The image above is of ZapaShiva, a Zapatista woman in the Shiva pose. I made the image for the 5year Plan which was started by my friend Aaron Sinift, an artist, activist and entrepreneur in Brooklyn NY.
The first project that Aaron curated and brought to life was an artist book featuring the work of 26 artists. I made an image for the book. You can check it out in this earlier post. The images were printed on cotton khadi. The cotton was spun by artisans in India. The idea behind the book is to make a sustainable art piece and to celebrate the Gandhian ideals of self sufficeincy and non violence.
This video explains the project really well.
In both images I’ve made for the 5year plan I tried to make a link between social movements in India and in Mexico. I am not an expert on the Zapatistas, but their struggle for self-governing and their resistance to transnational corporations resonated for this project.
The woman is holding a shovel and an ear of corn to symbolize the struggle for autonomy . She has a cell phone and a laptop, because the internet was a fundamental tool for the Zaptistas and it has proven to be a fundamental too for any social movements to come.
She is emptying a Coca-Cola bottle to simbolize the resistance against transnational corporations and she is holding a chilli because when I think of Mexico and India I think of food, spicy food. The cotton bolls and the wheels that frame the image are there to represent the fact the image will be printed on hand spun cotton khadi.
Now Aaron is working on jhola bags. His approach with them is twofold. He plans on printing some limited edition jhola bags with original artwork featured on them.
But he is also looking to work with large retailers to offer jhola bags at their store for shopping. The jhola bag is the anti plastic bag. There are no carbon emissions involved in its production because it is made by hand and it helps some of the poorest people in India and the world to support themselves.