Saturday, February 15, 2014

Plans underway for border mural resurrection

Nogales International
February 14, 2014
by Curt Pendergast

Behind a copy shop in the Heroes neighborhood in Nogales, Sonora, 34 metal panels are stacked against a wall, waiting to return to their former glory.

The panels are covered with images that form a replica of a mural painted by Tzetzal Indians in 1998 depicting their lives and dreams after declaring themselves part of an autonomous Zapatista revolutionary municipality in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.

The Mexican Army destroyed the mural the day after it was placed on the wall of a community center in Taniperla, Chiapas. In a sign of solidarity, artists from Southern Arizona and Nogales, Sonora painted a replica of the mural on the border fence in Nogales in 2005. Artists did the same elsewhere in Mexico, as well as in Argentina and San Francisco.

The 60-foot-long mural, known as “Vida y Suenos de la Canada Perla,” or “Life and Dreams of the Perla Ravine,” was on the brink of destruction in 2011 when the fence made of landing mat panels was replaced with the current bollard fence. But thanks to a cross-border collaboration between local artists, the Border Patrol, U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona), the Sierra Club and other organizations, the mural was saved and put into storage, where it remained for nearly three years.
Two weeks ago, the members of Taller Yonke, or Junk Studio, moved the panels to their new location in Heroes in preparation for the mural’s resurrection.

Now, Taller Yonke members Guadalupe Serrano and Luis Diego Taddei are hoping that same binational spirit will help them restore the mural and mount it along the Buenos Aires thoroughfare, not far from an enormous public mural, also painted by the group members, depicting a desert scene and indigenous symbols on bridge supports and a road embankment.

They plan to have the mural restored in the next month or two. “The sooner, the better,” Serrano said as he showed this reporter and Dan Millis of the Sierra Club the plan for the mural’s resurrection.

In addition to looking for people who would like to re-paint the mural, the group is seeking donations from both north and south of the border. Serrano estimated that it will take $1,000 to resurrect the mural.

“It doesn’t have to be money,” Serrano said. “If you have a gallon of paint you’re not using, that would work.”

Mounting supplies, such as anchors and brackets, are also needed.

The group can be contacted through its “Taller Yonke” page on Facebook

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