Closing Reception: October 7, 2022 5-8 PM     Gallery Talk at 7 PM featuring: Oscar F. Gil and Ana Sanchez-Bachman

Oscar F. Gil is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University at Buffalo. Together, with his brother Manuel Gil, they have worked on Legacies of Forced Migration, a project explores the complex lives of Indigenous Maya who fled Guatemala during the civil war (1960–1996) and settled in Mexico and the United States. Manuel’s photos and Oscar’s ethnographic research record the day-to-day activities of La Gloria residents, the largest refugee settlement in Chiapas, Mexico, as they recreate community and make claims for national belonging.

Ana Sanchez-Bachman is a PhD student at Binghamton University’s cultural anthropology program. Their research is based in the Sonora-Arizona border region, where they study the environmental impact of border securitization on the environment, and the connection between environmental conservation, nationalist narratives, and anti-immigrant policies. Their most recent work focused on the role of water in the U.S-Mexico border. Their involvement in migrant justice initiatives includes work with humanitarian aid groups in Arizona since 2016, an internship with the Colibrí Center for Human Rights, and in the Fall of 2018 they were involved in bringing the Hostile Terrain 94 exhibition to Binghamton, NY. Currently, they are also pursuing an interest in photography as a supplement to their ethnographic work.

CEPA Gallery is excited to announce the opening of Hostile Terrain 94: The Undocumented Migrant Project put together by Jason De León and Legacies of Forced Migration, an exhibition by Manuel and Oscar F. Gil. There will be an opening reception on September 3, 2022 from 12-4 pm. The show is taking place in the historic Market Arcade Building located at 617 Main St in Buffalo and will run until October 7, 2022.

Hostile Terrain 94 (HT94) is a participatory art project sponsored and organized by the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP), a non-profit research-art-education-media collective, directed by anthropologist Jason De León, professor at the University at California, Los Angeles. The exhibition is composed of over 3,200 handwritten toe tags that represent migrants who have died trying to cross the Sonoran Desert of Arizona between the mid-1990s and 2019. These tags are geolocated on a wall map of the desert showing the exact locations where remains were found. This installation will simultaneously take place at a large number of institutions, both nationally and globally throughout 2022.

Legacies of Forced Migration, directed by anthropologist and University at Buffalo faculty member, Oscar F. Gil, documents how traumatic memories associated with the Guatemalan war (1960-1996) and family separations form part of the everyday violence experienced by Indigenous Maya who must contend with new and old structural dynamics designed to deny Indigeneity a place in Mexico and the United States. This project utilizes ethnography and photography to study the overarching problem of state policies at the border, their corresponding effects on families, and to advance social justice claims for Indigenous Maya.

CEPA Gallery would like to thank our sponsors for helping make this exhibition possible, the Canisius College Borders & Migrations Initiative, Joy of Giving Something Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, and Erie County. The Latina/o Studies Program and the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University and Binghamton University’s Material and Visual Worlds Transdisciplinary Area of Excellence generously collaborated in the origination of this exhibit.

Exhibit Location

CEPA Gallery
FOCUS Gallery
617 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14203

Exhibit Dates

Friday, August 5, 2022
Friday, October 7, 2022

Opening Reception
Saturday, September 3, 2022, 12:00-4:00

Exhibit Times

Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
4:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.


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