Panzós: 25 years later… is a breathtaking exhibit featuring original painting, descriptive banners, and portrait, journalistic and forensic photography by Guatemalan artist Marlón García Arriaga. The exhibit centers around the lives, opinions and actions of the survivors of the Panzós massacre -especially the women survivors, who have been at the forefront of the resistance. The story vividly told through the exhibit is a story that all Canadians must experience, feel and understand. This is the hope of the artist who says he is searching for Canadian conscience in a Guatemalan genocide.
The Maritime tour opens at the University of New Brunswick Art Gallery, Memorial Hall, on May 1 at 7 pm. Exciting weekly educational and social events featuring the artist, guest speakers and film screenings will be held at the Gallery throughout the month of May.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
TUESDAY, MAY 1- 7:00
Opening of the Panzós exhibit. Speakers: Marie Maltaise – Welcome; Judy Loo with the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network on the Mining the Connections Campaign; Tracy Glynn with the Mining Advocacy Network (jatam.org) and Mines and Communities (minesandcommunities.org) on the growing resistance to mining abuses. Film screening of Sipakapa No Se Vende/Sipakapa is Not for Sale (60 min, rightsaction.org). Sipakapa No Se Vende tells the story of the Maya people of the Sipakapa region of Guatemala resisting a Canadian-owned gold mine development. This event is held in conjunction with a week long global days of action against Barrick Gold, and Goldcorp, the Canadian gold mining company that now owns the gold mine in the Sipakapa region.
TUESDAY, MAY 8- 7:00
ALCAN’T in India. Film screening of U.A.I.L. Go Back (22 min.) and Alcan’t in India ((10 min.). U.A.I.L. Go Back features members of an indigenous community in India opposed to a proposed mining project backed in part by Montreal-based ALCAN. The project has exposed villagers to the brutality of corporate globalization as they continue to resist despite severe police repression including the murder of three local activists. Alcan’t in India tells the story of activists confronting Alcan’s shareholders in Montreal. For more info: alcantinindia.org
TUESDAY, MAY 15- 7:00
Blood Diamonds and Sierra Leone. With Andrew Gbongbor from a conflict diamond region of Sierra Leone. “The conflict – begun by rebels who claimed to be ridding the mines of foreign control – killed 50,000 people, forced millions to flee their homes, destroyed the country’s economy and shocked the world with its images of amputated limbs and drug-addled boy
soldiers. An international regulatory system created after the war has prevented diamonds from fueling conflicts and financing terrorist networks. Even so, diamond mining in Sierra Leone remains a grim business that brings the government far too little revenue to right the devastated country, yet feeds off the desperation of some of the world’s poorest
people..”-New York Times, March 25, 2007.
FRIDAY MAY 18-AUDITORIUM- ****GRAND OPENING- 7:00.
An evening with the Artist. Marlon Garcia Arriaga, will lead guests through the exhibit. Musical entertainment by Cesar Morales. With Guatemalan snacks. This event will be held in the Auditorium.
TUESDAY, MAY 22, 7:00.
Stopping Mining Abuses At Home and Abroad. Special guest speakers Joan Kuyek with MiningWatch Canada, Aviva Chomsky with the North Shore Colombia Solidarity Committee in Salem, Massachusetts and Inka Milewski, science advisor with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. Canadian mining companies have earned a reputation abroad and at home for human rights abuses and environmental crimes. Approximately 16% of New Brunswick’s electricity is generated from Colombian coal that is associated with such abuses as forced displacements, violence and increased poverty and sickness. This coal is burned in what is known as the industrial sacrifice zone of Belledune, New Brunswick. For more information on Colombian coal, visit: arsn.ca For more information on Belledune, visit: conservationcouncil.ca
TUESDAY, MAY 29, 7:00
The 29th anniversary of the Panzós massacre. The artist, Marlon Garcia Arriaga, Guatemalan painter and forensic photographer, will speak on his life s work and the exhibit. He will explain the events that led him to focus on scenes of the destruction caused by mining conflicts, as well as the present day context in Guatemala where indigenous people still struggle against the destruction of their land and livelihoods by foreign-owned mining companies.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
Information from several organizations concerned about Canadian mining at home and overseas will be available at the UNB Gallery for the public to take away and digest during the exhibition period. These organizations include the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network, the Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network, Development & Peace’s Canadian Mining Called to Account campaign, the Presbytery Church in Action Committee, CUSO and its partners supporting communities affected by Canadian mining in Indonesia, Thailand, and Peru, Mining Watch Canada, the Halifax Initiative, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, the Fredericton Social Network, Fredericton Peace Coalition, and others.
Panzós, Guatemala, May 29, 1978 – 800 Mayans from the village of Panzós gather in the town square to protest their land, homes and crops being expropriated for a nickel mining project owned by the Canadian company, Inco Ltd. Mama Maquin, a Panzós woman, leads the march into the town square with her daughter, grandson and granddaughter. The Mayor addresses the crowd and gives a signal to the military that have surrounded the square. The military open fire. Thirty-five people are executed in the square. Eighteen others drown in the Polochic River trying to escape. In total, 53 people lose their life including Mama Maquin, her daughter and grandson. Only her granddaughter survives.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Marlón García Arriaga, Guatemalan painter and photographer, was ten years old when the sad news of the Panzós massacre reached his classroom. In the year that followed the massacre, his teachers filled the classrooms walls with newspaper clippings that expressed the opinions and deep frustrations of adult Guatemalans on the massacre and the shift in Guatemalan army had begun to obey national and international interests and had reached the ominous decision to initiate a series of actions leading to genocide, with 1978 through the early 1980s being the dimmest of those years. In 1997, with his feet inside of the mass grave that held the bodies of the Panzós massacre, alongside the women of FAMDEGUA (Association of Relatives of the Disappeared and Detained of Guatemala), he made the decision to create an
exposition of his paintings inspired by such moments, testimonies of survivors, newspaper clippings from the time of the war, photos from historical archives, and testimonies of intellectuals and activists who have confronted the power of the Guatemalan state and the Canadian mining company, Inco.
“To the women and men of Canada: My life and the lives of all Guatemalans have an undeniable historical link with yours. Together, our histories make one history, but with two distinct faces. We are two peoples implicated in one genocide; with two distinct perspectives of the opportunity to be human.” – Marlón García Arriaga.
ABOUT THE ORGANIZERS
The Maritime tour of the exhibit is coordinated by the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network and is linked to the Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network s Mining the Connections Campaign (arsn.ca). For more information, contact Judy Loo at 455-9068 or Tracy Glynn at 458-8747, firstname.lastname@example.org