My interdisciplinary scholarship intersects the fields of critical political communication, mediatization theory, international media systems, political culture, identity formation and class struggle, Latin American Studies, Human Rights discourse and memory, Chicana/o Studies, Border Studies, and the media practices/production of social movements. My 2018 book, Television, Democracy, and the Mediatization of Chilean Politics, demonstrates how televised political advertising created in the context of the 1988 transition from military to civilian rule helped transform the political culture of that country. I’m currently working on a new book about the political marginalization of raza communities within the United States: No Walls For Donald: The Vilification of Latin America in U.S. Political Culture.
I am a life-long educator. I am also a community organizer, having founded and served in leadership positions within numerous organizations. A substantial part of my community work has involved media production. I have independently published several non-academic books and produced dozens of community-based pamphlets, booklets, and documentaries. I also have extensive experience working with digital communication technologies, having created dozens of websites, directed social media campaigns, and administered multiple bilingual social media accounts that reach hundreds of thousands of followers. I am proud to admit that I have also been a videographer, an editor of several newspapers, a construction worker, and I built my own lowrider.
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San Diego/Tijuana border wall, Border Field State Park (also known as Friendship Park), where the U.S./Mexico border wall extends into the Pacific Ocean. These images center on a unique strip of land between two massive border walls. During select weekends every year since 2008, DHS and Border Patrol agents permitted small groups of people to enter the area between the two border walls, allowing them to engage with people on the Tijuana, Mexico side of the second border wall for about thirty minutes. In the course of these special weekends, it was common to see families who had been separated due to various immigration issues gather on both sides of the international border. Loved ones would use their time together to chat. Often, they would cry. Invariably, they enjoyed each other’s company, and their love marked the tiny strip of land between the walls as simultaneously beautiful and tragic. The Trump administration shut down this little meeting place in 2020. On July 7, 2022, the Biden administration announced that the closure would be permanent. To see my photo essay about Border Field State Park, visit <https://harrysimonsalazar.net/photo-essay-a-divided-friendship/>.