The Isthmus of Tehauntepec in southern Oaxaca is home to several Indigenous groups (Zapotec, Mixe, Zoque, Ikoots, Chontal, among others) facing mass displacement and disenfranchisement as plans to complete construction on the Transistmico development corridor by 2022 are advanced. Upon completion, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec will be designated a Special Economic Zone with manufacturing hubs, mining concessions, commercial ports, onshore wind farms, oil refineries, oil and natural gas pipelines, and a railway connecting shipping routes on the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Indigenous resistance to the individual Transistmico projects and the wholesale appropriation of communal lands has resulted in widespread intimidation and violence—abuses that authorities have either neglected to confront or been complicit in engineering.
Arte Transistmica is a multidisciplinary collaboration between filmmakers, poets, musicians, performing and visual artists from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec who are united in defense of territory (land, sky, sea). Collaborating across a wide range of mediums—film, performance, painting and music—this multimedia experiment aims to capture with some insight and artistry the beautiful, complicated and contested landscape of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
Arte Transistmica was co-conceived by local activists and the ArtsEverywhere team while reporting the Extractivismo: Oaxaca series.