The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

UCIRA Artist Teddy Cruz presents POLITICAL EQUATOR 3–Conversations on Co-existence: Border Neighborhoods as Sites of Production

Conversations on Co-existence:
Border Neighborhoods as Sites of Production


Political Equator 3 is a 2-day cross-border mobile conference held on the 3d and 4th of June 2011. This event is co-organized by the Center for Urban Ecologies at the Visual Arts Department at UCSD, and two community-based, non-profit organizations on both sides of the border, Casa Familiar in San Ysidro, California and Alter Terra in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.

The third program in a the series of bi-national conferences, PE 3 continues to engage pressing regional socio-economic, urban and environmental conditions across the San Diego –Tijuana border. These meetings have been focusing on a critical analysis of local conflicts in order to re-evaluate the meaning of shifting global dynamics, across geo-political boundaries, natural resources and marginal communities.

Following the format of previous Political Equator meetings, PE3 is a nomadic event, an itinerant conversation traversing the border landscape itself bringing participants to the actual sites of conflict, where natural and social dynamics collide with political boundaries. This time, the participants will oscillate between two marginal neighborhoods on both sides of the border known as creative urban laboratories for re-imagining the border region, San Ysidro in the US and Los Laureles Canyon in Mexico.

PE3 will unfold through a series of performances and public walks that will traverse these conflicting territories enabling debates and conversations at different stations, including an unprecedented public border-crossing-performance through a large pipe under Home Land security that will allow the participants to cross the border from a protected Estuary on the US side into an informal settlement in Tijuana that collides with the border wall on the Mexican side. The event will begin on June 3, 2011 in San Ysidro at the FRONT, Casa Familiar’s Arts and Culture neighborhood center. It will continue on June 4th at the Tijuana River Estuary under a tent next to the border fence, from which the audience will cross into Tijuana, ending at Los Laureles Canyon.

Attracting an international roster of artists, architects, environmentalists, scholars, community activists and politicians, including Sergio Fajardo, former Mayor of Medellin, Colombia, and many other thinkers from the US, Europe and Latin America, PE3 will focus on The Neighborhood as a Site of Production. PE3 will investigate practices in the arts, architecture, urban policy, science and the humanities that work with peripheral activist-neighborhoods worldwide where conditions of social and economic emergency are inspiring new ways of thinking and doing across institutions of urban development and public culture.

The Political Equator has received support from the FORD Foundation, the Graham Foundation, UCIRA and the Division of Arts and Humanities and the Visual Arts Department at UCSan Diego.

Hosting Agencies
The Political Equator 3 will be co-hosted by the Community-based NGO Casa Familiar in San Ysidro, California, the Center for Urban Ecologies, an initiative affiliated to the Division of Arts and Humanities and the Visual Arts Department at University of California, San Diego, the Tijuana River Estuary Visitor Center and Alter-Terra, a Mexican Non-Profit Organization working on scientific and environmental research and projects in Los Laureles Canyon, in Tijuana, Mexico.

PE3 has been conceptualized, co-organized and produced by

Teddy Cruz
Professor in Public Culture and Urbanism at the Visual Arts Department and co-director of The Center for Urban Ecologies at UCSD, San Diego, California, co-founder of Political Equator

Oscar Romo
Environmentalist, Watershed Coordinator, Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, Director of Alter-Terra, a scientific and community-based non-profit organization in Los Laureles Canyon, Baja California and lecturer in the Urban Studies and Planning Program at UC San Diego

Andrea Skorepa
Director, Community organizer, Casa Familiar, INC, A community-based non-profit organization in San Ysidro, California

For a roster of local and international participants, schedule information and content, please refer to Political Equator 3 website:

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