Panel Discussion: Hostile Terrain 94

September 2, 2021
12 pm (CDT)
Ann and Andrew Tisch Park in front of the Museum (weather permitting)

Join Tabea Linhard, professor of Spanish and comparative literature and Global Studies affiliate; Mattie Gottbrath, coordinator for international programming in Global Studies; and Ila Sheren, associate professor of art history & archaeology, all in Arts & Sciences, as they discuss Hostile Terrain 94, a global pop-up exhibition that gives representation to the thousands of migrants who died crossing the US–Mexico border since the mid-1990s and raises awareness of this humanitarian crisis. They will discuss the impact of border policies and border crossing on local and global communities and will share their experiences organizing this participatory exhibition in St. Louis.

The program will begin with a performance of “MY BABY” by artist Mee Jey that honors the unidentified people who lost their life in the desert of Arizona. Visitors are invited to view the exhibition before and/or after the program.

Immigrant and Refugee Donation Drive

Visitors are invited to bring items to donate to the International Institute of St. Louis's drive to benefit recent refugees and immigrants Friday, September 3–Friday, September 17. The list of needed items may be found here.

Donated items can be dropped off at the Kemper Art Museum’s Welcome Desk during open hours or at the International Institute on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 am–3 pm. Bring items to the Institute’s gymnasium on Louisiana Avenue, around the corner from the Institute’s main entrance at 3401 Arsenal Street.

Visit the International Institute online at for more information.

About the speakers

Tabea Linhard is professor of Spanish, comparative literature, and Global Studies at Washington University. She is the author of Fearless Women in the Mexican Revolution and the Spanish Civil War (2005), Jewish Spain: A Mediterranean Memory (2014), and the co-author of Mapping Migration, Identity, and Space. She recently completed Unexpected Routes: Refuge in Mexico (1931–1945) and regularly teaches courses on global migration.

Mattie Gottbrath is the coordinator for International Programming for Washington University’s undergraduate Global Studies major, and one of the lead organizers for St. Louis’s Hostile Terrain 94 exhibit. In her current role she teaches first-year students in the workshop for the Global Citizenship Program, which includes an immersive border awareness program in Tucson. She enjoys connecting locally with individuals impacted by immigration by volunteering with Casa de Salud, the International Institute, IFCLA, and other organizations. Gottbrath graduated from Washington University in 2018 with degrees in international affairs and Spanish. After graduating, she volunteered for a year in Guayaquil, Ecuador, with Rostro de Cristo. While there, she developed youth outreach programs with a local community development nonprofit, Hogar de Cristo.

Ila N. Sheren is associate professor in the Department of Art History & Archaeology at Washington University in St Louis. She is the author of Portable Borders: Performance Art and Politics on the US Frontera since 1984 (University of Texas Press, 2015), as well as articles published in The Journal of Borderlands Studies, GeoHumanities, and the anthologies Border Spaces (University of Arizona, 2018) and Liquid Borders/Fronteras Liquidas (Routledge, 2021). As part of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Equity’s Innovation Space initiative, she is launching a collaborative map of community art on the US–Mexico Border in 2022 (see for more info).

Mee Jey is a multidisciplinary artist concerned with lived experiences. Mee focuses on the collective politico-cultural identity and experiences, communal creativity and connections through her immersive installations, performances, relational art projects, and time-based media. She is a recipient of McDonnell International Scholarship and Legislative Fellowship, USA. She works out of St. Louis and New Delhi.