THUNDER BAY – A swarm is coming! The Beehive Design Collective, a non-profit arts and activism organization dedicated to “cross-pollinating the grassroots,” is heading this way to share their recently completed work, Mesoamérica Resiste. The Beehive Design Collective will be displaying and presenting their work at Lakehead University on November 19th in the campus pub, The Outpost. The graphic will be on display from 12pm onwards and a spoken word presentation will begin at 5pm. The event is free and open to the public. Donations to the Beehive Collective are welcomed and encouraged.
The Beehive is an all-volunteer swarm of educators, artists, and activists using images to communicate and educate about the complex realities of our times. The dizzyingly detailed, hand-drawn, large-format posters and banners they tour with are portable murals that come alive through storytelling, illuminating how single issues are interconnected and part of bigger systems. Join in as the Bees deconstruct often overwhelming global issues in an engaging and interactive presentation, using metaphors from the natural world to connect social and environmental struggles.
Mesoamérica Resiste is the final installment in a trilogy of graphics about corporate globalization and militarization in the Americas. With this project the Bees’ strive to go beyond illustrating only the bad news to also sharing stories of grassroots organizing, collective action, and inspiration. The story begins with exploring the legacy of colonialism, connecting that history to today’s industrial development plans and resource extraction. The rest of the graphic documents many examples of resistance and alternatives to these top-down plans, especially organizing led by indigenous peoples. Celebrating the ecological diversity of Mesoamerica is also a goal of this graphics campaign, with a cast of characters that includes over 500 species of insects, animals, and plants.
This collaboratively produced, educational illustration was created through an intensive and ongoing process of grassroots research, starting with an initial team of Bees traveling from Mexico to Panama in 2004. After nine years in the making, the Bees are now touring and distributing the completed graphics widely as tools for storytelling, popular education, organizing, and movement building.
The Beehive depends on grassroots fundraising and individual donations to sustain this unique approach to activism! Posters and patches of graphics will be available for purchase by sliding scale donation.