Kevin Pyle depicts the border wall with artwork

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Kevin Pyle is an author, illustrator and teacher who turned his recent return to the Southern Border into a graphic editorial for the time.

Kevin joined host Lisa McRee to talk about his experience.


What would you like to know

  • Kevin Pyle is an author, illustrator and educator who turned his recent return to the southern border into a graphic editorial for The Times
  • He returned to the border after five years to see what has changed and what has remained the same
  • One of the things that stood out for Kevin was the old fence that lay in piles all along the border
  • During his trip, Pyle met an artist named Alvaro Enciso, who commemorates the migrants who died trying to cross the border.

Pyle said he wanted to revisit the border to see what was built during the Trump administration.

“When I was there in 2016, I had a visceral reaction to the 18 foot wall. I went back to areas where they ripped it off. It was only built in the 90s, and now it’s twice as tall – it’s like 30 feet tall. It’s weird, and it’s shocking. And as far as I’ve tried, the pictures can’t even really capture how surreal it is . “

One of the things that caught Pyle’s attention were the old fences that lay in a pile along the border.

“As we drove along the border we saw these big piles of old fences. And it looks like rather than extending the wall they had, they tore off pieces that were the newer sections and built this wall bigger. Basically just build bigger in some of the same areas. My theory is that they couldn’t get permissions for the other areas or take more time, and they want to do something about it. But, it’s shocking to walk over a hill and see a big pile of rusty metal, ”Pyle said.

While many people supported the wall during the Trump administration due to the lack of border security, Pyle understands this point of view but says it’s part of a bigger issue.

“It’s an incredibly complicated situation. And that’s one of the reasons I focused on the experience of seeing the world because getting into politics in a 12-page comic isn’t possible. And frankly, it’s complicated. But a bigger wall is not a complicated solution to a complicated problem. To me, that seemed like such an obvious gesture of frustration, “said Pyle.

During his trip, Pyle met an artist named Alvaro Enciso, who honors migrants who have died while attempting to cross the border.

“The wall was built in the 90s to sort of direct people to the most difficult and difficult parts of the desert. It was called prevention through deterrence. So many people have died there. they were found, and he felt compelled to mark them, to commemorate them somehow. I think he wants to maintain their presence in the wilderness. He wants people to remember that. they died far from their family, far from their friends. And many of them are not identified. The idea is therefore to mark their existence in one way or another, “he said. declared.

Pyle has done illustrations for other immigration books and said he chooses artwork to provide a different way of telling a story.

“I feel like the combinations of words and images offer a dialogue between relatively simple language and more emotional images or, in this case, a more lyrical kind of language with images evocative of landscapes. think this combination allows the reader to sort of fill in the gaps, and it gives them some emotional room to go through a situation, ”he said.

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