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Hostile Terrain 94: A Public Art Exhibition

Public Humanities, Justice Forum

dateNovember 1, 2023 timeWednesday, 7:15pm–8:30pm EDT location Casa Hispanica, Columbia University
  • Art and Resistance Through Education
  • Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought
  • Families for Freedom
  • Hispanic Institute for Latin American and Iberian Cultures
  • Sundial House
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Justice-in-Education
email address [email protected]
  • Free and open to the public
Toe tags

Hostile Terrain 94 (HT94) is a participatory art project sponsored and organized by the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP), a non-profit research-art-education-media collective directed by anthropologist Jason De León. The exhibition is composed of over 3,400 handwritten toe tags that represent migrants who have died trying to cross the Sonoran Desert of Arizona between the mid-1990s and 2022. These tags are geolocated on a wall map of the desert showing the exact locations where remains were found. This installation has been shown nationally and globally in close to 80 locations since 2019.

More information about the project here.


Janay Cauthen is a second-generation Jamaican-American woman who has made New York City her home and community. Since childhood, Janay has wanted to work with and meet the needs of underrepresented minorities across the country and was able to start doing so by earning a BA in Liberal Arts and Social Work.

Although she faced many immigration-related challenges throughout her life, including losing her former husband to deportation during Trump’s administration in 2018, Janay has always strived to support and empower others facing similar issues as she personally believes in the equality of all people. Janay fought effortlessly against the broken system and was able to assist with her former spouse receiving a pardon in 2021, which made him eligible to return to the US and be reunited with their children. Once she joined Families For Freedom in 2005, Janay was able to express this passion for social justice and welfare by advocating for immigrants around America struggling with the broken immigration system. Starting out as just an intern by representing Families For Freedom for many years at national press conferences, rallies, and justice movements, she now serves as the Executive Director of the organization’s staff and board.

As Families For Freedom’s current chairman, Janay has been able to extend the organization’s goal of providing freedom to migrants to individuals of all races, ethnicities, and genders, as well as grow its small support group into a nationwide community. At the same time, as the co-founder of New York’s New Sanctuary Movements, she has provided direct services to immigrant families caught in the unjust detention/deportation system and developed immigrant awareness across the New York City Area. Through all of these simultaneous efforts, Janay has proven to show her deep dedication to the liberation of all people and the dismantling of the cruel immigration system.