Postcard from Oaxaca, Mexico: Santiago’s ‘Migrants’ and protesters haunting MACO

Above, nine “migrants” from Alejandro Santiago’s “2501 Migrantes” haunt a balcony inside Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, MACO

There is a Zapotec saying…. “Why leave when you have it all here?”

Alejandro Santiago in 2501 Migrants: A Journey, directed by Yolanda Cruz, 2010
two of alejandro santiago's 2501 migrantes

“Returning to his native Mexican village after many years, the artist was startled by what he didn’t see. ‘Where are my friends, my relatives?’ Alejandro Santiago asked the remaining residents of the town, Teococuilco de Marcos Perez, in a remote mountain area of Oaxaca state. Upon learning that most of them migrated from southern Mexico to the United States in search of work, he vowed to honor the departed and ‘repopulate’ his impoverished hometown.”

“Alejandro Santiago dies at 49,” Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times, July 28, 2013

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Postcard from Queretaro, Mexico: Bouquet from a patio of Eden

Above, orchids blooming in a patio of La Casa de los Ladrillos in Santiago de Queretaro

The Secret Garden was what Mary called it when she was thinking of it. She liked the name, and she liked still more the feeling that when its beautiful old walls shut her in no one knew where she was. It seemed almost like being shut out of the world in some fairy place.”

Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden, 1911*

Offering a colorful bouquet in gratitude for the hospitality extended by our host last week in the historic center of Queretaro. Of course, we plucked these flowers virtually from his own garden filling all his patio space with plants that would rival those of any nursery. He has succeeded in creating a magical, soothing respite in the heart of city.

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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.”

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