Southern Oaxaca’s Isthmus of Tehuantepec is home to communities of Indigenous Zapotec, Mixe, Mixtec, Zoque, Ikoots, Chontal, and others facing mass displacement and disenfranchisement as construction of the Transistmico development corridor nears completion in 2022. ArtsEverywhere reported on community concerns and the potential impact of the Special Economic Zone in the 2020 series Extractivismo: Oaxaca. That trip helped coalesce a union of activists across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec that came to be named Las Venas Que Nos Unen (The Veins That Bind Us).
Co-creating across a wide range of mediums—film, performance, painting and music—Las Venas is a multidisciplinary collaboration between filmmakers, poets, musicians, and performing and visual artists who are united in their defense of territory (land, sky, and sea). The multimedia experiment aims to capture with intimate insight and artistry the beautiful, complicated, contested landscape of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, where manufacturing hubs, mining concessions, commercial ports, onshore wind farms, oil refineries, natural gas pipelines, and a railway will soon connect international ports on the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Las Venas 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.