Speakers: Michelle Frankfurter, Christopher Rauschenberg
Meaning both “destination” and “destiny” in Spanish, Destino portrays the perilous journey of undocumented Central American migrants along the network of freight trains lurching inexorably across Mexico, towards the hope of finding work in the United States. It is the odyssey of a generation of exiles across a landscape that is becoming increasingly dangerous, heading towards a precarious future as an option of last resorts.
“Migration as an issue is current; the story of migration is timeless. Having grown up on the adventure tales of Jack London and Mark Twain, and then later on Cormac McCarthy’s border stories, there is no storyline more compelling to me than one involving a youthful odyssey across a hostile wilderness. With a singularity of purpose and a kind of brazen resilience, migrants traverse deadly terrain, relying mostly on their wits and the occasional kindness of strangers. In documenting a journey both concrete and figurative, I convey the experience of individuals who struggle to control their own destiny when confronted by extreme circumstances, much like the anti-hero protagonists of the adventure tales I grew up reading”.
Michelle Frankfurter (United States), born in Jerusalem, Israel, Michelle Frankfurter is a documentary photographer from Takoma Park, MD. She graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in English. Before settling in the Washington, DC area, Frankfurter spent three years living in Nicaragua where she worked as a stringer for the British news agency, Reuters and with the human rights organization Witness For Peace documenting the effects of the contra war on civilians. In 1995, a long-term project on Haiti earned her two World Press Photo awards. Since 2000, Frankfurter has concentrated on the border region between the United States and Mexico and on themes of migration. She is a 2013 winner of the Aaron Siskind Foundation grant, a 2011 Top 50 Critical Mass winner, a finalist for the 2011 Aftermath Project and the 2012 Foto Evidence Book Award for her project Destino.
Christopher Rauschenberg (United States) has practiced photographic art since 1957, and has a B.A. in photography from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He taught photography and art from 1982 to 1996 at Marylhurst College (now Marylhurst University) in Lake Oswego, Oregon. He is a curator and widely published and exhibited photographic artist, founder and active member of Blue Sky Gallery/Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts, Board Chair Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. He has photographed in many countries around the World. His work is in the collections of 11 major museums.