Music ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-12-2022


The El Paso Wal-Mart Mass Shooting on August 3, 2019, prompted swift response from the local community to create artistic spaces of remembrance. This study examines the musical (mariachi and corrido) and visual (altares, murals, and memorials) manifestations present at makeshift and formal memorials for the victims. I analyze how members of the El Paso-Ciudad Juárez borderland situated their artistic work in the aftermath of the shooting. I argue that these artists responded to the attack with symbolic acts of resilience rooted in cultural and collective memory, embodiment of trauma, and the lived experience of corporeal and psychological violence. Through the adoption of a specific iconographic and sonic language, the presence of artistic mediums created counternarratives in direct challenge to the anti-Latino motivations of the gunman. In these performative sounds and spaces, the El Paso community created new futurities and contested notions of belonging to a US-American identity.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Music

First Committee Member (Chair)

Ana R. Alonso-Minutti

Second Committee Member

Kristina Jacobsen

Third Committee Member

Ray Hernández-Durán




El Paso, mass shooting, response to tragedy, mariachi, corrido, makeshift memorial

Document Type