In February 2018, Cameron Cartiere and Nancy Holmes took Border Free Bees to Mexico.
FRONDA, a non-profit organization that promotes contemporary art from an interdisciplinary perspective, hosted Simbiosis, a week-long symposium in Hidalgo, Mexico, to inspire connections between communities, institutions, and artists to protect native bees. As artists in residence, Cameron and Nancy gave three public lectures at the following institutions: Instituto de Artes, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Hidalgo (Feb 6); CITNOVA, San Agustin Tlaxiaca (Feb 7); Universidad Politecnica Metropolitana de Hidalgo / UPMH, Tolcayuca (Feb 9). They also held a workshop with biological science researchers at Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Hidalgo/ UAEH, Pachuca (Feb 8) and gave a talk to over a hundred elementary school students at Centro Educativo, Elise Freinet, Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico. Javier Berlingela was our translator at most of these events.
The amazing hosts at FRONDA included Elena Barba, who is a teacher, cultural promoter and entrepreneur, and César Damián, a visual artist, editor, and art promoter. FRONDA’s objective is to promote artistic disciplines in rural and urban spaces, outside of Mexico City through the creation of projects aimed at the development, exploration, training, exchange and dissemination of interdisciplinary and intercultural art. FRONDA is an ideal partner for Border Free Bees; FRONDA promotes contemporary art as a platform that makes change possible to enhance community’s quality of life and its environment. Since 2010 FRONDA has created and curated more than a hundred activities fostering exchange between artists and other social actors, such as researchers, biologists, geographers, artisans, therapists, and gardeners, among others. They work in diverse locations: theaters, art centers, institutes, and universities. FRONDA gathers artists and community together through regularly organizing Simbiosis: Encounters of Interdisciplinary Art/ Encuentro de Arte Interdisciplinar, composed of an artists’ residence program, a symposium with talks, lectures, interdisciplinary roundtables, workshops, and public presentations, as well as outreach activities with the community.
Border Free Bees and FRONDA began conversations with several universities in Pechuca, Hidalgo Mexico about how art can bring together disciplines across the sciences and the humanities to engage communities in pollinator and pollinator habitat conservation. These discussions generated great enthusiasm and we can hardly wait to see what unfolds.
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