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Olin’s Beehive Collective

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Article by Mikaela Wall

The Beehive Design Collective is a non-profit art organization based out of Maine that tells stories through illustrations and graphics. The collective focuses on development projects and Modern-Day Colonization. They illustrate two stories by drawing the groups who are colonizing, then drawing and centering the graphic on the culture affected by the corporate influence in the area.

Modern-Day Colonization may not be an everyday reality for most, but it is important to understand the affects it has globally. This is where a larger power essentially dominating the land and resources around them and modern day colonization is simply colonization happening in present time.

The artists used the example of the government coming in and creating a national park with hiking trails, and log cabins, etc., all for profit. One design targeted Mesoamerica, Mexico down to the end of Latin America. The drawing showed how many of the changes to the land, such as highway developments, are changing the infrastructure of age-old cultures.

The message behind it was showing that larger groups, aka government and corporations coming into this land and taking away what was already there for their benefit. In each of the four corners of the Mesoamerican print, there were the four major financial institutions: International Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization. These four pillars demonstrated that these major institutions are responsible for the destruction of the environment because they are the ones gaining from it.

Another interesting part of the presentation was how there are no humans drawn, only animals. The artists did not want race, gender, class etc. to take away from their graphic. In addition, animals historically are a great story telling medium. People attach themselves to stories more when animals are involved because they cannot be distracted by something like race, or class.