Dear Rosa


  • Julieanna Preston Massey University



Interior design, Interior architecture, Design activism


11 June 2013

Dear US Homeland Security Agent #94142587 Rosa Gomez,

I am writing to you today after having returned to my homeland, New Zealand, from a trip to the United States of America on 2 May 2013. I was processed through the Los Angeles International Airport inTerminal 5.You are the officer who inspected my bags.

During that inspection, you came upon a small matchbox, and as it was deemed to constitute a flammable substance, it was confiscated. Understandably so, as a list of prohibited items is clearly posted throughout the airport and on the Homeland Security website.

At the time, our interaction was necessarily brief because a queue of grumpy passengers from a 14-hour bumpy plane ride was forming. Perhaps you remember me? I have had time to reflect on this incident and think it important to share with you the nature of that matchbox and the power it holds.


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How to Cite

Preston, Julieanna. 2014. “Dear Rosa”. Idea Journal 14 (1):4-13.



Visual Essay