A sobering look at those who do not survive the Arizona border crossing and the personal effects they have left behind.
2010 was a year of record deaths for illegal migrants entering the
U.S. via Arizona’s Sonoran Desert — 230 in all.
It’s impossible to know how many migrants survive the days-long
journey, led by high-priced guides, with temperatures soaring up to 130 degrees in the summer months. But every year since 2001 no less than 150 mummified and decomposed bodies have been discovered in remote areas of the desert, eventually taken to the Pima County Forensic Science Center in Tucson, AZ which faces the herculean task of analyzing and storing their remains, archiving their possessions — and hopefully — determining their identities.
In the fall of 2011, I traveled to Pima County, where I spent a week photographing the day-to-day operations of the facility, documenting the receiving area, autopsy room, and archive of border crossers’ personal effects.
Working in the Medical Examiner's Office
Gurneys in Receiving Room
I also traveled to Green Valley, AZ, photographing belongings left on the desert floor by migrants awaiting road-side pick-up in the dead of night.
The U.S. Border Patrol monitoring the wall in Nogales, Arizona
Why This Book is Important
This book is important for a number of reasons. It is a way of humanizing the immigration issue we face in our country. It points to how desperate the individuals are to escape whatever their circumstances were and start a new life. Essentially this books stands as a kind of memorial to people who died alone, without ceremony and who often are still unknown.
Personal Effects of John Doe ML#: 11-01245
With your help, the first edition will include 1,500 9x12 casebound copies of 112 pages with 65 four-color plates in the fall of 2012.
How It Works
If you decide to make a pledge, your credit card will be charged when my project reaches its funding deadline date on March 10, 2012, but only if my project is fully funded. It's an all or nothing situation -- if my project is not fully funded, your credit card is not charged, and I do not receive any donations.
To pledge to my project, click the green “Back This Project” button on the upper right side of the page. You will be asked to enter your pledge amount. From there, you will go through the Amazon checkout process. Note that you must finish the Amazon checkout process for your pledge to be recorded. Kickstarter only supports credit card payments through Amazon Payments. No cash or checks. I expect to ship rewards in the Fall of 2012.
Please see the schedule of rewards to the right that correspond with the images below.
Selected Signed Print Images
Sleeves of Personal Effects
X-Ray in Use
Vultures in Green Valley
Now It Is Up To You
The more people I reach, the better chance I have of being funded. So please help me spread the word.
Thank you for considering my project.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on March 10, 2012.
Feb 7, 2012 - Mar 10, 2012
Pledge $1 or more
Show that you think this is important work, and help it get even more notice on Kickstarter.Estimated delivery: Mar 2012
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23 backers Limited (377 of 400 left)
Donate $10 and receive a 4 x 6 postcard of the book cover.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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20 backers Limited (180 of 200 left)
Donate $20 and receive a set of four, 4 x 6 postcards of images from the book.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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63 backers Limited (162 of 225 left)
When you make a donation of $50, you will receive a signed copy of the book.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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8 backers Limited (42 of 50 left)
For your donation of $100, you will receive a signed copy of the book and a signed 4 x 6 archival print -- choose one of the three "Selected Signed Print Images" at the bottom left of this page.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $250 or more
1 backer Limited (14 of 15 left)
For your donation of $250, you will receive a signed copy of the book and a signed 8 x 10 archival print -- choose one of the three "Selected Signed Print Images" at the bottom left of this page.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $500 or more
0 backers Limited (10 of 10 left)
When you make a donation of $500, you will receive a signed copy of the book and a signed 11 x 14 archival print -- choose one of the three "Selected Signed Print Images" at the bottom left of this page.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
1 backer Limited (5 of 6 left)
For your donation of $1,000, you will receive a signed copy of the book and a signed 16 x 20 archival print of any image you choose from the book.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $2,500 or more
1 backer Limited (3 of 4 left)
With a donation of $2,500, go on a photo expedition for an afternoon with the photographer in New York City and receive a selection of digital images from the day - plus a signed copy of the book and a signed 16 x 20 archival print of any image you choose from the book.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012