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Apr 24th
¡Presente! Home arrow Tom Bottolene
Beehive Design Collective PDF Print E-mail
SOA Watch greatly appreciates the cooperation with the Beehive Collective on different projects over the past years. Their fresh ideas, their humble approach and the collective’s steadfast commitment to movement building, mutual aid and collaboration has been an asset for our organizing. 

Beehive Collective drawing of an antThe Beehive’s mission:

To cross-pollinate the grassroots, by creating collaborative, anti-copyright images that can be used as educational and organizing tools.

In the process of this effort we seek to take the “who made that!?” and “how much does it cost!?” out of our creative endeavors, by anonomously functioning as word-to-image translators of the information we convey. We build, and disseminate these visual tools with the hope that they will self-replicate, and take on life of their own.

The Hivestory…

The work of the Beehive Collective has three major facets: the Hive is appreciated internationally for its educational graphics campaigns, at a regional level for it’s stone mosaic murals and apprentice program, and locally for it’s dedication to the revitalization of the old Machias Valley Grange Hall , a landmark building in our small, rural town. The Hive has been going and growing for four years now, at full speed!

Organizational structure and composition…
We are rooted in rural Eastern Maine, but are a very decentralized swarm. There are usually six backbone bees at any given time, with a current count of twenty eight total, and many other autonomous pollinators scattered throughout the Americas that have small pieces of the Beehive’s work integrated into their own individual activist efforts…. and countless other folks functioning as individual researchers and storytellers!

At this point in our evolution, our organism is entirely volunteer run. No one gets paid, but some folks that have been more involved occasionally have their expenses of room and board covered by the projects they are dedicated to. We have no queen, and make decisions by modified consensus process. The priorities for our work are set by the requests we receive from collaborators, audiences, and our advisory bees… aiming to stay flexible and organic enough to respond to current events, and mass-pollination opportunities.
Scene of the SOA training from the Plan Colombia poster

The Spring 2015 issue of ¡Presente! featured cover art that showed a detail of the Beehive Collective's “Mesoamérica Resiste” poster. This poster project depicts the effects of globalization in the Americas and took over nine years to complete. The making of the poster first started in 2004 with a five-month listening tour from Mexico to Panama where some Bees met with communities affected by mega-infrastructure development plans. The stories of their struggles were later translated into vivid visual metaphors that make connections between local outcomes as well as the global and historic issues behind them. The poster shows the devastating social/environmental effects of top-down international development but also the beauty of bottom-up grassroots strategies for self-determination and resilience. It invites us imagine different futures, supports frontline activists, and encourages movement building across borders.

Learn more at beehivecollective.org


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