Border-Ball is a 40-day pilgrimage (October 29 – December 7, 2019) along the U.S. – Mexico border, a movie, and an art installation by Joel Tauber.

Growing up, Tauber went to Fenway Park to watch baseball. He dreamed of playing professionally. Baseball, for him, stands for openness and a belief in a welcoming, diverse America. He hopes to encourage conversation and togetherness rather than division and separation.

Tauber begins his pilgrimage at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego, California, and walks along the Border Wall before heading north two and a half miles to the Otay Mesa Detention Center. He travels there and back again each day—a seven mile journey that connects legal entry to the U.S. with the Border Wall and the Detention Center holding those who might be in the country without all legal permits. While walking, he declares, in English as well as some Spanish, an adaptation of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”:

Walk with me along the border. Play catch with me in front of the wall. Share some hot dogs and salsa. I don’t care what part of the world you’re from. Let’s root, root, root for teamwork. If we don’t find some, it’s a shame. For it’s one, two, three strikes, we’re out at the old ball game.

He also proclaims, as an adaptation of “The Star Spangled Banner”:

Oh, say, can you see, our country’s gorgeous dream: an endless field of green, where everyone can live and play? Our star-spangled banner yet waves, over the land of immigrants and the home of us all!

Tauber wears a custom vintage baseball uniform and backpack in blue, white and red. He tosses a baseball as he walks along and invites people who walk along with him to play catch.

As part of the border walk, Tauber films people he meets and gathers personal reflections and stories related to the border and baseball. He is producing a film and art installation, called Border-Ball, about the experience.

Tauber was born in 1972 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA and comes from a long line of rabbis. His work focuses on generating conversation and facilitating change. Most recently, Tauber’s “The Sharing Project” movie was named “Best International Documentary Film” by the Vintage International Film Festival (Kolhapur, India) and “Best International Documentary Short” by the LakeCity International Film Festival (Noida, India). He lives and works in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA; where he is Associate Professor of Art at Wake Forest University.