Documenting Border Barriers

  • Pamela Dodds


Documenting Border Barriers is an ongoing research-based artwork in etching and relief printmaking that addresses the exponential rise in fences and walls that have been built on the borders of nations and territories to keep people out. Each print details a specific border barrier in the world today, based on documentary photos, texts, and reports.

The technique combines drypoint etching and relief printmaking. Drawings are scratched into a rectangular plexiglass plate using an etching needle and abrasive tools. A thick ink is then spread on the scratched surface and wiped clean, leaving ink in the abrasions. Finally, the plate is pressed on paper with a manual etching press. Surrounding details are omitted to portray the razor wire, cement, and steel with visceral immediacy. An impression of landscape and sky are evoked with an under-printing of wood grain patterns. In some prints, printed window screen creates the impression of chain link. The prints, each unique in detail yet similar in composition, bear witness to the violent policies of exclusion and lack of concern for the lives of people on the move.


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How to Cite
Dodds, Pamela. 2024. “Documenting Border Barriers”. Borders in Globalization Review 5 (1). Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 55-65.