Built with Berta.me

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  2. Insecure:

    These images were taken around the edges of private or gated communities in the Metropolitan Area of Monterrey in the northeast of Mexico. All of the walls and fences in these photographs exist as the perimeter boundaries of such housing estates. The barriers are built as a form of protection for the residents living inside. They act as both barricade and screen, allowing tighter control over the physical and visual contact between people on either side.

    In an urban zone that contains some of the wealthiest per capita neighbourhoods in the whole of Latin America the walls represent divisions. Economically those with more will live inside while those with less live outside. The walls mark the divide between public and private space and the public or private ownership of land. They can also be seen as the border between what is officially considered formal and informal. In these photographs the modern homes within the walls would have been bought on the private housing market. Those on the outside are often part of public housing initiatives, or the land was claimed by rural immigrants and the houses, streets and services have been built up collectively over the generations. In certain cases the residents of these informal neighbourhoods are still considered to be squatters by the authorities.

    Where new estates for the professional classes are built alongside longer established popular (blue collar) neighbourhoods, they are enclosed as standard. And now, as violent crime has increased, residents of older middle-income neighbourhoods will often try to club together to finance the illegal blocking of access points into their areas, closing the perimeter, and creating their own privately controlled enclave. The walls create ‘others’, people from the same society live side-by-side, but occupy completely different universes. Active decisions are made regarding who to include and who to exclude. The perceived boundary between us and them, and between safety and danger is physically laid out.

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