Postcard from Oaxaca, Mexico: ‘Nobodies’ and enslaved awaken walls

Above: A haunting image of a tightly bound slave on his side at the bottom of a wall is one of many works emerging from the Colectivo Subterraneos.

A prior post introduced Oaxaca’s Colectivo Subterraneos along with its series of “Los Nadies” on a pink-walled house in Barrio de Xochimilco, but these figures have popped up throughout the historic center of the city.

Unlike the scrambled mix-and-match style of the figures on the pink structure, most of these “Nobodies” are privileged enough to have retained their own original bodies. Prints of slaves also plaster buildings, images so powerful that Gord Goble described them in Penticon Now as both beautiful and terrifying portrayals of “man’s inhumanity to man.”

I’m not positive all of these photographs are products of Subterraneos; corrections are encouraged.

While we were in Oaxaca, after careful planning and with incredible speed Colectivo artists sketched out the drawings below to mark the 50th anniversary of Mercado de la Merced. The colorful bottom photo was posted by Subterraneos; the mural was dedicated on March 1.

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