Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Message in the Bottles

Action taken during the International Festival of Poetry in Granada, Nicaragua. Palmer Fishman joined a renegade group of young poets who broke into the parade of the Established Poets. During the course of the parage Palmer invited children, ancianos, waiters, and passersby to scribble a short poem or prayer for Lake Nicaragua, the beautiful polluted body of water that was the destination of the parade. She put all the poems inside the plastic bottles. Walking right in front of her were the candidates for Miss Nicaragua from Esteli, Diriamba, Ticuantepe, etc, prompting several gawkers to conclude that Palmer Fishman must be the candidate from La Chureca, the dump.

The parade reached the lakeshore just before sunset. Palmer and her fearless friends convinced government officials to allow us access to their very long pier, and even provided a gun-toting guard to carry the globe of bottles on his head. By now the globe flashed red and white from within, like and ambulance. With the wind blowing and the sun setting we walked to the very very end, where Palmer hurled the flickering globe into the water, an offering to Lago Cocibolca. Looking for all the world like a fallen UFO, the wind and waves carried the globe of garbage back to the crowd on the beach.

You can try to throw your garbage away, but it always comes back to you.

Nicologia / Nicology

More examples from Nicology. Including designs by the girls of NicaHope, caps from the Left Hand brewery in Colorado, and an experiment with collage on the backside of the caps. Nicology is a project I founded to design and produce diseño de desechos, or design from discarded materials, with families who survive by scavenging in Managua´s massive dump. For more images and information on the project please see Nicology-Nicologia.blogspot.com.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Casa Crearte

After living with the conservative hues and architecture of the DC area for most of my life, I went a little nuts with the paint catalogue at our first house in Managua. It had not a single square room, taking on some undefined polygon form with some curves around the terrace. Taking my cue from the palette of the movie 'Frida,' and with a little help from graffiti artist friends, we created Casa Crearte.

Climate Change - the terror flick

Nicaragua is already being affected by climate change, in the form of unpredictable, abnormal, and extreme weather events. Poverty, closer dependence on local subsistence agriculture, unstable construction, and poorly-built infrastructure increases vulnerability far beyond that of more industrialized countries. An afternoon thunderstorm that would cause at worst heavier traffic in Washington DC results in bridges washing out, thousands of homes flooding, and potholes that swallow taxis. Whereas people in Costa Rica or India know that climate change is to blame, many Nicaraguans don't make the connection. Others think God is punishing them. They don't realize that climate change is the latest version of imperialism, of wealthier countries living large at their expense.

The silhouette of Augusto Sandino, Nicaragua's national hero, looms large over the city of Managua, with smaller versions placed strategically around the country. The Sandino silhouette represents national identity like the US flag, the bald eagle and Uncle Sam combined.

´Damnificado´refers to people affected by natural disasters.

"Inundado" = flooded