The toddler who spent the past month peering over the United States border fence near Tecate was retired Sunday with a cross-border picnic that was a piece of art in itself.
The French visual artist who goes by the name JR held a picnic to celebrate the removal of the 20-meter-tall photograph he erected on September 7. The message behind the event was a call for unity.
“The picnic was incredible, it was a beautiful moment,” said a spokesman for the artist. A band divided itself in two to play on both sides of the border and about 100 people ate at a table that appeared to straddle the border, its surface painted “with the eyes of a dreamer.”
The eyes were those of a young woman who was intended to represent the thousands of “dreamers,” a term used to describe undocumented young migrants whose future has become uncertain following the cancelation of a program that protected them from deportation.
A view of the table captured by a camera-equipped drone shows one eye looking up from each side of the border. The identity of the young woman was not disclosed, but she was one of those who attended the picnic, many of them dreamers themselves.
“Giant picnic at the border today in Tecate,” the artist posted on social media. “People eating the same food, sharing the same water, enjoying the same music (half of the band on each side) around the eye of a dreamer. We forgot the wall for a minute.”
He posted several photos and videos to his Instagram account, one of which shows him drinking tea with a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
“For the last 10 years, I have been working in conflict zones, jails, borders, and I always found an ‘angel’ that helped us make the impossible possible. The picnic today was clearly forbidden, and yet it was not shut down. It’s always worth trying,” JR wrote.
Also on Sunday, the administration of President Donald Trump released a list of immigration principles that critics say threatens to derail a deal in Congress to allow the dreamers to remain in the country legally.