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Art Campaign Preserves the Corn of Mexico

VIVA LA MILPA

A traveling art exhibition that protects and preserves Mexico’s

cultural and biological diversity through raising awareness on

the risks of genetically engineered food and seeds

and other environmental concerns.

Mexico is losing it’s corn to GMO contamination and the importation of commercial corn from the US that has pushed the Mexican farmers out of the market.  The native heirloom corn of Mexico is much more than just a plant that gives food.  It is a plant that holds the indigenous cultures and languages together, it is the heart and soul of Mexico.  Some are passionate about preserving and protecting Mexicos’ biodiversity, indigenous cultures and languages.  Viva La Milpa Project is one example of a passionate and creative response to the dilemma.  The VLM project educates and raises awareness around Mexico’s corn crisis and the risks of genetically modified foods through an art exhibition that travels through major cities of Mexico.

Viva La Milpa Project responds to the importance of educating the next generation. The art exhibit attracts schools and thousands of students have viewed the exhibit.

Along with the traveling exhibition, Viva La Milpa Project distributes educational pamphlets in Spanish on the risks of GMOs for both consumers and farmers.  These pamphlets include solutions to the problem, teaching seed saving techniques, how to identify GMO corn. Included in their handouts is an illustrated  directional on how to identify the GMO corn and remove it from the native corn field so that it doesn’t contaminate the native corn that the pueblo’s ancestors have been growing for thousands of years.

Corn is the thread that holds Mexico’s ancient cultures together. This GMO, commercial corn that is infiltrating Mexico from the US has undercut the the farmers prices and many farmers have had to move to the cities or to the US to find other work so that their families don’t go hungry. Only the elderly are left to tend the milpa. Sadly, as farmers are displaced, they often leave their traditions and languages behind. To some this is seen as a social and cultural injustice and through the medium of art, Viva La Milpa educates and raises awareness to protect and preserve the CRIOLLO (native) corn and the cultures that it holds together.

 

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