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Mesoamérica Resiste

Beehive Design Collective


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An epic fold-in poster from Beehive Design Collective, now distributed by Justseeds! This 10th anniversary special edition includes a species map, documenting the 400+ distinct animal species illustrated on the inside of the graphic, as well as an informational booklet.

The Mesoamérica Resiste graphics campaign is the third and final image in the Beehive’s trilogy about globalization in the Americas, focusing on resistance to mega-infrastructure projects that are literally paving the way for free trade agreements that devastate local economies and communities.

In 2004 an initial group of Bees traveled from Mexico to Panama over 5 months to meet with people on the frontlines of resistance to a regional development plan then known as Plan Puebla Panama (PPP). The announcement of the PPP in 2001 had sparked powerful cross-border organizing against its industrial scale mega-projects, like super-highways, dams, and power grids. In the following years our ongoing, intensive grassroots research took a variety of forms, from large international gatherings to local round tables, from interviews to informal conversations.

The stories in the graphic come from current struggles, but are also rooted in the legacies of over 500 years of colonialism in the Americas. A banner across the top reads, “Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up” – reminding us that we are in an era of extreme loss of cultural and ecological diversity and rapid climate change. Through the lens of Mesoamerica, the graphic tells the big picture story of what’s at stake across the globe with the neoliberal model of “development,” and what we’ve already lost.

This project reflects our efforts to go beyond illustrating just the bad news, to also sharing stories of collective action and inspiration. The inside of the poster tells stories of grassroots organizing and community resilience. A multitude of characters symbolize strategies and tactics for building and defending autonomy. We’ve depicted over 400 species of insects, plants, and animals that are native to somewhere between Mexico and Colombia, giving a glimpse into the incredible biodiversity of the region.

This poster is printed double-sided and folds to create a square that opens to a larger image inside. With the poster closed, the outside image resembles an old Spanish conquistador’s map. The outside is a top-down look at the region, a map made by outsiders with motives of profit, drawing parallels between colonial history and modern day development plans.

Opening up the poster, the world on the inside is drawn from the perspective of an ant on the ground, at the base of a towering Ceiba tree. This ground’s eye view reflects the experiences of those who are rooted in a place and directly affected by the plans on the map. The lively scenes held in the roots of the tree document many examples of community-led alternatives to top-down development plans, and highlight resistance led by Indigenous peoples. We offer these graphics as a tool for movement building, and to support frontline communities in ongoing education and organizing work.

Some details of the poster can be seen below.

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