Chomsky Mural in Philadelphia

by douglas reeser on 7.31.2010

I finally finished my qualifying exams for my doctorate, and was able to make a short visit to Philadelphia before my defense. On a drive through the city, we came across this large mural of Noam Chomsky on the side of a building in the Fairmount section. We thought it was pretty cool - stay tuned for more soon...!

Click on the Photo to Enlarge

The (Toxic) Story of Cosmetics

From The Story of Stuff project comes a new video, "The Story of Cosmetics," which "examines the pervasive use of toxic chemicals in our everyday personal care products, from lipstick to baby shampoo. Produced by Free Range Studios and hosted by Annie Leonard, the seven-minute film reveals the implications for consumer and worker health and the environment, and outlines ways we can move the industry away from hazardous chemicals and towards safer alternatives. The film concludes with a call for viewers to support legislation aimed at ensuring the safety of cosmetics and personal care products."

PETITION ~ Urge Belize to Support Maya Land Rights

You may have seen some of our past posts on our work with Maya communities in southern Belize, but either way, the State is repealing the recent Supreme Court decision to grant over 30 Maya communities land rights. From the Petition:
We are calling upon the Belize government to withdraw its appeal of the Supreme Court's ruling on June 28, 2010 that reaffirmed the Constitutional Land Rights of the Maya People.

The entire Indigenous population of Belize has depended on the land since time immemorial for food, shelter and clothing, as well as their culture and religious practices. However, in recent generations, that dependency has been under constant threat of unsustainable large scale logging, oil and gas explorers, hydro-electric companies and commercial resort developers

As a consequence of this, the Maya are increasingly faced with the possibly of displacement from their lands and the irrevocable loss of their identity, economic well-being and way of life.

We believe Justice Conteh, an acting representative of the Crown, was correct to assert that the Maya hold communal land rights and enjoy the same Constitutional protections as the rest the country.

Without this protection, the Maya's future as Indigenous Peoples is grim at best.

We also note that these same land rights have been recognized by the Supreme Courts of more than a dozen countries, and meet the standards of international law, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, to which Belize is a signatory.

We further Encourage the Government to accept the Maya's invitation for a peaceful dialogue.

No matter how the Courts have ruled in the past or may rule in the future, dialogue is essential for building a sustainable, mutually beneficial relationship with the Maya People.

It is also understood that the Maya do not truely wish to break off from the State or undermine the country's economic security. These are tragic mischaracterizations. Rather, they are seeking only to secure their own future, and preserve their land and way of life for future generations.

Follow this link to sign the petition and support indigenous rights>>>

Huxley, Rossallini, Animation & Music

Not sure we can come up with a better combination than that. We just came across this video by Maple Mountain Sunburst Triolian Orchestra - some nice mellow atmospheric music with Isabella Rossallini reading poetry by the late Laura Huxley (wife of Aldous). We thought it was pretty cool, and thought we would share - enjoy!

Maya Day at Tikal in 2009

by douglas reeser on 7.15.2010

This month continues to be a crazy one for us over here at Recycled Minds, so we've resorted to posting some old work or short bits until we can get back on top of things in August. With this in mind, the recent land rights victory for Maya communities in Southern Belize had me thinking about work we have done there with Maya healers. Here's a short video of the pre-ceremony talk at Tikal, Guatemala on Maya Day, 2009. Read more about it in our first post about the event.

A Little Bansky

We thought this would complement our recent piece on the appropriation of the Native American through images - this one taking an activist/political stance as Bansky's work typically does. Click the photo to enlarge.

Thanks to the Bansky website for the photo - check it out for more thought-provoking art.

Globalization and Outsourcing Honeybees

What if the pollinator crisis was not so much a mysterious global phenomenon wrought by inscrutable worker bees called "Colony Collapse Disorder" but instead a very clear result of economic forces? Well, according to an interesting article, "Raspberries, Pears and Chocolate: A Fresh Understanding of the Bee Crisis," we came across on The Guardian, the big picture of the crisis tells a very different story than the one we have been reading. As one scientist states, "At least for honeybees, the pollinator crisis is not happening." This is because the key to the crisis is not viewing it strictly in terms of a decrease in U.S. hives, but instead in terms of outsourced honeybees, and the replacement of small, diverse crops with luxury crops and monoculture farms. As author Nathanael Johnson explains,
Call it a scoping problem — the conclusions you draw from looking through a microscope may be opposite to those you arrive at after examining the same evidence through a telescope. By drawing on both perspectives, scientists have come to a new, more-nuanced revelation: a pollinator crisis does indeed loom, but the crisis they see has little to do with a decline in bees and everything to do with economic globalization and the world's growing appetite for raspberries, cashews, chocolate, and other luxury crops. You don't have to don a protective suit and poke around beehives to see this crisis: it's there in your local supermarket when you find watermelons for sale in December.
You can read the full article here.
Image of honey bee courtesy of Flickr photographer autan under the Creative Commons License.