Case Talks Presents: John Fanestil / Debi Cornwall

Saturday, Jul 10, 2021 10 – 11 am

John Fanestil & Debi Cornwall

"The Perpetual Canvas"

A discussion about art on the border wall

Saturday, July 10, 2021, 10:00 - 11:00 am CT

register here



"The Perpetual Canvas"

A discussion about art on the border wall


The U.S.-Mexico border is commonly portrayed as a place defined by criminality and violence. This portrayal betrays a profound misunderstanding of what life on the border is really like. In fact, the border is marked most profoundly by peaceful human encounters. More goods and people cross the US-Mexico border on a daily basis than any other border in the world. And millions celebrate family and friendships across this international boundary, which is clearly on display at Friendship Park. From the time the US-Mexico Boundary Commission first met at this location in 1849, at the end of the US-Mexico War, people have met at Friendship Park to visit family on the other side of the border, in a peaceful manner.


John Fanestil is the Executive Director of Via International, the fiscal sponsor of the Friends of Friendship Park. Together with friends in both countries, John convenes 

The Border Church, a weekly communion service at Friendship Park.


Debi Cornwall is a conceptual documentary artist and filmmaker who returned to visual expression in 2014 after a 12-year career as a civil-rights lawyer. Marrying dark humor with structural critique, she employs still and moving images along with testimony and archival materials to examine state-created realities. While completing a degree in Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, she studied photography at RISD. After working for Mary Ellen Mark and Sylvia Plachy, and as an AP stringer and an investigator for the federal public defender's office, she attended Harvard Law School and practiced for more than a decade as a civil-rights attorney. Exhaustive research and negotiation were critical to her advocacy and remain integral to her work as an artist. She is the recipient of numerous awards and has received critical acclaim for her two books, Welcome to Camp America: Inside Guantánamo Bay and Necessary Fictions, about the staging and performance of American power in immersive, realistic military war games.



CASETalks is a monthly online series that happens every second Saturday at 10:00 am CT via Zoom. Artists are in conversation with curators, historians & other CASE partners.

CASETalks is sponsored by the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation