya Kaya
edited by Sophia Mayberry