MTV built a video installation in New York's Herald Square yesterday to showcase stories of artists, activists and young people speaking out on the topics of immigration, identity and diversity in America.
The 10 foot by 35 foot "Beyond the Wall" installation (whose name is clearly a comment on Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump's promise to build a wall between Mexico and the U.S.) marked Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples' Day yesterday (Oct.10). It encouraged young people to think about the issues and to register and vote in the 2016 election and featured video testimonials from celebrities and actors including Diane Guerrero ("Orange is the New Black," "Jane the Virgin") and Arturo Castro ("Broad City"). In the films, they discuss their personal experiences as immigrants -- Ms. Guerrero, for example, recounts her moving, already much-discussed story of her parents being deported and taken away from her when she was just 14, as well as user submissions posted to social platforms using #BeyondTheWall.
Visitors were invited to interact with a touchscreen to "break down the wall" brick by brick to unlock the stories. The installation only ran for one day, but all the videos are also available via an interactive digital wall where users can also share their own stories.