Christine Folch

Art’s Power: Hand-inked Map of Mesoamerica Speaks of Globalization


How many brands can you find in this “colonial” map of Central America?

Nine years in the making, the Beehive Collective gathered stories about the impacts of globalization from Mexico to Colombia in order to hand-ink this intricate map of “Plan Mesoamérica.” This is a “where’s Waldo” on steroids: look to see if you can find the Kool-Aid Man and Bart Simpson.

What I love about this is the way that art leaps across barriers. Art makes connections faster than words: the Chiquita Banana lady and the Starbucks mermaid sit together playing roulette.

The point is to highlight stories from people affected by increased inequality in an age of globalization.

I ran into some of the bees at the People’s Climate Summit which ran alongside COP21 in Paris. The bees keep their personal contribution to the project anonymous, in order to highlight the message and not the messenger. And in the 10 minutes that we spent listening to our “tour guide,” we learned to see the map—a stylized colonial map with international financial organizations (like the IMF and WTO) represented as the four winds, local creativity represented as a quetzal hurriedly weaving a beautiful cloth that gets turned into mass-produced clothing, and the logos of dozens of companies with links to Latin America.

The map of Plan Mesoamérica and the corresponding Mesoamérica Resiste—the perspective from ants who are forging a new future—are available for educational purposes and sheer admiration here.

And to learn about the iconic Mesoamerican bird, the quetzal: they’re beautiful and they’re threatened.




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This entry was posted on January 7, 2016 by in Environment and tagged .
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