Alex Seel is a New York-based artist and cast member of Al Jazeera America’s “Borderland.”
Born and raised in Long Island, Alex Seel became involved in political activism and protests during high school and college.
After studying art in Paris, Seel returned to New York in 2003 to attend the School of Visual Arts, where he received his BFA.
In 2014, Seel was cast as a member of Al Jazeera America’s “Borderland” docu-series. On “Borderland,” 6 Americans are confronted with the realities of illegal immigration by retracing the footsteps of dead migrants who perished in the deserts along to US-Mexican border.
Working in both street photography and installation sculpture, Seel has recently been exploring themes of home and diaspora. He lives and works in New York City.
ALEX SEEL: So, the beginning of the story, the beginning of the journey, the beginning of the TV show essentially was in Arizona, and that is one of the epicenters now. So, there’s a couple points along the border, like Texas and arizona, that are that are these hot spots, and as we learn, it’s because they build out the borders, and they funnel people through certain parts of the desert.
LAURA LEHMANN: Who’s they?
ALEX: The American government?
The policy on borders is, the recent American policy is okay we will, we’re going to build out the border in certain areas, so that we can funnel people through in certain areas, that area will be the gnarliest part of the desert and the idea is that it will create a natural barrier. In fact it’s not a natural barrier and people are crossing more so than ever and are just perishing, more so than ever as well. So essentially that’s sort of where the story begins, we’re funneling people through this part and now deaths are on the rise.
And it’s crazy dude! We went to the border, and then it just ends. It’s sort of obvious. It’s not like we have a border across America, but to sit at a physical point and be like “yeah it just ends right there!” I mean it shouldn’t be there to begin with right? But it was just funny to see like, this absurd moment, like the border, yeah, but you can just walk around it up there!
Cinematography: Danielle Calodney
Audio by: Andreina Velazquez
Edited by: Danielle Calodney
Interviewed by: Laura Lehmann