INDUSTRY, THE BORDER, AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF AJO, ARIZONA

Ajo was synonymous with copper mining until the Phelps Dodge Company pulled out in the 1980s. Reeling after the shutdown of the mine, Ajo recast its identity as a destination for part-time winter residents and tourists. The hardening of the U.S.-Mexico border during the 1990s, however, funneled undocumented border crossers from Mexico into the desert surrounding Ajo. The town found itself in the middle of a vast border enforcement zone surrounded by immigration checkpoints and under constant surveillance by the Border Patrol. Contemporary Ajo sits on the cusp of this historical moment, with a past identity tied to the mining industry, a present dominated by the border security industry, and a fledgling community development and environmental movement that may be antithetical to both.

 

 

Title: The Border, and the Transformation of Ajo, Arizona, Act I
Description: For full HD quality watch this clip through the Vimeo site (Load the video, but then click the Vimeo link on the player to be redirected to the site).
Date: 5/2011
Location: Ajo

 

Title: The Border, and the Transformation of Ajo, Arizona, Act II
Description: For full HD quality watch this clip through the Vimeo site (Load the video, but then click the Vimeo link on the player to be redirected to the site).
Date: 5/2011
Location: Ajo

 

Scott Warren

About Scott Warren

Scott Warren explores the increasing pressure on land and life in southern Arizona as a result of the hardening of the U.S.-Mexico border. Scott is a historical geographer having completed his B.S. and M.S. degrees in geography at the University of Nevada and Montana State University, respectively. He is pursuing the PhD at Arizona State University, and his interests in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands stem from personal and academic pursuits that have taken him throughout the American West and Latin America.

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