By Ciera Miller, Staff Writer
Hannah Binder at Colby’s HT94 installation (Photo courtesy of Ciera Miller)
Since September, University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) students across five disciplines participated in filling out a total of 1,370 toe tags for the Hostile Terrain 94 (HT94) installation at the Oak Institute for Human Rights at Colby College. A toe tag is a piece of cardboard or paper attached to the toe of a deceased person used to identify them. HT94 is an art project organized by the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP), directed by anthropologist Jason de León.
HT94 was born out of the term “Hostile Terrain”, a direct quote from the U.S. government’s Prevention Through Deterrence (PTD) policy. PTD uses the desert and mountains as a form of border patrol to deter people from migrating into the United States through Arizona. However, PTD has failed and migrants continue to flood in.
For this project, toe tags are filled out and pinned to a large wall map at the coordinates at which a dead migrant body was found. Orange tags belong to unidentified people and white tags belong to the identified.
Dr. Gaelyn Aguilar brought HT94 to UMF because she believes in “teaching justice in an unjust world.” She said, “I was hoping that filling out our toe tags would feel an awful lot like the naming of names,” which she compared to the most recent surge of Black Lives Matter protests throughout the country.
Cassie Donald, a UMF student who participated in filling out over 20 toe tags, echoed Aguilar. It made them feel more personally involved and was more than just an assignment. “Putting names to the issue made it very real,” they said. “It brought forward a lot of emotion that reading an article might not.”
Aguilar discussed the language used to dehumanize migrants coming into the U.S. from our southern border. “We call undocumented immigrants ‘illegal’―folks do that to avoid speaking the names of those who’ve died, or even having to imagine their faces,” she said. Aguilar believes contributing to this toe tag installation allowed herself, her faculty members, and her students to reinvision these migrants and give them their names back, not only in individual consciences but in our national conscience as well.
Senior Adriana Burnham knows what it’s like to experience this language. “I’m half-Mexican, and I get a lot of jokes about jumping the border,” she said. Due to Burnham’s heritage, it felt personally disrespectful not to fill out these toe tags. Living in the U.S., Burnham reflects that most don’t have to stress about crossing into a new country to start a new life and/or supporting families from afar. “It gives a reality to something we don’t see in Maine,” she said. “We have this chance to recognize these people who risked their lives.”
Laney Randolph, a senior education major, was blindsided by the amount of tags UMF received to fill out. She hadn’t realized how many people died crossing the border. “It’s horrifying to think that this isn’t something most people are aware of,” Randolph said. “I think Americans would have a much more empathetic attitude towards immigrants if they knew just how difficult and dangerous it was to get here.”
Their reactions are the purpose of HT94. This installation is a moment of global reflection and remembrance of those who’ve died on this hostile terrain, trying to cross into the United States. Donald said it best: “It’s important for people outside of the issue to gain awareness of the issue.”
By Faith Rouillard, Contributing Writer
Around the holidays we seem to indulge ourselves more than ever when it comes to tasty treats. A former bread lover spots the stuffing from across the room, she wants it desperately…her gluten allergy doesn’t care!
A dairy enthusiast has worked so hard all year and feels he deserves a small slice of cheesecake…his lactose intolerance doesn’t care!
An aspiring vegan sees a Christmas ham, juicy and glazed. “One bite won’t hurt,” she thinks. Her moral compass doesn’t care!
Dietary restrictions affect many and are just another reason to dread the holidays. Thanksgiving is behind us, Christmas is yet to come, and COVID is all around us. Many are choosing to stay put in the homes they reside in. At first glance, this seems like a bummer to not spend Christmas at your great Aunt Sally’s who you see for that one day a year… and funerals. Wait, is that really a bummer?
Living with a dietary restriction, though it’s not the worst thing, can make for uncomfortable situations. Great Aunt Sally always forgets to accommodate (on accident). “Wait, I can’t put butter in the mashed potatoes? I didn’t think that was dairy!” or “Vegetarians can eat chicken right? It’s white meat!” As the complicated eater, you never want to make the host upset or feel bad, leaving you with few options: “Aunt Sally, I actually ate before I came and I’m all set, thank you though!” And starve. Or “Thank you, Aunt Sally, it looks great! My lactose intolerance actually went away!” And you pay for it later. First world problems, am I right?
Maybe I’m just a scrooge, but is all this stress really worth it? I constantly wait for the dreaded questions when eating at a family function—“You’re vegan? That’s stupid,” I feel miserable after the event knowing I inconvenienced the host. Let’s start educating our family tree on dietary restrictions and move on with our lives.
Cheers to eating our feelings during our newfound quarantine Christmas. But hey, at least we get to eat whatever the hell we want.
Taking a look back at the past 90 years of our campus newspaper and highlighting noteworthy items that perhaps were best forgotten.
Scanned text originally from the Mainestream on September 20, 1979
Ah yes, the longstanding ratio issue here at UMF. Well, I guess it’s not that much of an issue for the 33% of students here that are guys, but the other 66% definitely see it as more of an issue.
That’s right, for all you freshman guys who haven’t noticed yet, the ratio is 2:1, which gives you all some pretty good odds. As for you gals, there’s a reason that Tinder is one of the most popular apps on campus.
Why is this the case? Not enough guys want to be teachers? Is it perhaps because we don’t have a football team? Are they scared of the cold winters? We may never know. Anyways, until next time, happy hunting!
I have had some trouble sleeping lately. The stress of school, COVID, and the fact of just pure living has become overwhelming and I can’t sleep. Once I finally get to sleep I am awoken by my roommate thrashing around in her sleep and hitting the wall. Any suggestions?
I too have been feeling the same way lately with classes and whatnot, to get to sleep I pop a few Benadryl and I’m out cold. I know the bottle says take two but I suggest taking at least ten to insure you’ll get to sleep and not wake up. As for the roommate thing, there’s a simple solution, put thirteen inch nails through your wall right about the height of their bed. I assure you, they’ll only thrash once.
I’m at the FRC all the time and this cute guy keeps staring at me. I think he may be into me but I’m not sure if I should go for it or not. What do I do?
-Jacked and Jill
I would say this guy isn’t staring at you, he’s waiting for the damn machine to be open. When you spend half an hour on the shoulder press preparing this confession, he wants to use the machine. Hop off, and let the poor kid get his exercise in.
I have had some trouble with the dining hall food. The flavor seems to be… lacking, and as for the options well, they’re few and far between. Do you have any food places that seem to suit your fancy?
-Hungry and High End
Last time I checked, this was an advice column, not a damn food critic review. Why don’t you hop off your high horse and go to the dining hall and get a goddamn cup of ice, zero calories, no carbs, no sugars, literally nothing. Do me a favor while you’re there, thank each and every employee for me for serving you because I sure as hell wouldn’t want to.
-With love, Bite
By Sydney Beecher, Contributing Writer
After Governor Janet Mills announced that drive-ins theaters could reopen in May, Narrow Gauge Cinema in Farmington began offering drive-in movies, a concert series, and various other events to the community. Near the end of August, the cinema began offering indoor screenings every weekend for the near future.
When Franklin Savings Bank heard of Mills’ plan to reopen drive-ins in May, they knew that they wanted to help offer a safe activity to local communities. The bank decided to partner with John Moore, the owner of Narrow Gauge Cinemas, to sponsor a month’s worth of movies. “When Franklin Savings said that they wanted to sponsor a show, we were thrilled. When they said they wanted to sponsor the first four weeks, we were more than happy to collaborate on yet another community event with the organization,” Moore said in a statement to The Daily Bulldog. Together, Narrow Gauge Cinema offered moviegoers four different movies each week for a month, ranging from new releases to the classics.
When they finished screening those movies in June, Narrow Gauge introduced a lineup of live music to perform throughout the summer. These three hour-long shows featured bands like Ghost of Paul Revere, David Mallett and the Mallett Brothers Band, and the Rustic Overtones.
Miranda Kramer, a sophomore, attended two concerts at the drive-in and loved the experience. “The newly renovated drive-in accommodated social distancing guidelines very well. Everyone was spaced out in their own spots,” said Kramer. “We had a perfect view of the stage and the bands, even from two rows back. Both of the concerts were the highlight of my summer.”
In August, Narrow Gauge Cinemas was finally able to reopen its indoor theater for the first time in over five months. In order to comply with Maine’s guidelines, the cinema had to make some changes to the theater setup. Among the first few visitors was Cam Foss, a sophomore, who saw a variety of movies last semester at the cinema. “It was definitely a different experience than when I went to Narrow Gauge in the spring,” said Foss. “There were a few rows taken out to maintain social distancing, so there were fewer seats and a lot of legroom between each row. Either way, I was glad that the theater reopened and I can watch movies in-person again.”
Since Maine has been experiencing a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, Narrow Gauge has had to change some of their policies in order to create a safer environment for moviegoers. According to a Facebook post made by Moore on Narrow Gauge Cinema’s page on Oct. 30, the capacity in each theater room has been reduced to 20 people per theater show, customers are asked to be no earlier than 15 minutes to their show, and the drive-in will be continuing to offer movies as long as people are going for $10 a carload. “We have every intention of staying open and are adjusting our protocols in hopes to do that,” the post says. “We think it is important to have some continuity as a business…We thank everyone for their continued support.”
Moviegoers are asked to wear a mask until they are seated. The indoor theater offers $5 tickets to all moviegoers and plans to remain open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the near future. To find out an updated list of movie screenings, visit https://narrowgaugecinema.net or Narrow Gauge Cinema’s Facebook page.