Decades before the current debate about migrant caravans and border security, Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Don Bartletti was documenting the unprecedented migration of people across the San Diego/Tijuana border that dwarfs today’s statistics.
Throughout the 1980’s and 90’s, this was a pathway of least resistance, a doorway to opportunity for millions of Mexican and Central Americans who were Too Hungry to Knock. Furthermore, the frontier effectively extended 70 miles into the hills of North San Diego County where Bartletti revealed a subculture of migrant laborer squatter camps – people dug in for a raw version of the California Dream.
These silver gelatin selenium toned prints, made by the artist with a vintage Leica Focomat I enlarger, are more than finely crafted art of carefully focused journalism. These are the faces of those caught Between Two Worlds – a story that remains much the same today.