About a third of the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative recently traveled to Mexico City, (where three of our members live) for a week of collaboration with some of the amazing political print and design cooperatives that operate there. It was a great opportunity to meet and work with people leading really interesting print projects, and the week led to some new alliances and lots of new friendships.
During the first few days in Mexico City we joined a large group under some tents in the Plaza de la Aguilita in the central city, in the Barrio de la Merced, to carve and print and screen and riso some quick images developed from introductory walks around the neighborhood, which is one of Mexico City’s oldest and most active hubs of trade and transit. The small-scale vendors and transporters of the Merced market represent a tradition of exchange and labor that is missing from a lot of modern life- namely an economic aesthetic that is small, mutually responsive, and less exploitative than the parasitic growths of capitalism. Although the people of the Merced are tied to the capitalist way of operating, their labor and the communities they spontaneously form are a link to a different way of relating to each other, something more intimate and responsible.
This gathering was billed as a “Print Jam”, a mashup of the techniques and styles of about thirty printmakers and print groups interpreting the life and work of La Merced, and was organized by the members of the nearby ATEA cooperative (where Justseeds member Sanya Hyland has her letterpress studio). The event featured the art and printing of El Día de la Impresión (screenprinting), Casa de El Hijo del Ahuizote (mimeograph and storytelling), El mágico tórculo de Mr.Linea (relief print and oral traditions), and Aazufre (risograph), among many others.
More posts coming as we get the images sorted out! This was an awesome experience for all the Justseeds crew- such an honor to work with these people in this context.