Volveré y Seré Millones is an ephemeral installation on the U.S.-Mexico border by artist Enrique Ježik. The project consists of the temporary installation of a simple, large-scale, white banner with the phrase Volveré y Seré Millones printed in black text. The banner is installed on the Mexican side of the border, but clearly visible to border patrol agents stationed just across the international boundary. It is additionally visible to border-crossers, including those being deported back into Mexico via international pedestrian bridges in clear view of the display.
The phrase "Volveré y Seré Millones” (I will return and I will be millions) was spoken by Eva Perón in the early 1950’s and subsequently popularized by left-leaning Peronist youth in Ježik’s native Argentina. But the origin of the phrase goes back much further into South American history, first attributed to Túpac Amaru II, an indigenous Peruvian leader who led a rebellion against the Spanish in 1781 and who was subsequently brutally executed by the Spaniards, drawn, quartered and beheaded in a public square, and his body parts scattered throughout the Peruvian state. It is said that before the executioner cut out his tongue, Amaru uttered the phrase in both Spanish and in the Kichwa language "Tikrashami hunu makanakuypi kasha" .
The artist has worked extensively with historical texts in recent years, re-contextualizing quotes from political and military sources to highlight parallels of violence and repression in modern society. In Volveré y Seré Millones, Ježik re-appropriates this emblematic slogan from Latin American history, siting it in the contemporary landscape of the U.S.-Mexico border. In doing so he connects the forced repatriation of undocumented immigrants to centuries of popular struggle and resistance in the continent.
The project is jointly sponsored by the Rubin Center and Juarez-based Proyectos Impala. The inaugural installation took place December 1-3, 2017 in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua and Ciudad Acuña and Piedras Negras in Coahuila. Future installations are planned for additional border cities including Nogales and Tijuana.