Songs on the Borderlands: An Interview with Robert Neustadt

Uniting 31 musicians, artists, and activists to chronicle the struggles faced by border communities, the album "Border Songs" has raised over $50,000 of direct humanitarian aid. Producer Robert Neustadt considers it one of the most eclectic albums in the world.

Kyle Barron

Since 1994, over 6,000 have died while trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. The U.S. government has been deporting nearly 400,000 people each year since 2009. Arizona has become the battleground state for these kinds of immigration issues. In 2010 their state legislature passed SB1070, a senate bill that required law enforcement to check the immigration status of anyone based on “reasonable suspicion.” In response to these issues, a Northern Arizona University professor Robert Neustadt produced the album “Border Songs” in 2012. This collection brings together 31 musicians, artists, and activists to chronicle the struggles faced by border communities. The project directly supports humanitarian work on the border. All of the proceeds from the sales of the CD go to No More Deaths / No Más Muertes, a humanitarian group that provides water, food, and medical assistance to distressed migrants on the U.S.-Mexico Border. So far the sale of “Border Songs” has raised over $50,000. In February, Kyle talked to Neustadt about the project. Her interview accompanies Heather Craigie's album review, "Beyond Humanitarianism: Border Songs and the Politics of Migration," published in NACLA's Spring issue: "Mexico: The State Against the Working Class."

Border Songs can be purchased through Amazon.com or CD Baby at the following link: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/bordersongs. All proceeds benefit No More Deaths, www.nomoredeaths.org. The CD would make a powerful gift, as each album purchased provides 29 gallons of water placed in the Arizona desert for people in need.

 


Kyle Barron graduated with an MA in comparative politics from New York University and is the Outreach Administrator for the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU.

 

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