A Photographer Finds The Stories In Things Left Behind Along The Border

Jul 4, 2019

From the Borderlands exhibit, Harbage Page photograph of a portion of the border wall in Progresso, Texas.
Credit Susan Harbage Page

Susan Harbage Page has been a border crosser since childhood. From traveling around Europe with her family in a Volkswagen bus to working in Palestine in the 90s, she has long wondered about the lines that divide us. Why do people on one side enjoy great wealth while those on the other side have less?

She saw at a young age how borders control access, and for more than a decade, Susan has been grappling with these questions through a photography project along the U-S/Mexico border. She does not take photos of people, or focus on the active drama of separation, but instead looks at the objects that border crossers have left behind. Behind every toothbrush, wallet or shoe along the border there is a story and a person. Harbage Page’s current exhibit “Borderlands - Evidence from the Rio Grande” is a collection of photos and objects. It’s on view at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at North Carolina State University.

Note: This segment originally aired March 13, 2019.