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Hostile Terrain 94

Closed 5 April 2023

Hostile Terrain 94

Exhibition details

About exhibition

Hostile Terrain 94 is a participatory exhibition created by the Undocumented Migration Project, a non–profit organization that focuses on the social process of immigration and raises awareness through research, education, and outreach. The exhibit is composed of over 3,400 handwritten toe tags that represent migrants who have died trying to cross the Sonoran Desert from the mid–1990s to 2020. These tags are geolocated on a wall map of the Arizona–Mexico border, showing the exact locations where human remains were found. This exhibit is taking place at over 120 institutions across six continents with the intention to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis at America's southern border and to engage with communities around the world in conversations about migration.

At Deakin, Hostile Terrain 94 will be assembled over the course of three weeks by student volunteers as part of the curriculum for AGC109: Global Challenges and Personal Agency, the first unit in Deakin's Global Challenges Core Sequence, entitled The Arts of Changing the World. The exhibition will be attended by student volunteers between 11am–1pm each weekday. Visitors to the Library are welcome to drop in and contribute to the exhibition by helping the volunteers fill out toe tags and pin them to the map.

The exhibition gives us an opportunity to share the work of producing a piece of public scholarship, a visual record of the structural forms of violence that affect undocumented migrants around the world, wherever the social, political, economic, or ecological pressures that impel people to migrate come into conflict with militarised border policy.

Panel discussion: Hostile Terrain 94 and the Global Border

Deakin Library hosted a panel discussion exploring how the issues addressed in the Hostile Terrain 94 exhibition echo circumstances in Australia, from the rise in transnational migration to the global expansion of militarised border policies and detention practices.

Our guests contributed their expertise from different fields and student volunteers shared their insights and reflections on participating in the installation over nearly three weeks.


  • Dr Amy Nethery, Senior Lecturer in Politics, Deakin University
  • Dr David Boarder Giles, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology, Deakin University
  • Barat Ali Batoor, a multi award-winning photographer and filmmaker whose photographs have been displayed across the world

Past events related to this exhibition

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