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“El Otro Lado” (The Other Side): Geographies, Boundaries, and Imaginations of Space

Indigenous Landscapes

Sandy Rodriguez, artist. Study for the Mapa Fronteriza from the Codex Rodriguez-Mondragon. 23.5 x 40 inches, hand processed watercolor on amate paper. Courtesy of the artists. Image Credit J6 Creative. 2017.

Sandy Rodriguez, artist. Gold Sickness, Calafia and U.S. Immigrant Detention Facilities. 11 1/2 x 15 3/4 in, hand-processed watercolor and gold leaf on amate paper. Courtesy of the artist. Image credit Sammy's Camera. 2019.

Raised in San Diego, Tijuana, and Los Angeles, the artist and researcher Sandy Rodriguez (BFA, CalArts) investigates the methods and materials of painting across cultures and histories. Her Codex Rodríguez–Mondragón (2017-), made with hand-processed watercolor on sacred – once outlawed – amate paper, maps the ongoing cycles of violence on communities of color by blending historical and recent events.

The first peoples of California's borderlands mark their landscapes with story, song, and memory.

The Chumash, Tataviam, Cahuilla, Payomkawichum, Acjachemen, Ipai-Tipai, Kumeyaay, Quechan, and O’odham, are only a selection of the many groups of the region. The many bands, tribes, and nations of the Southern California Borderlands have endured the shifting boundaries of successive colonial powers.

Investigate the published historical accounts of the Spanish newcomers who traversed the landscape, like the memoir of Father Eusebio Francisco Kino’s experiences in the “Pimería Alta”--the lands that are currently California, Arizona, and Sonora.

Explore the overlapping hydrological and anthropological work of John Wesley Powell on the watersheds and Indigenous language families of California & the West.

Explore the resources linked below. What others can you find in the collections?

First Peoples

Resources in the Library of Congress relating to the first peoples of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands regions:

Spanish Borderlands

Selection of Library of Congress resources relating to Alta California and Texas. During the Spanish period, this designation encompassed the lands of the present-day Borderlands.

Land and Waterscapes

The natural systems located in the Borderland’s 8 watersheds function across legal boundaries.