Mexican Photojournalist Julian Cordona Straddles the Immigration Fence

Production line for cable-vision equipment. Antec Network Actives (Texscan plant) Photo by Julian CordonaA native and resident of Juárez, Mexico, since 1993 Julian Cordona has used his camera to document the devastating effects of NAFTA and globalization along both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

After attending vocational school, Cordona worked as a “maquiladora” factory worker himself where he earned money to buy his first camera. A self-taught photographer, Cordona has published and exhibited his work worldwide.

Ever wonder how the things you use everyday got made and by whom? “Maquiladoras” are manufacturing or export assembly plants in northern Mexico, producing parts and products mostly for the United States. Deplorable working conditions, insanely low wages (some as little as $9 or less a day) could qualify these factories as “sweat shops.” The lack of taxes and fees imposed on the factory owners plus the existence of only 1 official government union further enables these injustices. Cordona’s personal ties to this community and his subjects allow us to get an intimate, authentic and compassionate perspective.

Cordona’s new photography book Exodus/Éxodo, a collaboration with writer Charles Bowden, is an expansion on their award-winning 2006 Mother Jones article and “puts a human face to the issue of illegal immigration.”

PHOTO: Production line for cable-vision equipment. Antec Network Actives (Texscan plant). Copyright Julian Cordona

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