…being in Chiapas ...

Riding through Central America and South America without understanding it?


Hmm, no. I stay in Mexico, to be exact in Chiapas, there, where all problems of the world come together, where it hurts, where is a lot of attention and where are many different initiatives.

The project worked very well in all the stations in Mexico, also here in San Cristobal, and now I can look for variations of the idea to extend the project. 

Middle and South America has to wait, and I have to wait until I understand how to work in another huge continent.

Here in Chiapas you find the migration of thousands of people from the south to the north, drugs plus traffic, prostitution plus traffic, corruption, mafia, hungry international companies, murder and torture, paramilitary, military, police, dependency of foreign banks, a not-happening administration, a puppet government and since a long time a contract which allows the huge companies to sell and buy everything to prices they decide, which is an equal to the trans-Atlantic trade to be expected between North America and Europe.

Lets say, it is like everywhere in the world, in different levels, but in each country these things are happening to certain extends and in variations. But here, lets say, everybody is very "blunt" about it.

Here you have 6 or more languages, the Church, NGOs, private initiatives, the people who were always here: Chole, Tojolabal, Tzeltal, Tzotziles and more, the tourists, and you have the Zapatistas, they are not gone. From all those activities, some are more consequent and stable factors than others in a conglomerate of parallel worlds.

Many who are interested and engaged might be gone in some months, most of the tourists are gone after some weeks, days, and unfortunately also my time is limited. But my chance is to make observations, apply my project, help people here, learn from all those people and work out a plan for the future.

Some new friends are doing phantastic work to overcome the differences, more than that, understanding the differences as creative potential, and these people are the ones I am working with. It doesnt matter to us, whether it is art or politics or science or education or name it up what someone is specialized in.

So far I worked with artists, attended a workshop of dialog-techniques for workers of the Church, gave a discussion round about art and education amongst other systems, checked out how "the organization" works, something which is maybe not advisable to make very public here in detail, and currently I prepare with an NGO to work in a village with kids and maybe more.

To stay longer here means to prepare for Middle and South America, which is too huge to travel through quickly with 2 or 3 stations of the project doesnt seem to fit the needs on my side to understand enough to be able to work well.

To continue now is financially too risky, administratively impossible and probably not the best for my health.

So the project will be prepared again and continued in autumn and winter 2015/16.

There is no need to travel away from "home" when you want to work on something, but Chiapas is the perfect example for the urgent matters of the world, in a geographical sense, ethnological sense, economic sense, political sense and maybe more. (... and by the way the planet is my home ...)

If the situation cant be significantly changed, it is as least very necessary not to give this place completely into the hands of the "legal" crime.

What would we have then? On one side the criminals and on the other side dead people, indeed physically killed or soul-dead, that cant be the interest of anyone.



Contact: thomaslehmen@thomaslehmen.de                                                                              © Thomas Lehmen 2013