TILT Institute for the Contemporary Image
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Thursday Night Photo Talk with Ada Trillo

August 20, 2020

Thursday Night Photo Talk with Ada Trillo

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August 20, 7PM EST
FREE – Donations are kindly accepted

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“Crossing the Second Leg of the Suchiate River” by Ada Trillo

La Caravana Del Diablo: The Migrant Caravan of 2020

In January of 2020, Hondurans fleeing violence and poor economic conditions organized a massive migrant caravan that traveled through Guatemala into Mexico. After traveling for eight days, the caravan crossed the Suchiate River into Mexico. There, they were met by the recently established Guardia Nacional, composed of former Federal, Military, and Naval Police. 

Mexican President Manuel Andres Lopes Obrador has historically called for safe passage for migrants. But after US President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs, Mexico reversed its policy and deployed soldiers to keep Central American migrants from entering Mexico. The caravan split into two major groups. The largest group crossed the Suchiate River and were tear-gassed by the Guardia Nacional. They successfully crossed the river two days later, but within hours the Guardia Nacional surrounded them, put them on buses, and sent them back to Honduras. The smaller group amassed in the border town El Ceibo in Guatemala. They were met by Julio Cesar Sánchez Amaya, the head of foreign relations in Mexico, who welcomed migrants to enter Mexico in groups of ten and seek asylum. But after being briefly kept in detention centers, these migrants was also deported to Honduras without the opportunity to seek asylum.

Trump has effectively barred asylum seekers from entering the US by threatening to impose tariffs and cut foreign aid to Central American countries. The human cost of Trump’s political agenda is denying people their fundamental human rights. For many asylum seekers, deportation will result in living a life of extortion, impoverishment, and even death. The full effect of Trump’s xenophobic policies toward immigrants and asylum seekers will no doubt be felt for generations to come.


Ada Trillo is a Philadelphia-based photographer, native to the Juarez-El Paso binational metroplex. In her work, she focuses on borders of inclusion and exclusion as they are experienced through people in forced prostitution; climate and violence-related international migration; and US exclusions, resulting from long-standing borders of race and class. Through the elements of documentary and fine art photography, Trillo’s goal is to bring attention to the impact that these borders have on exploited and marginalized people and amplify their voices.  She utilizes photography as a platform to document our times by capturing both our most joyous and painful moments; This art has the power to lay bare our common humanity and dignity. She is the recipient of a Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant, The Center For Emerging Visual Artists Fellowship, and Fleisher Art Memorial Visual Artist-in-Residence. She has also been awarded First Place in Editorial Photos with the Tokyo International Foto Awards, The me&Eve Grant with the Center of Photographic Arts in Santa Fe, and First Prize of Focus Photo LA. Trillo has exhibited internationally in Luxembourg, England, and Italy, and her work is included in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  She holds degrees from the Istituto Marangoni in Milan and Drexel University in Philadelphia

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