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Episode 27 –Tara Plath: Visualizing the Human Costs of Prevention through Deterrence

June 2023


Tara Plath is a PhD student in the Film & Media Studies Department at UC Santa Barbara. She holds an MA in Research Architecture from Goldsmiths, University of London and a BFA in Sculpture and BA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is an interdisciplinary practice-based researcher whose ongoing research uses mapping and open-source investigation techniques to challenge state violence, surveillance, and militarization at the US southwest border in Arizona.

In a Conversation following the end of Title 42, Tara and Taylor discuss the compounding crises of disappearance and death in the Sonoran Desert; border militarization and the weaponization of humanitarian aid as part of Border Patrol’s long-term strategy of Prevention Through Deterrence. Plath’s transdisciplinary research and activism helps us better visualize the devastating effects of the occupation of Indigenous land throughout the Sonoran Desert, and beyond, while offering methods and platforms for transborder solidarity

Hosted and produced by Taylor Miller; post-production and edition by Carlos Quintero.

Notes and Resources

  • Relevant work by Tara Plath:
   An Elusive ViewshedJournal of Design Studies
   Arizona Beacon Map –
   Incursions – Hostile Environments
   From Threat to PromisesantiAtlas Journal
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