Right Wing along the Rio Grande / Zed Nelson

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The Rio Grande travels 3,000km through three US states, and forms a natural but highly contentious border dividing Texas and Mexico.

Travelling through a landscape that reflects the deep-seated divides currently underpinning the nation’s political landscape, by the time the water empties into the Gulf of Mexico, it is polluted, depleted and muddied, like the region’s politics.

These are volatile times in US politics. An expression of this is the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party movement. Reckless, anarchic and strident, it is galvanizing support around the country; at the same time, fear and rage seem to be driving out the facts. Supporters of the ‘Birther movement’ claim Obama was not born in the US. People describe him as a radical Muslim. An enemy.

This kind of statement is not limited to the fringes. A recent Harris poll suggested that a majority of Republican supporters believe Obama is a Muslim and a socialist who “wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a one-world government”.

Anti-immigration sentiment along the US border with Mexico is also increasing. Speaking at a Tea Party tour in Arizona, one delegate recently spelled out his plan for dealing with illegal immigration: “Put a fence in and start shooting.” In Texas, close to where the Rio Grande ends it journey, the McAllen Tea Party warns that “revolution is brewing in the Rio Grande Valley”.


About Zed

“The visual ‘language’ of my images is about integrity and connection with the subject. The images should feel ‘true’...real...genuine… Working with a good Art Director is a huge plus, paving the way for a creative and structured collaboration in the image-making process.”

Zed’s work is known and recognised around the world. Coming to prominence with the seminal ‘Gun Nation’, which won five major international photography prizes, he has consistently produced work that makes us reflect and wonder.

(To read more about Zed Nelson, see Who we are)