iLuta Naga International Headquarters Come Visit us for LUNCH! In addition to our organic coffee, pizzas, empanadas, pastries and pies, we now prepare made to order sandwiches, salads, and even black bean gazpacho. 3601 S. Congress oft E. Alpine Penn Field under the water tower check our site for monthly calendar age of 29angst, restlessness, manic energy, the need to breathe, to escape. And that’s what is increasingly pushing Berman away from El Paso today. He’s afraid that El Paso and Juarez are beginning to lose their edge. The zones with the hand-painted walls are shrinking. These downtown development district plans”the grid”are going to take over. Even in Juarez. You go down a couple of miles south and now there are these expressways with nothing but strip malls along them. They’re even tearing down the Bull Ring, La Plaza Monumental, and replacing it, according to rumors, with a Wal-Mart. The Plaza Monumental was always one of those visuals that told you, “You ain’t in Kansas anymore, Dorothy” Isn’t that the ultimate sign that the so-called border is disappearing? Even something like El Dia de Los Muertos… I used to go down to the Juarez cemetery every November 2nd. Now even the Day of the Dead has become marketed. People sell flowers and cotton candy to the tourists. There are still some great colors there. But for the most part they’ve ruined the Day of the Dead and they’ve done it for money. “Maybe it’s time for me to go,” he says. “Now that I’m older, that my hair isn’t black anymore, I’ve become an outsider again. It’s become harder to gain people’s trust when I shoot out in the street. I’m an outsider not because of ethnicity or geography, but because of age. Then again everyone here is an outsider. You’re an outsider too,” he tells me. “Maybe there are other places where they need a photographer. I’m thinking that my border project is almost done. I don’t know where I need to go. I’m thinking south. Then again, 20 years ago I was saying the same thing and I’m still here.” I ask Berman one last question. A very basic one. My own variation of a question he’s been asked many times before. “What are you looking for?” I ask. Berman takes a while to answer. “I just want somebody to take me home,” he responds. “That’s all. When somebody takes me home, when I become part of the picture and the people in it, I’ll be done.” David Romo is the author of Ringside Seat to a Revolution: An Underground Cultural History of El Paso and Juarez: 1893-1925 exhibit “Bruce Berman: Border Document, 1985-2005” can be seen at the Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, at the University of Texas-El Paso through April 1. MARCH 24, 2006 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 31
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