Map Quest

Throughout human history, cartographers have used a variety of inks and dyes to craft a myriad maps of the world. Truth be told, however, there’s probably plenty of blood, sweat, and tears mixed in, as no border has ever been created without a human sacrifice of some sort. (Or, as Muhammad Ali once said, “Wars of nations are fought to change maps.”)

Nowhere is that more true than the border that the United States shares with Mexico. The 1,969-mile-long boundary with our neighbor to the south only came about after the violence of the Mexican-American War of the 1840s, as well as the machinations of 19th Century politicians. Even to this day, bloodshed still dominates the border as people risk their lives to journey to the U.S. against all odds.

The contentious history of America’s southern border is explored in detail through “Changing Boundaries,” which is currently on display at ASU’s Memorial Union. Curated by entrepreneur Simon Burrow, the exhibition features a dozens of antique maps, some of which date back to the 1600s, and highlights the “evolving relationship between the United States and Mexico.”

Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m. Starts: Jan. 19. Continues through Feb. 10, 2012
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.