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

a photo of the border wall at Progresso, Texas
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.

Dana is an award-winning producer who began as a personality at Rock 92. Once she started creating content for morning shows, she developed a love for producing. Dana has written and produced for local and syndicated commercial radio for over a decade. WUNC is her debut into public radio and she’s excited to tell deeper, richer stories.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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