Borderline Exhibition at EXPO 2019                          Image: CASE

"Borderlines" is CASE Art Project that tackles the important issue of Displacement of Children. CASE Art Fund returned to Expo Chicago, to present its first major exhibition ofBorderlines, a photographic project about the detention camps in Tornillo, TX, that housed separated and unaccompanied children.


The Tornillo-Guadalupe Port of Entry was the site of one of the most massive incarceration of children in American history. From June 2018 to January 2019, more than 6000 children between the ages of 12-17 were placed in tents in the Texas desert, surrounded by barbed wire. In October 2018, protesters began a three-month residency at the entrance to the Port of Entry, lining the gates with paper flowers sent from all over the country. These flowers became a symbol of hope and love, letting the children know they were not alone.


At EXPO Chicago, CASE worked with children from RefugeeOne to help create a 6’ high wall running the width of the booth made of 360 paper flowers and asked the public to make a donation to remove and keep a flower from the display, actively taking down the wall. As the wall was removed, viewers entered the booth that was lit by a video of a young family quietly walking in the desert towards border patrol. Numerous flashlights hung from a cage-like ceiling, which viewers used to see photographs from the Tornillo site. CASE sold hundreds of flowers, raising $1500 for El Paso Matters, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to independent reporting about El Paso and border issues. 

From its inception, EXPO Chicago has been committed to showcasing the work of nonprofit and cause-related organizations at our annual exposition. Working consistently with Human Rights Watch, NRDC and other local groups that utilize artists to communicate issues and ideas, we were proud to welcome CASE Art Fund this year. CASE Art Fund’s exhibition, featuring the work of Omar Imam, illuminated the global challenges of the Syrian refugee crisis and we look forward to seeing what they propose next year. // Tony Karman [President & Director of Expo Chicago]
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