What we should be looking for are signs of new forms of social consciousness originating from slum collectives. They will be the seed of the future. Slavoj Žižek (In Defence of Lost Causes, edition suhrkamp, 2009)
Work in the middle of everything and with everybody.
(Alexander Rodtschenko, Slogans, 1920/21)
This is a history of development grounded in a specific HERE and NOW. There are talks in public/social, cultural und political space. And there is corresponding action at two places – in Chinandega (NIC) and Graz (A).
From here on. Chinandega
Nicaraguan artist Consuelo Mora Benard acted as communicator during the first project phase (August–November), establishing connections and a confidence base. With fellow artist Roberto Guillén she visited plantation workers in Chinandega, had talks with them and – together with the community – recorded audio und video reports. Based on the stories all participants, here and there, engage in a discourse supposed to lead to a collaborative intervention/installation in open space Styria and Nicaragua. As a narrative/translating installation.
The story begins in…
a (tent) city in the center of the capital Managua that was built (and repeatedly inhabitated for longer periods of time) by hundreds of male and female plantation workers and their families from Chinadenga in 2004. A city against oblivion. A city named after the pesticidal agent Nemagon (DBCP/Dibrom-Chloropropan) produced by Dow Chemicals, Shell Oil and Occidental, by Standard Fruit (Dole Food Company), Del Monte and United Fruit (Chiquita) and used on banana plantations in Nicaragua (as well as in other Central American countries and Africa). In case of continuous contact with the pesticidal agent (due to sprinkling of the plantation –workers and their families included – and due to contaminated potable water, washing facilities, etc.) the substance causes health damage up to death. Nemagon affects the hormonopoietic organs, causes loss of vision, kidney cancer, stomach cancer, breast and uterine cancer in females, and male sterility.
During the 70s and 80s up to 22.000 workers were deliberately exposed to the pesticidal agent in Nicagarua. Although Nemagon has already been outlawed since 1979 due to the known health damages in the the US, it was still used in several countries in Latin America until 1985. For 21 years now, all protests, all successful redress cases, all lawsuits carried on in American courts have led to no dignified compensation for the victims. Dole still does not take responsibilty for the workers' lasting health damages.
What to do, if things are over and done with?
These stories have to be told by the victims again and again. Telling them will always reveal different trails and new possibilities. Starting the narration anew is the strategy against oblivion, against death. The stories have to be told over distances, and global collaborative action can thus develop from the wish to understand and from reflective judging. – as a new perpective for all participants.
(free associations based on Hannah Arendt 1906–1975)
Artistic means in public local and global space
We work by artistic means that take up current issues on site and develop them immediately. By circular communication, translation und action something takes shape – via all the participants' interplay and in the knowledge that many perceptions of North and South (and vice versa) are formed by fractions, shifts, reflexions and prejudice. Here and there, the participants contribute their own experienc, perception and notions that will be translated in terms of artistic intervention (transdisciplinary, media convergency) into public space* – by and with those people directly affected.
* also including the extended public space – the internet.
People involved (Nicaragua & Austria)
Jerónimo Lira, Francisco González (Chico Güirila), Pablo Morales & su hija: Rosa Morales, Pedro Joaquín Losa, Natividad de la Concepción Meza Alvarado, Cándida Meza Alvarado, Irene del Socorro López Meza, Yamileth del Socorro Alvarez, Leandro Remigio López Meza, Alberto López Meza, Socorro López Meza (Y su esposo), Juana López Meza, Máisara Natividad Lopez Meza, Leana Yamileth López Alvarez, Celia Carolina lopez meza, Freddy Isabel Lopez Alvarez, Keneth Martinez Lopez, Jennifer Margarita Lagos López, Léster Lagos Lopez, Consuelo Mora Benard, Roberto Guillén, Darwin Andino, Sandra Ziagos, Reni Hofmüller, Ernesto Rico-Schmidt, -Margit Franz, Flo Sorgo, Petra Kohlenprath, Walther Moser, Geari Schreilechner, Jutta Zniva, Angelika Thon, e.d. gfrerer, Mirko Maric, H.J. Schubert, Leo Kreisel-Strausz, Andrea Schlemmer, Andreas Platzer, Berndt Luef, Patrick Dunst, Winfried Ritsch, radio helsinki 92,6 mhz, mur.at–initiative netzkultur, Alan Kline
It was 2011
desde aquí. from here on. managua
November 23/24th, 2011, Universidad Centroamericana, UCA, Managua, Nicaragua
desde aquí. from here on. graz
Public space, Graz, Austria
In the context of Contemporary Art in Graz 2011
desde aquí. chinandega
Public space, Chinandega, Nicaragua
it was 2010
Audio installation Puro chagüite*
Based on the recorded talks with the babana plantation workers an audio installation will be developed. Every narrator's voice will be assigned to a tree. From a distance, the voices can be percieved as choral speaking. Standing closer, the individual narration (Spanish/German) can be heard. Consuelo Mora Benard and Roberto Guillén from Nicaragua will be present.
Public space, Augarten Nord, Graz
Duration: December 15 to 27, 2010
Daily 9 am to 10 pm
Projectspace desde aqui. from here on.
Theory & Practice
The Blue Planet is the space for work
Duration: December 18 to 27, 2010
Daily 7 to 10 pm
Blauer Planet, Kebab Efendi, Münzgrabenstraße/at the corner of Brockmanngasse
Film-Documentation: bananas!* by Fredrik Gertten
December 26, 2010, 20 pm
Desde aqui-on air: radio helsinki 92,6 Mhz
Radio Programme Hotel Passage: Reni Hofmüller talks with Consuelo Mora Benard and Roberto Guillén
Tuesday, December 21, 10 to 12 am and Tuesday, December 28, 10 to 12 am
* local term for the banana plant
This RHIZOM project is realized with the financial support of Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Steiermark.
mural 1998 > http://rhizom.mur.at/project/view/id/94
mural final 2009 > http://rhizom.mur.at/project/view/id/105)
mural fragmental 2010 > http://rhizom.mur.at/project/view/id/109
desde aqui. memoria y intercomunicación 1/2009 > www.desde-aqui.mur.at
links zu Consuelo Mora Benard:
400 Elefantes - Revista nicaragüense de arte y literatura: http://educacion.vivenicaragua.com/400elefantes/
MarcaAcme.com | Literatura Arte Eventos: http://www.marcaacme.com/
Radio Pirata 99.9 FM, Managua: http://pirata.biz/
FESTIVAL ÍCARO – cine y video en centroamérica: http://casacomal.powweb.com/icaro/
Berlinale Talent Campus – Consuelo Mora: http://www.berlinale-talentcampus.de/campus/