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What Remains was established for the exclusive purpose of supporting binational art projects in the Paso del Norte region including, but not limited to, art projects in the United States and Mexico conceived executed or managed by the organization.

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What Remains is a project that draws together artistic production and ethnographic and academic research to reframe the migrant experience as a global and timeless human experience, one that occurs before, during and after the passage itself. Comprised of photography, illustration, multimedia installation, published books, academic research and education, our project is a tribute to those that have taken this journey but have been silenced, or whose voices were never heard.


Dr. Adriana Alvarez | Research 

Iris Morales | Designer

Mabel Weber | Visual Artist 

Monica Lozano | Photographer


The photographic narrative and illustrations capture the intimacy of the journey of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers that come to the border of Ciudad Juarez and El Paso TX, from different parts of the world. Men, women and children who have experienced in their own flesh the hostility of a trip that apparently has no final destination. Their few possessions, which are often the only thing that connects them to the warmth of their origin, function as survival kits that keep them alive in threatening moments. The visual narrative has been documented during the last 10 years and it speaks about the different stages of this journey and what remains with them once they have arrived at the border. The objects they carry have to be left behind in the middle of the desert right before crossing the wall. Being left with nothing but what they are wearing at the moment immigrants embark the abysmal journey that deprives them of their basic human rights.

Meanwhile in Colorado we are working with the University of Colorado Denver and The Renée Crown Wellness Institute documenting the stories of immigrant families on the U.S. side and what remains with them after crossing the political border and how they are now facing the invisible borders of the promised land. The families in Colorado initiate LA TRENZA, the braid, by weaving together objects of significance to them that now unites them with other border-crossing stories represented by the abandoned belongings we found in the desert whose stories are unknown.


TRENZA is a growing art installation piece that unifies the stories of humans in transit, immigrants, asylum seekers, displaced families, men, women, children that have lived the endless journey of crossing a border. Representing each individual story through the objects they carry during their journey, this piece is made of the rescued objects from the desert of Ciudad Juarez that we found half buried. Shoes, clothes, superhero kids costumes and toys that were left in the scorching sand right before crossing the monumental border wall. Rooted in the ancient act of braiding, we connected all the belongings we gathered on the Mexican side of the border to the objects donated by immigrant families living in Texas and Colorado.

Braiding the second stage of LA TRENZA happened in the middle of the dry Rio Grande in El Paso TX, where we brought all the belongings together and braided the objects with our hands and our children’s hands. In unity, and honoring the stories, we braided with the intention to extend this profound art piece to other borders around the world and invite communities to braid their stories with us and intervene the piece with their own objects so it keeps growing into a beautiful monument and statement of UNITY and art transcending borders.

We thank You for your support in making our continous journey and moving exibition possible with your donation to keep LA TRENZA alive and traveling to many borders around the world. 


Monica, Iris, Mabel and Adriana




IG: @whatremains.art