Julián Cardona Collection: Contents


Julián Cardona’s collection documents the effects of globalization on the United States-Mexico border. Represented in this collection is a concentration on Ciudad Juárez in the state of Chihuahua. The images capture life in the city; the social effects caused by the maquiladoras; the violence of living in the city from executions to the destruction of entire neighborhood blocks; the exodus of residents fleeing the violence and the collapsing economy.

Abandoned Buildings

“A quarter million people have been displaced. 117,000 houses have been abandoned in the city and 32,000 are vandalized or burned if you don’t pay the extortion fees.”      - Julián Cardona, 2012

Cardona documents the changing landscape of Calle Mariscal and the abandoned neighborhoods in Ciudad Juárez. Calle Mariscal was the center of nightlife in the city with bars, dance halls and brothels. Beginning in 2007, in and effort to gain control over the growing violence, the Mexican government razed businesses and buildings in the Mariscal district. Cardona captures the destruction of active businesses and historic buildings in the district.

Visión en Acción

JosÉ Antonio “El Pastor” Galván runs Visión en Acción (Vision in Action), an asylum 20 miles southwest of Ciudad Juárez, providing shelter for mentally ill people. He offers shelter to people rescued from the dangerous streets of the city where 8-10 people may be murdered daily and people face various abuses.


The realities of illegal immigration constitute the images in Exodus/Éxodo (Austin, University of Texas Press, 2008), a collaborative work by writer Charles Bowden and Julián Cardona. Cardona captures immigrates in U.S./Mex. border towns waiting to cross the border; women maquiladora workers in Juárez who have been murdered; Minutemen camps and the cities in which immigrants struggle to survive. Cardona documents the labors and trials of immigrants in New Orleans, North Carolina, Los Angeles and other cities. Captured are immigrants working in construction, agriculture and other industries; marching in protests to assert their rights to stay in the U.S and villages in Mexico where families send remitted dollars to build grand homes that remain unoccupied. The collection also includes images for the project New Americans, about immigrants finding their place within American communities.

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