David Romo

David Dorado Romo is an El Paso writer, musician and historian who specializes in borderlands studies.
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, “BorderTuner”, 2019.

Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer on the Importance of Telling Complex, Nuanced Border Stories

A massive public art project lit up the sky over El Paso and Juárez this month, prompting conversations both funny and serious, political and personal.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer hates searchlights. They evoke surveillance and fear, and in the El Paso-Juárez borderlands, where his most recent artwork debuted this month, the U.S. Border Patrol uses them to hunt down migrants. Yet the Mexico City-born artist, whose work … Read More

El Paso Firme

‘El Paso Firme’ Music Festival Calls on Texans to Peacefully Resist White Supremacy

A month after the largest massacre of Latinx people in U.S. history, 1,200 El Pasoans and numerous world-class musicians gathered for a hopeful, healing night.

About 1,200 people attended the El Paso Firme Music Fest on Saturday, a call to action against white supremacy through “the healing power of music.” The all-day event held at Ascarate, a community park surrounded by a lake and a … Read More

Essay, News, The Issue

To Understand the El Paso Massacre, Look to the Long Legacy of Anti-Mexican Violence at the Border

The El Paso shooter wasn’t a “lone wolf.” His act of white supremacist terror is part of a century of racial violence targeting fronterizo communities.

In the immediate aftermath of the El Paso shooting—the largest massacre of Latinx people in the history of the United States—politicians of all stripes stood before the cameras and gave their diagnosis of what just happened. They sounded like the … Read More

tornillo art

Uncaged Art

Finding life and light in art from detention.

Uncaged Art Finding life and light in art from detention. – by David Dorado Romo April 22, 2019 When I first saw the art of the children of the Tornillo detention camp, I was struck by the colors. Vibrant, bold, … Read More



Smack Me in the Mouth If You Want To

“Coming back from assignments and private wanderings, I have seen uncountable acts of kindness, unlimited doses of hope and optimism and pure faith. I have always left those ‘little slums’ a rich man. Like someone had rammed gold into my … Read More


Ringside Seat to a Revolution

The following excerpt is adapted from Ringside Seat to a Revolution: An Underground Cultural History of El Paso and Juárez: 1893-1923 (Cinco Puntos Press, 2005) by David Romo. I was raised in both Juárez and El Paso, but I’ve spent … Read More


⁄ Donde Est Artaud?

?Donde Est? Artaud?

The Tarahumaras visit the cities sometimes, drawn by a desire to travel, to see, as they say, how the mistaken men live. For them, living in the city is a mistake. –Antonin Artaud, Voyage to the Land of the Tarahumara … Read More


All Jokes Will Be Taken Seriously

Rules for crossing border checkpoints for those of us who fit profiles: 1. Keep your answers short, simple, and unambiguous. 2. Make eye contact but not too much. It might be interpreted as defiance or contempt. 3. All jokes will … Read More