Loteria de la vida

A structured art performance using the game of Loteria to talk about Mexico-US undocumented immigration

Loteria de la vida” means “lottery of life” in Spanish.

Loteria is a folk game I grew up playing with my family in Mexico. Its similar to Bingo and my family always gambles a little money to make things interesting. 

This project explores the gamble that individuals and families take while crossing the border across the Mexico-US border. Moving from one place to another is always a risk and some have more luck in their journeys than others, depending on their economic and political status and the circumstances that meet them on their path.

In this interactive work Loteria is used to spark conversations on the media portrayal of undocumented Mexican migration. The audience is invited to play a version of Loteria with modified game markers. My own family uses metal bottlecaps and for this game I have filled them with images found during image searches online related to undocumented border crossing. After playing several rounds of the game participants are invited to share their reflections with the group in a dialogue intended to expand the single narrative of undocumented immigration.