borderland

fringe or intermediary state or region. In the Southwest, the borderland is the stretch between Mexico and the United States, and the term carries with it the idea of a mixing and confluence of cultures. It also includes the idea of disparate economic systems that produce poverty, along with cultural interactions rich in ambiguities and tensions. Chicana poet and activist Gloria Anzaldúa describes the U.S.-Mexico borderland as “una herida abierta”— an open wound. Borderland is thus no longer a geographical term but a geopolitical one.

Arthur Sze