Israel Fuguemann

Journalist & Photographer
   
Tijuana: the dream denied
Location: Moldavia
Nationality: Mexican
Biography: Journalist and documentary photographer.  In the last years his work focused on social and environmental themes, especially documenting people and cultures in resistance, and the always more extensive reality of extractivism of raw materials... MORE
Public Story
Tijuana: the dream denied
Copyright Israel Fuguemann 2022
Updated Jan 2018
Location Tijuana, México
Summary
The fame that the largest and busiest border on the planet has been placed on its back is not gratuitous. “Welcome to Tijuana”, “it is a luxury to return to Tijuana” and a handful of other phrases and movies that have made the busiest border in the world-famous. They are all somewhat right, but none is able to describe everything that can be said about it, because Tijuana is more than that.
Tijuana can be only what it is not. More than drugs, more than industries, more than trafficking, more than boots, more than hats, more than dealers, more than food, more than music, more than bars, more than beer, more than the border, more than English, more than the sun, more than Spanish, more than desert, more than pachucos, more than cholos, more than Spanglish, more than junkies, more than yanquis, more than anything…You now? "¡Tijuas Rifa!"

In Tijuana, anything can happen. Tijuana is like that, Tijuana has no half measures, you hate it or you love it. Tijuana has it all and gives nothing or quite the opposite. In Tijuana, dreams come true or simply stall. Tijuana is a beautiful limbo trapped between a piece of dusty land of the hills that embrace it, the Pacific sea that bathes it, and the “other fucking side”, the United States.

The nights where "the country begins here" can last a lifetime, perhaps they begin in a seedy bar very close to the first and revolution, among the whores, the police, and the pimps that pack the area; and perhaps it continues day after day through its streets, where the word rest has no place, and the word memory has already lost track of how many women and men have surrendered to them. Twenty-four recyclable hours of a whirlpool called life.

The fame that the largest and busiest border on the planet has been placed on its back is not gratuitous. “Welcome to Tijuana”, “it is a luxury to return to Tijuana” and a handful of other phrases and movies that have made the busiest border in the world-famous. They are all somewhat right, but none is able to describe everything that can be said about it, because Tijuana is more than that.

A city of migrants, migrated, trapped, and left behind, Tijuana is reconverted every day into what it never thought it would be, but what it was always prepared for, although no one yet knows what, exactly, a place of illogical logic. Women and men from unconnected, distant, and unthinkable worlds coexist here, an intense cocktail of peoples and settlers who perhaps never thought of staying here, but according to "one set and God sets."

Tijuana puede ser sólo lo que no es. Más que drogas, más que industrias,  más que trata, más que botas, más que sombreros, más que traficantes, más que comida, más que música, más que bares, más que cerveza,  más que frontera, más que inglés, más que sol, más que español, más que desierto, más que pachucos, más que cholos, más que splanglish, más que yonkis, más que yanquis, más que nada…You now? ¡Tijuas Rifa!

En Tijuana cualquier cosa puede pasar. Tijuana es así, Tijuana no tiene medias tintas, la odias o la amas. Tijuana lo tiene todo y no da nada o todo lo contrario. En Tijuana los sueños se cumplen o simplemente se estancan. Tijuana es un limbo hermoso atrapado entre el terragal de las colinas que la abrazan, el mar pacífico que la baña y el “otro pinche lado”, los Estados Unidos.

Las noches donde "aquí empieza la patria" pueden durar toda la vida, quizá comiencen en un bar sórdido muy cerca de la primera y revolución, entre las putas,  los policías y los padrotes que abarrotan la zona; y quizás continúe  día tras día por sus calles, donde la palabra descanso no tiene cabida, y  la palabra memoria ya perdió registro de cuántas y cuántos mujeres y hombres se han rendido ante ellas.

Veinticuatro horas reciclables de un remolino llamado vida. No es gratuita la fama que se ha echado al lomo la frontera más grande y transitada del planeta. “Welcome to Tijuana”, “es un lujo volver a Tijuana” y un puñado de frases y películas más que han hecho célebre a la más transitada frontera en el mundo. Todas tienen algo de razón, pero ninguna alcanza a describir, todo lo que de ella se puede decir, porque Tijuana es más que eso.  

Ciudad de migrantes, emigrados, atrapados y quedados, Tijuana se reconvierte cada día en lo que nunca pensó que sería, pero para lo que siempre se preparó, aunque aún nadie sabe qué, exactamente, lugar de una lógica ilógica. Aquí conviven mujeres y hombres de mundos inconexos, lejanos, e impensados, un coctel intenso de pueblos y pobladores que quizás nunca pensaron quedarse aquí, pero según “uno pone y dios dispone”.  
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