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BOXES beyond borders

Re:Mapping

Karen Moss
USA - California 1999

When I was asked to create a box for this project, I wanted to use ideas and images representing the spirit behind Women Beyond Borders.  I found a 1957 atlas with a world map and an accompanying text, which are very anachronistic relics of the Cold War era.  More than 40 years later we have seen a myriad of changes in borders resulting from our late 20th century, capitalist, post-colonial, multi-national, global politics.  More importantly, we know only too well the tragedies that have ensued when multitudes of human beings are displaced and dislocated from their homes and homelands.

On this box I attempt to re-map the world to show the arbitrary and contrived nature of geo-political borders.  While many countries appear as they are today, some nations no longer exist and others have yet to be established.  I have tried to de-contextualize the borders to remind us how they are always in flux.  Inside the box is an idealistic and paternalistic text fragment from the atlas, a bittersweet reminder of a 1950’s American dream that has all but collapsed as we approach the year 2000.  The text on the lid is my own bit of wishful thinking: Even though boundaries will undoubtedly persist to exist, hopefully they will not continue to prevent us from moving freely across borders.