In September of 2016 Melissa, an immigration lawyer and community advocate in El Paso, Texas, was feeling hopeful. After over a decade of work within the immigration system, she was ready for more progress to be made towards immigration reform.
Yet, instead of the passage of the DREAM act, affirmative legalization, and reasonable immigration enforcement, the change she’s seen in the past year is a growth of fear. Now, thanks to a systematic dismantling of the immigration process, people are afraid to send their children to clinics, to enroll in schools, or to ask for help. People who have lived in America for their entire lives are facing a loss of hope.
Border towns such as El Paso remain some of the safest places in America. Yet, negative and unfounded reputations push policy across America. Most of America is engaging in a myopic view of border towns and immigrants, suffering from, as Melissa put it, “a lack of willingness to see the whole picture.” The value of immigrant lives, labors, or even the taxes they pay, is being ignored.
If you’re interested in learning more, we recommend checking out the Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, the Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee, the Hope Border Institute, Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services, Inc., or the ACLU Border Rights Center in El Paso.
El Paso, Texas. April 2018.
The efforts of the Manhattan Project came to fruition in 1945. After years of research and experimentation, the world’s first nuclear device, the “Gadget,” was detonated in the New Mexico desert.
The Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range, in the Jornada Del Muerto Desert, was chosen for its isolation and flat ground. There were very few people living near the Trinity site, and all were paid to leave their land when Manhattan Project officials began constructing the test facility.
At 5:30 a.m. on July 16, the nuclear device was successfully detonated.
To most observers—watching through dark glasses—the brilliance of the light from the explosion overshadowed the shock wave and sound that arrived some seconds later. A multi-colored cloud surged 38,000 feet into the air within seven minutes. Where the tower had been was a crater one-half mile across and eight feet deep.
Radiation levels at the site remain about 10 times as high as natural background radiation. After being closed to the public for many years, the Trinity Site was declared a National Historic Landmark district in 1965. It is now open to visitors twice a year.
Socorro, New Mexico. April 2018.
Yesterday, Jordyn was lucky enough to join the Actors’ Equity Association for the Gypsy Robe ceremony at Carousel on Broadway.
The Gypsy Robe is a 60 plus-year-old tradition in which the chorus member who has worked the most Broadway choruses receives a robe on opening night. Each new recipient puts on the Robe and circles the stage 3 times, while cast members reach out and touch the Robe for good luck. The Robe, worn by the new recipient, then visits each dressing room in the theatre.
You can learn more about the history of the robe, and see more pictures from yesterday, over at our Patreon blog.
Day one of a three-day loop through west Texas and New Mexico meant 500 miles of driving for Justin and our trusty rental car. After spending the day zig-zagging in search of WPA era post office murals, Justin spent an extra hour in the car chasing the light and exploring.
Friona, Texas. April 2018.
More details here.
We’re thrilled to share that a Justin Hamel /Tendency To Wander photo was selected for The Curated Fridge. The Spring 2018 show was judged by Francine Weiss, the Senior Curator at the Newport Art Museum in RI.
You can check out all of the work at http://www.thecuratedfridge.com/Fridge-Shows-1/Spring-2018.