10/24/2005 09:03 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Border Film Project

Every day, thousands of undocumented migrants cross the U.S.-Mexico border looking for a better life for themselves and their families. This summer, we went to migrant houses in Mexico and distributed 400 disposable cameras in prepaid, self-addressed envelopes to potential migrants, instructing them to take pictures of their journey across the dangerous Arizona desert. We wanted to give this issue a fresh twist, one that would break from the expected sob stories heard so often along the border. By empowering the migrants, we discovered a way for ordinary Americans to see this journey through their eyes.

Toward the end of the summer, we began wondering what sort of audience would turn out to see these photos. Probably people already sympathetic to migrant causes, which, in a way, defeated the point of the project. So we sent another 60 cameras to the controversial Minuteman Project volunteers and asked them to document their lives on the border. Both sets of photos will be developed, juried by a panel of politicians, community leaders, and artists, and shown at major art galleries in the coming months. For more information or to show your support, please go to