WEB POSTER EXHIBITION - A poster workshop by Alex Jordan in Oaxaca (MX)

Mariana Garcia Acevedo
We can change the way things are and our place in the world. All we have to do to transform our house is move the furniture around a bit. All we have to do to start a garden is plant a seed. Action is a very powerful weapon against abuse, indifference and affronts. We have to act now, before apathy sets in.
  The posters in this web exhibition were designed during the Workshop “Posters for Public Spaces” given by Alex Jordan between September 24th and September 28th, 2007 in the Centro Cultural San Agustin in Etla, a nearby town located south of the City of Oaxaca. The students were mainly Mexican students as well as talented professionals in Graphic Design and Fine Arts.

As a point of reference, the workshop made use of the text Notebook for citizens in need written by Claudia Burr, Claudia Canales and Ana Pina for the Spontaneous Citizen Association Global Warming, which was formed with the main objective to construct and generate civilian awareness in response to the political turmoil that took place in Oaxaca during most part of the year 2006. Each of the the concepts behind each letter of the political agenda were deeply discussed during the workshop to enable the students to select and design the theme of their personal interest.

Global Warming, S.A. is a citizen's group, or Spontaneous Association ("S.A."), formed in order to reflect on atmospheric, terrestrial, political, social, psychological and cultural warming. As the temperature rises, our resolve gets stiffer, our spirits soar, and our ideas catch fire. Nothing happens in just one place any more. Nothing is restricted to a single spot Global warming is engulfing everything. We have to do something about it. This notebook, was created for citizens who feel confused, disenchanted, desperate, frustrated, angry, terrified, or all of the above at the same time. It's meant to provide you with something to read, entertain you, keep you company, or all of the above. It contains pages to make you think, stimulate your imagination, and prompt you to write and draw. You can photocopy, translate or color it, underline its contents, scribble in it, tear its pages out, lend it, give it away, hand it out to passers-by, read it out loud, learn its contents by heart, or just tuck it away in a drawer. Of course, you can also use it to keep the sun off your face while you're on the bus, prop up the short leg of a wobbly table, or shoo vultures away. This notebook was the initiative of three citizens freely exercising the rights and duties vouchsafed to them by the Constitution of a Democratic Federal Republic.

The texts were translated from spanish to english by Fred Rogers, pictures and texts were kindly provided by Claudia Burr and Alex Jordan.

Luis Alonso Vasquez
Sometimes, we seem to get sidetracked. All we know for sure is that the sun sets in the West and rises in the East. Strife and violence blur our vision, but we have to find our way through the blackness. In order to combat brutality in all of its forms, we need to search endlessly for ideas, arguments and tactics. The only thing that jackboots and bullets can't destroy is our unshaken belief that the world needs changing. We mustn't lose our bearings.

Julio Cesar Sosa Trani
Being awake doesn't mean you're conscious. Neither does seeing what's happening. Some people see everything around them and are still asleep. Seeing doesn't mean being aware. You need a telescope to see further than your nose and dispel your confusion. To be conscious, you need to stare through the lens and realize how curtailed your vision is.
Screwing your fellow citizens, covering up your cowardice with lies, cheating, cracking the skulls of those whose cries go unheard, using clubs and water cannons when the arguments run out, confusing privilege with principles - all these things are crap, as are bloodsucking, jerry-building and all the other forms of corruption. We won't put up with them calling the people cretins and scum, with cynical turncoats, treachery and all that other chicanery any more.

Raul Cristobal Montoya
We need to insist, time and again, that we deserve respect. But that's not enough: we need to act accordingly, by respecting others, refusing to degrade ourselves, keeping our decorum. We can't turn a blind eye to the damage done by cynicism, because it backfires on us and wounds our dignity…and dignity means not backing down. If we become indifferent to corruption, cant and cowardice, we'll never be able to demand respect, that mark of distinction that's seen from a distance.

Ana Isabel Diaz Calvo
Not all roads lead to Rome. Some lead elsewhere, or nowhere at all, having no end. Roads that don't get us where we want are like means without ends. Roads have to take us somewhere, so we need to ask ourselves where we want to get, and, maybe before that, where we can realistically reach. The difference between the former and the latter is of the essence. There is no stairway to the stars, and you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs.

Rosario Martinez Llaguno
We have to envision the future and see ourselves in it. We have to forge it - the near future, not the distant future. A future just around the corner, that begins tomorrow and dawns today. So we shouldn't fire our arrows at the far horizon, but at much closer targets. It's false to believe that fate has already fixed our destiny, which is like aiming at failure and waiting for the arrow to hit the bull's eye. It's tantamount to dreaming of fruit without lifting a finger to plant a fruit tree.

Gabriela Antonio Elorza
What's that smell of fresh paint? It's just graffiti, they say - garbage; scribbles and scrawls of no great consequence. So they scrape them off, wash them away, paint over them, so that it looks as if nothing has happened or is happening. And yet we're not the same; we've changed. Underneath the scraped-off graffiti and the painted-over protests, the thousands of grievances and hopes still cry out.

Raul Cristobal Montoya
The powerful take themselves ever so seriously. Humor just isn't their thing, because they know it can pull the rug from under them and reveal the stupidity underneath. Intelligent humor sends constipated egos running to the lavatory, punctures pomposity, gives the haughty attacks of hiccoughs that make them fall off their high horses. Humor's an axe that hacks through lies.

Adriana Pascual Perez

Abigail Matias Ortiz
We have to envision the future and see ourselves in it. We have to forge it - the near future, not the distant future. A future just around the corner, that begins tomorrow and dawns today. So we shouldn't fire our arrows at the far horizon, but at much closer targets. It's false to believe that fate has already fixed our destiny, which is like aiming at failure and waiting for the arrow to hit the bull's eye. It's tantamount to dreaming of fruit without lifting a finger to plant a fruit tree.

Tim Gibbon
We need to go back to the old town square, with its bandstand and kiosk. To gather there again as the band plays old-fashioned dance tunes, to talk with friend and stranger alike about the things that matter to us, to keep in touch with our roots. In the little kiosk in the square, we're all upright, polite and trusting, peaceful and free - kith and kin, not rancorous rivals or undesirable outsiders. The more our communities are torn apart by faceless forces, the more close-knit we need to be. We need to know who we are and remember where we come from.

Raul Cristobal Montoya
When it suits them, some people are passionate defenders of the law. They cite it from memory or take out the law books and lecture us on television. But their fervor has limits that don't reach as far as themselves, and their thirst for justice is soon sated. What's more, the law has loopholes - some so big you can drive a union leader's Lamborghini through them. And of course, there are other laws: one-sided laws, the law of the jungle, the law of an-eye-for-an-eye and the law of screw-or-get-screwed, all of which subvert the true letter of the laws that claim to govern us.
It's not just a matter of attracting attention, but of calling people to arms. Not just a matter of warning folk about cynicism and opportunism, but of asking them to mount a lasting fight against them. Our indignation can't just be a light that flashes on and off. It should shine steadily like the beam from a lighthouse, guiding people and drawing them to us. It should take the form of concrete actions. Nothing else will break open the locks of our prison.

Abigail Matias Ortiz
We mustn't forget what's happening. If we do, who will write our history? Who will tell our grandchildren about it? Who will be able to tell our descendents that our lives were hard…that we risked them for what mattered. Memory isn't locked away in museums or buried in mausoleums. It's carried around in our minds. Every step we take, we rely on it to recall who we are and navigate the road map of life.

Jose Manuel Barron Siguenza
When they call us nobodies, nuts and scum, what they want to do is wipe us out, humiliate us, belittle us. But their contempt can't pierce what doesn't exist. They say nobody when they really mean no-account or nonentity, but they can't put handcuffs on an invisible man and it isn't easy to shoot at nothingness. Nuts are hard to crack and grow into mighty trees - and the caustic scum of our scorn keeps silently rising, no matter how many times they scoop it away .

Othon Rios Castillo
Fear is noxious, gripping your guts and paralyzing you. It props up petty tyrants and is used by those who abuse power to turn the rest of us into nervous ninnies, scared sheep. We must find ways to outfox fear - point it out, name it and smash it to smithereens. We have to face up to the people who use it to control us. Otherwise, we'll live our lives lily-livered, and that prospect is really nauseating.

Othon Rios Castillo
No matter whether you're planning an orgy or an ordination, you need to be organized - to share in tasks and decisions in an orderly manner. Organized citizens oppose confusion, mess and off-the-cuff decisions. Organization turns individual initiatives into group gains and allows others to take part without being bamboozled by sidewalk orators and neighborhood busybodies. It harmonizes individual endeavors into an orchestrated effort.

Rosario Martinez Llaguno
In the face of power and privilege, crooked policemen and perverted justice, we must neither panic nor be passive. What we need is infinite patience, polished like a hard, shining pebble that's been washed by oceans of perseverance. We must patiently perforate the rock to reach the cool water below - plod doggedly along the stony path of progress, like long-distance runners.

Luis Alonso Vasquez
If wishes were horses, then poor men would ride. Quiet self-questioning is the only way to distinguish between dreams and real resolve. If we really want to change the status quo, we need to think before we act. Questioning and querying are a part of all quests and it's wise to inquire before tilting at windmills. Just ask Don Quixote!

Carlos Santiago Franco
What we need is resistance - not resignation or running away. Resisting doesn't mean ranting and raging; it means being rational in the face of repression - reaching for the stars while keeping your feet on the ground. Like our ancient, native Tule tree, which has withstood centuries of ravages, in order to resist the raging storms we need to raise our branches to the sky and reach down with our roots to anchor ourselves in the rock.

Ana Isabel Diaz Calvo
Their lies sap the life out of our language; like leeches they suck the sense out of every sentence, debilitating democracy, subverting solidarity and mangling meaning. We have to sieve all their sugary, quicksilver words to see if they have any true significance. When they talk about sunshine in the pouring rain, heave hollow sobs in the face of raw suffering, say that black is white and slavery is freedom, we should block our ears and listen to the silence.

Tim Gibbon
Some trees have stood for thousands of years. Their trunks are twisted by time, but their twigs are still green and tender. They can tell the difference between truth and tautology, and know a few things about tenacity and triumphing in the face of tribulation. They are the best teachers.

Johan Navarro Bayardo
The universe may be limitless, but some people's world doesn't stretch beyond the TV screen. From the ubiquitous commercials to the unreal reality shows to the unbalanced news, undemanding and uncritical they let the media massage the message, then soak it all up, unwilling to unravel the crude knots of rhetoric in order to reach the reality underneath. Unconscious and unconcerned, shrouded like unburied corpses in layer upon layer of ignorance, they might as well call the undertaker now.

Ana Isabel Diaz Calvo
We need to look under the voluminous veils at the flaccid flesh and varicose veins, verifying -not just believing- every virulent bit of gossip we hear. There are five very simple questions that will help you to distinguish trustworthy truths from vapid lies: Who said so? When did they say so? Where did they say so? Why did they say so? What were their exact words, verbatim? It's vital that we ask them all the time. Beautiful and divine, like Venus rising from the waves, the truth is always naked.

Ursula Hierro Aguirre
The letter Y is like a fork in the road. Unlike the other letters of the alphabet, it has only one leg, but two outstretched arms. Some people are blinkered donkeys, seeing only what's straight in front of them as they wearily trot, trot, trot after the consumerist carrot, pursue the American nightmare. But almost every step of the way there's a decisive but difficult choice to be made: between paralyzing doubt on this side and rabid fanaticism on the other; between anarchy on the one hand and the tempting totalitarian path on the other. Choosing wisely each step of the way is what makes the difference between freedom and servitude, between wearing a yoke and getting what you really yearn for. And don't forget the old yarn - the one about Ulysses and the Sirens!

Mariana Garcia Acevedo
Z is a part of our Mexican soul, giving zest to words such as AZtec, TZenZontle, Zapata, Zapotec and Zocalo. But it's not enough just to talk about our ancestors, or invoke theoretical citiZens' rights. We need to show zeal in cleaning things up; we need to free all the harmless animals from the zoo and fill the empty cages with haZardous sub-human species - crooked congressmen, bullying bureaucrats and pilfering presidents. We have to zap deceit and corruption with the laser beams of truth and transparency. Remember, Z is the mark of Zorro!

The posters were shown at the Musee de la Creche during the Poster Festival in Chaumont 2008:

Carlos Franco, Raul Cristobal, Mariana Garcia

Opening of the exhibition in the presence of Luc Chatel, Mayor of Chaumont

home  previous exhibitions  page created on June 27, 2009 / this section is part of Rene Wanner's Poster Page /