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Washington State University
Washington State University Office of the Provost

Hostile Terrain 94

Summary and Resources

What is HT94?

Hostile Terrain 94 is a participatory exhibition of approximately 3,800 handwritten toe tags that represent migrants who have died trying to cross the Sonoran Desert from the mid-1990s to 2020. These tags are geolocated on a large wall map of the Arizona-Mexico border, showing the exact locations where human remains were found. The physical act of writing out the names and information for the dead invites participants to reflect, witness and stand in solidarity with those who have lost their lives in search of a better one. This exhibit is taking place at over 120 institutions across 6 continents with the intention to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis at America’s southern border and to engage with communities around the world in conversations about migration.

The construction of HT94 is made possible by teams of volunteers from each hosting location. We are seeking people to participate in toe-tag-filling workshops, where they write the details of the deceased on individual tags, thus bearing witness to this humanitarian crisis at our border. We want to acknowledge these deaths and remember that these people are not just data on a sheet of paper.

Our community’s engagement with Hostile Terrain 94 (HT94) will culminate March 2, 2023, when HT94 founder and anthropologist Jason De León visits the WSU Pullman campus for a series of programs and events. The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU will display the HT94 exhibition from January 17 through March 11, 2023, in collaboration with the Center for Arts & Humanities and the Office of the Provost.

Upcoming Events

Hostile Terrain 94 Workshops
Workshops will be held throughout January and February. Please visit the workshop page to learn more.

Border South Screening 

  • Wednesday, February 8
  • 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
  • CUB Auditorium
  • Free admission

Foley Institute Lecture with HT94 Curator and Anthropologist Jason De León

  • Thursday, March 2
  • 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Foley Speaker’s Room (Bryan Hall 308)

Reception with HT94 Curator and Anthropologist Jason De León

  • Thursday, March 2
  • 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
  • Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art


How to Participate

Reach out to us via email at We will host several public workshops on campus and will also offer take-home packets to individuals and communities who would like to participate off-campus. Those who wish to bring materials off-campus will need to retrieve them at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU.

Volunteer participants will be asked to mindfully complete toe tags that represent individual migrants. Over the next few months, these tags will be filled out by many volunteers from our community; We hope to engage faculty, students, campus groups, and community organizations in this effort. Beginning in January 2023, these tags will be installed at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU. Once the wall is finished, there will be 3,841 toe tags hanging from red map pins, geolocated on a large wall map of the Arizona-Mexico border.

WSU Affiliation(Required)
Please select the option that best describes you.

Mental Health Awareness

HT94 is about bringing people together, remembering those whose lives have been lost, and sharing a collective empathy—that is all realized through the work we will do together. Grief, loss, and death have impacted all of us, whether personally, through the experience of friends and family we’re close to, or in our communities.  We recognize that participation may be especially difficulty for Latinx and undocumented members of our community.  

While raising awareness about the humanitarian crisis at America’s southern border is crucial, our greatest concern is the wellbeing of the WSU community. Information about mental health and crisis resources will be available at each workshop.  A subject matter expert on race, culture, immigration, and equity will be in attendance. Crisis resources include: 

  • WSU students: call CAPS at (509) 335-4511 M-F 8am-5pm, call (509) 335-2159 after hours
  • Faculty/staff/community members: call our local 24/7 crisis line at (509) 334-1133
  • Everyone: call or text 988  

Content Warning: This exhibition focuses on the violent effects of government policies and includes graphic descriptions of migrant death and bodily decomposition.   It is important that we note that this experience is voluntary and if at any point you feel uncomfortable or distressed by the content, we encourage you to take a moment, to take care of yourself, and to reach out to anyone on the Hostile Terrain 94 team regarding any questions or concerns.

Esta exposición se centra en los efectos violentos de políticas gubernamentales e incluye descripciones gráficas de la muerte de migrantes y su descomposición corporal.  Es importante que se tenga en cuenta que esta experiencia es voluntaria y si en algún momento se siente incómodo por el contenido, le invitamos a tomarse un momento, a cuidarse a mismo, y a comunicarse con cualquier persona en el equipo de Hostile Terrain 94 con respecto a cualquier pregunta o inquietud.