#MigrantCaravan: The border wall

and the establishment of otherness

on Instagram

Recent media attention aimed at migrant caravans at the US–Mexico border has increased interest from different actors in the political and social spheres. Parallel to traditional and mainstream media, social media has become the prime context where narratives about the border develop, molding broader societal perspectives on the immigration issue. Through a content and discourse analysis of 105 posts connected by the #MigrantCaravan or #CaravanaMigrante hashtags, we delved into how media representations of immigration on Instagram effectively establish otherness between the different characters involved in this phenomenon. The border wall emerges as one of the main components in these narratives and a symbol of the temporal and spatial stages of the migratory journey. Meanwhile, the voice of the main character, the migrant, is mostly absent, often conveyed through biased views, filtered by the opinions of posters about immigration and characterized by new narrative configurations enabled by the Instagram format.

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