Update on Bees* from around the world

While the Maine hive is in need of reorganization and downsizing, bees in other parts of the world are still busy continuing the educational and cross-pollinization mission of the collective. Popular education and picture lecture workshops are still available in many parts of the US and Canada. Want to host a workshop? Get in touch at [email protected].

In Colombia the work of las Abejas of Polinizaciones has evolved into a decentralized swarm throughout the country that uses graphic campaign storytelling, collective mural creation, performance art and social cartography as a means of helping communities create their own narratives and assisting different land and water defense movements develop cultural and artistic strategies, while also increasing youth participation.

In California, the California Allegory Project has launched with story-telling events around the Bay Area. Get in touch wth [email protected] to hear about or book story-tellings and stay tuned for a California-wide tour in 2020!

Some bees have moved on from the Beehive Collective, but continue to do wonderful and similar popular education work with other projects:

  • Check out the Water Ways series by former bee Meg Lemieur. It is a series of highly detailed pen and ink illustrations telling the story of water and the effects that the natural gas industry has on Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the surrounding area.
  • Tyler Norman recently coordinated a popular education training tour about community organizing as disaster preparedness with Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, a grassroots network that supports neighbors in times of crisis. See his big ideas for bees blog for more.
  • Emily Simons was recently one of the participating artists involved with the End the Debt! Decolonize! Liberate! Scroll project, a participatory art object and cultural response to Hurricane Maria that tells the story of U.S. imperialism through the lens of the current economic and environmental state of Puerto Rico and its diaspora. Emily also collaborated with former bee Erin McKelvy and artists Rachel Schragis, Dey Hernandez and Estefania Rivera to create a five-panel cantastoria about healthcare in support of the work of the Southern Maine Workers Center to transform the way care is provided, accessed, paid for, and protected.
  • Meanwhile, Juan Martinez‘s latest public art piece in Detroit features interactive life-sized metal hippopotamuses swallowing cement Monopoly houses. It’s like a  Beehive graphic in 3D!


INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS inspired by the Beehive

  • Our German friends from the grassroots-network ausgeco2hlt have just released a brand new graphics campaign on the struggle against lignite mining and for climate justice. After years of dreaming, they collected hundreds of stories in the last two years and persuaded an artist-friend to draw this wonderful graphic in hundreds of hours – alone! It is dedicated to the resisting communities in the lignite-mining area Rhineland, the frontline activists, the 50 year old struggle against lignite mining and a gift to the growing movement on climate justice, who just succeeded in defending the ancient Hambach forest against clear-cutting and coal diggers.
    They are also busy spreading the Beehive‘s work and ideas all around in their networks – they have hosted three storytelling training workshops this year!
    Discover the graphic here. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
  • In Mallorca, Spain, our friends Tonina Matamalas and Carles G.O’D. produced an epic graphic titled Project UTER, which started as a research on stories about abortion in Spain. Triggered by the attempt of the Spanish government to bring in a new anti-abortion law, the image communicates people’s stories about sexual and reproductive health, history related to abortion, maternity and community building, and serves as a cry of freedom to decide the fate of our own bodies.In this layered graphic, animals used traditionally to misrepresent women become the protagonists of human stories about personal experiences. Desired maternities and non-maternities, symbiosis between species, tales about ancient wisdom, oppression, colonialism, love, collaboration, sorority, diversity and life coexist in the form of graphic metaphors in an effort to map out the forces at play when it comes to decisions about our own bodies.

This excerpt was originally included in our June 2 newsletter announcing our departure from the Clark Perry House.

* “Bees” here is loosely defined as former bees, active bees, and friends of the bees doing beehive-inspired work.