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“Life Along The Border” exhibit opens at IV Desert Museum

Entrance to exhibit.

OCOTILLO, Calif. (KYMA, KSWT, KECY)- Jimmy Dorantes literally grew up along the U.S.-Mexico border as Calexico native.

"1960 they erected the fence in front of my house. A year before I was born. So that was brand new. That has been replaced, the chain-linked fence. By barbwire, like that photograph in black and white of the kids running back to Mexicali. Those photos show basically how it was in the '70s," said Dorantes.  

The retired photojournalist discovered his passion for photography at an early age. Since then he's captured countless photos of life along the border.

"For me, these photographs represent what I grew up with. In a truthful way, not political in any direction. But in a truthful way that meant something to me as a person. I really feel attached to the border. Any time I leave or live far away from it I just miss it."

This weekend over five decades of selected work from Dorantes was exhibited at the Imperial Valley Desert Museum. Showing patrons a different side of border towns and their sister cities.

"People get to see and understand what life is really like there. It's not like anywhere else. You have two worlds divided by one line. And they're kind of meshed into one. "

The exhibit will be toured throughout the country giving a local perspective on a national stage.

"People that don't know the border I think it will speak to them hopefully. Because as a photojournalist I train my eyes to see and record things to tell a story with each image. So hopefully I'll be able to use that language to speak to those people as well."

The Imperial Valley Desert Museum will host the exhibit until March 2020.

Imperial County

Billy Khang

Billy Khang joined KYMA in January of 2018 as a Multimedia Journalist.

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