Joel Tauber is undertaking a 40-day pilgrimage along the U.S. – Mexico border to build community through baseball.
Growing up, Tauber went to Fenway Park to watch baseball. He dreamed of playing professionally. Baseball, for him, stands for openness and a belief in a welcoming, diverse America. He hopes to encourage conversation and togetherness rather than division and separation.
The journey will begin on Oct. 29. Tauber will start at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego, California, and will walk along the border wall before heading north two and a half miles to the Otay Mesa Detention Center. He will travel there and back again each day – a seven mile journey that connects legal entry to the U.S. with the border wall and the detention center holding those who might be in the country without all legal permits. While walking, he will be declaring, in English as well as some Spanish, an adaptation of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”:
Walk with me along the border. Play catch with me in front of the wall. Share some hot dogs and salsa. I don’t care what part of the world you’re from. Let’s root, root, root for teamwork. If we don’t find some, it’s a shame. For it’s one, two, three strikes, we’re out at the old ball game.
Tauber will be wearing a custom vintage baseball uniform and backpack in blue, white and red. He will be tossing a baseball as he walks along and inviting people who walk along with him to play catch.
As part of the border walk, Tauber will be filming people he meets and gathering personal reflections and stories related to baseball, immigration and the U.S. He will produce a film and art installation, called Border-Ball, about the experience.
Oct 31; Nov 2, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29; Dec 1, 3, 5, 7: Meet at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry pedestrian bridge at noon. Share stories (on camera) about baseball, immigration, and the United States until 1 pm. Walk along the border wall from 1-1:30. Rest from 1:30 – 1:45 pm. Walk to the Otay Mesa Detention Center from 1:45 – 2:45 pm. Share stories (on camera) about baseball, immigration, and the United States until 3:45 pm. Walk back to the Otay Mesa Port of Entry from 3:45 – 4:45 pm.
Nov 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30; Dec 2, 4, 6: Meet at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry pedestrian bridge at noon. Walk along the border wall from 12:15-12:45. Share stories (on camera) about baseball, immigration, and the United States until 1:45 pm at the eastern end of the Via De La Amistad section of the route. Walk to the Otay Mesa Detention Center from 1:45 – 2:45 pm. Share stories (on camera) about baseball, immigration, and the United States until 3:45 pm. Walk back to the Otay Mesa Port of Entry from 3:45 – 4:45 pm.
Nov 4: Joel Tauber is walking alone with a cinematographer
There are no places to get food or water after leaving the Port of Entry area, so please make sure to bring water with you, and either eat before the walk or bring some food with you as well.
Also: if you have any trouble finding Joel Tauber, you are welcome to call or text: +1 626-399-7746.
Tauber was born in 1972 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA and comes from a long line of rabbis. His work focuses on generating conversation and facilitating change. Most recently, the Vintage International Film Festival in Kolhapur, India, named Tauber’s “The Sharing Project” movie “Best International Documentary Film.” He lives and works in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA; where he is Associate Professor of Art at Wake Forest University.