Closeup of the thousands of toe tags that make up the Hostile Terrain exhibit


Hostile terrain

In early November 2021, a team of volunteers painstakingly pinned 3,200 handwritten toe tags to a 15-foot map of Arizona's Sonoran Desert on display in the Eisenhower Library. Each tag represents a migrant who died while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. An exhibit created by the Undocumented Migration Project and spanning 150 institutions, Hostile Terrain 94 aims to "rehumanize" those migrants and draw attention to the 1994 Prevention Through Deterrence policies that force them through unforgiving landscapes, organizers say. The JHU installation was overseen by Sanchita Balachandran, associate director of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum, and Alessandro Angelini, an assistant professor of anthropology.