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one of the days these boots are gonna...
November 17, 2005 11:30 AM   Subscribe

These boots are made for... immigrating!
posted by shoepal (26 comments total)

 
(I love that the list of "participants" includes: Migrants crossing the US/Mexico border, consumers of high-end sneakers, and maquiladora workers in China.)

"The shoe includes a compass, a flashlight because people cross at night, and inside is included also some Tylenol painkillers because many people get injured during crossing," Werthein says.
posted by shoepal at 11:33 AM on November 17, 2005


It does give them an incentive to come. Because these are probably the best shoes they've ever had in their lives.

*rolls eyes*

You know that giant sucking sound coming from the border? It's Joe Schmidt.
posted by eddydamascene at 11:38 AM on November 17, 2005


It's a nice effort. I think a Ghillie suit might be more useful; but giving those away would get expensive.
posted by weirdoactor at 11:42 AM on November 17, 2005


And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:43 AM on November 17, 2005


Fuck these people. I'm a big fan of conceptual art, but this kind of thing tends to make me roll my eyes back as I vomit. If it comes off, the artist gets a big chunk of change and migrants still die in the AZ desert. No one who sees the shoes is going to be any better informed about the issues facing immigrants, and the polemics, on which the "piece" rests are so muted that they don't add a thing to any arguments about immigration. It isn't that I think that conceptual art if a wank-fest, it's that this is bad conceptual art.
posted by OmieWise at 11:44 AM on November 17, 2005


Am i the only one paranoid enough to think that this is really the work of the US government and they put tracking chips into these shoes? Tin foil hats please.
posted by EvilKenji at 11:45 AM on November 17, 2005


While my reaction isn't quite as violent as that of OmieWise, I tend to agree with his sentiment toward the bogus intellectuals. Still, the artist is giving shoes to people who not only need them desperately, but are profoundly grateful to receive them. That, I think, is quite admirable.

If she can sell a few pairs to Zinfandel sipping art collectors to help support the cause, all the better.
posted by aladfar at 11:52 AM on November 17, 2005


What if an immigrant were to make it safely to the US only to be shot/killed/mugged for his/her $215 Air Jordan Brincos?

What would be interesting is if they were somehow postage paid and could be dropped into a mailbox upon arrival in the US to be re-delivered back across the border to aid in another journey.
posted by shoepal at 11:55 AM on November 17, 2005


Funny she didn't make something for the Minutemen.

The Caring Gun

Sympathy Cuffs

An Empathetic Net

The Chevy Trailblazer of Feeling
posted by Captaintripps at 12:00 PM on November 17, 2005


Am i the only one paranoid enough to think that this is really the work of the US government and they put tracking chips into these shoes?

The goverment is too dumb for that. I'm sure they'd try instead to give them bright orange vests with reflectors on it.
posted by billysumday at 12:06 PM on November 17, 2005


I bet any illegal immigrant who gets caught mid-brinco wearing these shoes gets an extra beating from the border patrol.
posted by gurple at 12:13 PM on November 17, 2005


Meta.
posted by Peter H at 12:19 PM on November 17, 2005


What if an immigrant were to make it safely to the US only to be shot/killed/mugged for his/her $215 Air Jordan Brincos?

That would be hilarious.
posted by keswick at 12:22 PM on November 17, 2005


Nolo contendere.
posted by shoepal at 12:24 PM on November 17, 2005


I bet any illegal immigrant who gets caught mid-brinco wearing these shoes gets an extra beating from the border patrol.

I think you are getting Border Patrol confused with the California Highway Patrol.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:25 PM on November 17, 2005


Werthein gives her a pair of Brincos - and Ms Elias begins to cry.

"I'm crying because you gave me these and almost no-one ever helps me," she explains, adding that she has never owned new shoes before.
That part from the BBC article makes me sad. My first reaction to the "artist" was like that of OmieWise's. But that passage gave me pause.

A shoe made for an illegal border crossing, though, should probably not have a bright red and white sole. The damn thing should blend in.
posted by teece at 12:44 PM on November 17, 2005


DOROTHY
Oh, will you help me? Can you help me?

GLINDA
You don't need to be helped any longer.
You've always had the power to go back to
Kansas.

DOROTHY
I have?

SCARECROW
Then why didn't you tell her before?

GLINDA
Because she wouldn't have believed me. She
had to learn it for herself.

TIN MAN
What have you learned, Dorothy?

MCU -- Dorothy -- Lion behind her -- she speaks --

DOROTHY
Well, I -- I think that it -- that it
wasn't enough just to want to see Uncle
Henry and Auntie Em -- and it's that -- if
I ever go looking for my heart's desire
again, I won't look any further than my own
backyard. Because if it isn't there, I
never really lost it to begin with! Is
that right?

MCS -- Tin Man, Dorothy, Glinda, Scarecrow and Lion on platform -- they
speak -- Glinda points down to Dorothy's slippers --

GLINDA
That's all it is!

SCARECROW
But that's so easy! I should have thought
of it for you.

TIN MAN
I should have felt it in my heart.

GLINDA
No. She had to find it out for herself.
Now, those magic slippers will take you
home in two seconds!

DOROTHY
Oh....


They're sort of ruby slippers in reverse, aren't they?
posted by notmtwain at 12:53 PM on November 17, 2005


That part from the BBC article makes me sad. My first reaction to the "artist" was like that of OmieWise's. But that passage gave me pause.

The part right after that got me back on my indignant high-horse:
A few days after passing out shoes for free to migrants, Werthein begins selling the shoes at a hip boutique trainer store in downtown San Diego.

The shop sells only limited edition trainers. A pair of Werthein's Brincos are displayed on a pedestal under glass with a price tag of $215
To be taken home by
Andrea Schmidt, of La Jolla, is buying a pair to display in her living room.

"I think they're historical. I think it depicts a very special problem. And I thought it was important to have them," she says.
Who clearly needs a Holiday in Cambodia. I'd feel a lot better if the $215 shoe went into a perpetual program.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 1:40 PM on November 17, 2005


A few days after passing out shoes for free to migrants, Werthein begins selling the shoes at a hip boutique trainer store in downtown San Diego.

First off, shouldn't that be "Werthein began selling shoes..." ?

As is, while it seems she does share compassion for the illegals, it also seems she's out to make a profit as well. If it was all about the message, she should have simply given the items away.
posted by Atreides at 1:40 PM on November 17, 2005


And can anyone find any mention of how many pairs she was giving away? It came across to me that the border visit was a promotional thing, like a book-signing, and the 'real' purpose of the shoes was as a pricey artwork. In which case, I second OmieWise above.
posted by Catch at 1:55 PM on November 17, 2005


Dear Ms. Werthein,

I and other Americans are well-aware of the plight of immigrants attempting to enter the United States. I fully sympathize with them and wish to welcome them to my country in a safe, legal, controlled method.

I do not require your shoes (which support an unsafe, illegal and uncontrolled method) to remind me of this and I would assume neither do the majority of Americans.

In case you have not picked up a 'Merrican newspaper lately, we are already having a vibrant discussion about this with points of view ranging from mercifully empathetic to violently bigotted.

While you deserve congratulations for the excellent feature presented you in the British Broadcasting Corporation and for the ingenuity of your soleful shoes, they would make more of a statement as a display piece only.

As you can see, very few of us are discussing immigration, but rather the propriety of your footwear. In all honesty, I believe this to have been your intention all along.

Regards,

Captaintripps

P.S. I could use a piece of survival clothing to better-enable my rush hour cycling commute in New York City. Please contact the email in my profile for further details.
posted by Captaintripps at 2:11 PM on November 17, 2005


These shoes sound suspiciously like recycled airline life-preservers.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:17 PM on November 17, 2005


It's nice to give shoes to illegal immigrants, but I get the strong feeling that they are being exploited to further this woman's artistic career. Is she doing this to help them, or to use them?
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 3:15 PM on November 17, 2005


i love this! thanks, aptly-named shoepal : >
posted by amberglow at 3:23 PM on November 17, 2005


Is she doing this to help them, or to use them?

Does the distinction matter to the immigrants?
posted by spazzm at 3:37 PM on November 17, 2005


If she's helping her career by giving shoes to immigrants I see nothing wrong with it. Especially since there are "Militia" members helping their careers by beating and shooting immigrants.

Nobody does anything from pure altruism; we're all self-interested to some degree. The issue is which direction you'd rather people point it.
posted by davy at 6:55 PM on November 17, 2005


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