About the Bee Hive Collective Group
pcgallery2.gifThe Beehive Collective is a group of people that have joined together all the information they have tocreate them into images. They say their mission is to “cross-pollinate the grassroots” and they are “anti-copyright”. These images can than be used for educational proposes, and even to address the important issues on environment. Through story telling the group has been able to accomplish making the public more aware of what is going on. They have worked on murals, graphics and making stone mosaics. They have different workshops in buildings up north in Maine. Their posters have been posted over the internet so that anyone can use the same images over again to make a point. Most of their posters don't include humans because they feel that it is easier to talk about a issue using inanimate characters than real people. One of the posters that they created is called “Plan Colombia”, this poster is based on the policy of Plan Colombia. It depicts different ideas that were extracted from the interviews of different groups that have been directly affected. The group has taken trips to different parts of South America including Colombia and Ecuador. Using all their knowledge the combine them into many different metaphors were used in order to tell what is going on.

What is Plan Colombia?
Plan Colombia is what we can call a "Drug War" there were problems between foreign places and the U.S. The relationship of the coca plant in Colombia and the U.S. has angered a lot of people, they are now against Plan Colombia. The reason why it was launched in the first place was to decrease the production of the coca plant. They call it a “failure”, because even after setting this “plan” into motion change wasn’t achieved. In reality, there’s been a 26% percent increase since 2004. In 2004, there were 114, 100 hectares (1 hectare=2.471 acres) of the growth of coca. In 2005, it grew to 144, 000 hectares! Sounds like the U.S. is staying true to what they said Plan Colombia was supposed to be. The funny thing about it is, when the plan was first made (2000), it promised that within five years, the production of the coca plant would decrease by half. Five years later, it was estimated that the coca plant covered a total of 136, 200 hectares! So these past years, the plan has been spraying chemicals to kill the plant at the source. When it comes down to how much coca is grown, Colombia is producing more and more coca than it was before Plan Colombia even existed. The U.S. and other countries are spending billions of dollars on doing something that’s not even working, but instead, is devastating farmers. Instead of wasting money on the “plan” that isn’t working, other countries, especially the United States should spend it on useful things such as homes and food for the unfortunate, or education for those who can't afford one. Spraying the chemicals is unhealthy to the environment making it harder for a farmer to survive. At this point, many farmers are trying to get away from spraying and are moving deep into forests to avoid it all. So, the question is, since the establishment of Plan Colombia, why is the coca plant increasing? Some people think of it as a way for the government to try and kick out the inhabitants of the land.

The Story being told in "Plan Colombia"
The first thing we see looking at the poster is a beehive or a wasp nest representing the country of Europe which later extends itself to the USA. Stretching out of Europe is three of Columbus' ships (The Niña", "The Pinta" and "The Santa Maria")

Below the nests, we see diverse wasps coming out of United States representing the military tactic planes. The AWAK plane is said to be the "ears of the north". These planes were used to give back information about what was going on. It is used to communicate with other planes that are in Columbia. The satellite is said to be the "eyes of the north" because it has the capacity to identify the invasion of chemicals taking over the coco plants. Using so much technology would make you think that this extermination would be more accurate but that’s not true. Because of the fumigation planes flying at a high altitude chemicals were spread is was not effective in killing the coco plants. The Bronco plane acts as an indicator for the inhabitants to find undercover since fumigation is to start. The Blackhawk are helicopters are responsible for fumigating the plantations. These planes which were brought from the United States cost around millions of dollars because they contain tremendous power.Plan_Col._pic_(Military_Fumigations).gif
Below the planes, we can see two main planes with the logos of Monsanto and Dyn Corp. The Monsanto Corporation has been responsible for the production of chemicals and the manufacturing and switching of DNA. They normally sell weed killers and terminator seeds which only last for one season. The Dyn Plane is a private military corporation that assists the Monsanto. Instead it contaminates other fields such as territories in Ecuador and forces inhabitants to leave their plantation since the chemicals are unhealthy and harmful.
Plan_Col._pic_(Res._Extraction_Mosquitos).gifAfterwards, there is the USA and the British mosquito alliance trying to get petroleum, a NESTLE mosquito taking cacao for their coffees, a microscopic mosquito extracting the DNA from coco plants for copyright and a Coca Cola mosquito sucking the water for its own benefits (privatizing the waters). So there are wasps which are the shape of Black Hawk Helicopters, with some type of spray cans. The reason of this is that these wasps represent Crop dusting. They start fumigating fields and this is because the cocoa plant is the one main ingredient in cocaine. So their was many fumigating helicopters (each one costs 10 million dollars) were sent to destroy these fields but more and more cocaine was brought to the USA and that’s why the USA is the main consumer of cocaine.

Towards the end you see ants that seem to be creating there own ant hill or "home". The ants are the people that had already been living there until other countries started to take over (Imperialism). The ants representing the soldiers are fighting the bees, which represent this western influence. With these disagreements come revolts, which are the people's attempts to end their oppression by these stronger foreign powers (bees). With the courage shown by these ants whom are trying to show their disapproval, it is being proven to their fellow people that they are willing to fight for what they believe in. This eventually leads to five hundred years of war.

Western influence is spread towards South America. As different places are being influenced controversy occurs. This is shown through the advertisement of different logos like McDonalds, Coca-cola, Nestle, BP (gas station), things on television, computer technology. These different logos show the western influence that occurred in all different parts of the world.

Once you get to the bottom of the poster there is the ant’s world split in half. One half is showing the more indigenous side while the other half of the world is a representation of westernization. Near the center of the heart there is a word that says Pachakutik. For the poster it also meant "Earth Time". Instead of actually trying to establish rehabilitation programs for drug-addicts, the U.S.A. has started the "Drug War".

Metaphors and Representations
Many metaphors used in this poster represent different topics such as imperialism, the western influences and how it has spread to different parts of South America and different parts around the world. This can be seen in the apparent migration of different characters such as bees, ants, and birds to other places. These various characters represent different important aspects or people of the western society, for example the Pope (representing Catholicism), workers, doctors, pilgrims looking for new properties, Spanish conquistadors carrying swords and blankets with small pox to infect the Native Americans, missionaries carrying a bible, soldiers, and a judge that’s bringing western ideas of justice and time and indentured slaves serving as working force.
Plan_Col._pic.gifBy using figures like bugs the helped explain about topics that aren’t always easy to talk about. The poster includes different birds and bugs that can only be found in specific regions, it shows how there is diversity between the people that were affected. The poster shows how the US is one of the number one consumers, this is shown through larva. If you look on the top of the poster, there’s an ant holding a cong shell. In the past, these shells were used to call people together as a representation of a new beginning or a ceremony.

On the sides of the poster Plan_Col._pic_(Resistance).gifthere are many ants with scissors, walking along cutting different graphics of the poster to show what lies underneath, uncovering the truth. The ants basically are coming together in order to create a positive change for their home. In order to do this, they gather the pieces into a pile which later is decomposed and is used as a food source. The group of ants that have gathered small pieces of the "nightmare" in the poster have gathered the pieces and started to compost them. This represents the new hope they have for a new world. Unlike humans the ants have worked together to create what they believe is best for them, they aren't selfish.

The different wasps symbolize characters migrating to the "New World" from England. These WASPS stand for the "White Anglo Saxon Protestants".The metal bugs drawn in the poster are shown attacking something, like as if they were the army. This shows how the major powers like England headed to different places.
In the USA there is a larva in each state. The larva is a representation of the Americans consuming energy, oil, products, etc. Different larva exemplifies being the # 1 consumer of technology, oil and cocaine. Did you know that one computer chip takes up fourteen-hundred gallons of water? All these natural resources are being taken from foreign places.

The History of the Poster
Near the top of the poster there is a bee hive showing how in the past explorers came to different countries. These explorers were sent to find faster and easier ways to get around. Navigator Christopher Columbus was one of the most well-known explorers. He was sent in search for new a new route to India. Instead he reached what is now known as the United States of America. He headed with his three ships and along came all these different types of people (mostly indentured servants, or criminals) When they first reached America everyone believed that they had reached India. Later on people came to believe that Christopher Columbus "discovered" a new land, this lead to the growth of different nations and the idea of imperialism to take part in new places. People started to get upset that these new groups of people were trying to take over so war and chaos started to occur. For the next 500 year’s people would continue to fight over power and authority.

Your Opinion About the Poster
Emilio: When I first saw the poster I felt as if there was a huge message trying to get across. There were many aspects to the poster coming at you all at once. You didn't know what to look at first, the giant beehive resembling the United States or the many animals located on the sides of the poster. I feel as if the poster is very inspirational and detailed. This poster clearly took a lot of hard work and the final result was fascinating.
Courtney: When I examined the poster, at first I couldn't understand at all what was being portrayed. After fully examining the poster, many more questions needed to be answered such as "What was Plan Colombia?", and "Why have they chosen ants and bees to represent people?" Now, I can see the poster for not what it literally shows, but what it was meant to portray which in my opinion, is the affect on imperialism of an area and the affect of western influences (modernization) as well.
David: When I saw this poster for the first time I said to myself "what the hell is this", I examined it more than 20 times and I still didn’t get he picture. So I kept observing and my class had conversations and there were many ideas and each word that each person was like a piece of a puzzle getting ready to be solved. So when I got home I was still unclear and didn’t know what the picture was. So the next day the people from the beehive collective came to explain to us this picture. My objective was to take as many notes as possible but once these people started talking I was shocked. The presentation was so good, excellent, and extraordinary in everyway. My puzzle was finally solved. I finally saw that the beehive was the USA and that there weren’t any people/humans involved in this picture. It was just animals like bees, wasps, and mosquitoes, etc. But I asked myself more question like why choose Colombia, why not Mexico (they have more history). The reason for this was because Colombia is bio-diverse. It is fascinating.
Sharon Gomes: When I first saw the poster I thought that this must be a poster based on insects and their lives. I could never understand what the art actually means and wanted to say. However, after the members of the bee hive, who created the poster came to the class and described each and every part so clearly and beautifully, I really could analyze what the art really means. I was really influenced by the way those bee hive poster-making members put all the little things in form of insects. Every little thing had an explanation, which was interesting and wonderfully well done. Thus, the creation is really very creative and unique.
Kari: When I first saw the poster, I thought it was well put out since it had many creative details in its artistic graphics. I felt perplexed, though, because I couldn't understand the concept and the meaning behind the poster. When the producers of this marvelous work came to explain to us every detail and the concept behind it, I finally understood what each symbol represented. It was very original to replace the different races with insects such as the ants (farmers), the bees (Europeans), larva (America consumers) the mosquitoes (different corporations), etc. I also thought that it was very creative to tell the history and way currently is going on during the "Drug War" through this poster. In the end, it was very inspiring and stimulating.
Whitney: The first time I saw this I wasn't sure what it was trying to send, like what the message was suppose to be, but once you take a closer look and see all the little details, you start to see the story they're building up. One of the best things about this poster is that every little detail is meaningful, it's there for a reason, they didn't just put it there for the hell of it. This poster is really effective because it gets you thinking. The only bad thing about this is that you feel sad about what's happening around us because the poster is telling you what is happening. Some people wish that they could change what happened. It's very interesting how they used animals and insects replacing humans because then it makes it easier to understand and more interesting.
Marcela: When I first saw the poster I didn’t understand the meaning of it until the other day when we were examining the poster during class even though I still didn’t get it but then when the group came in yesterday to describe the poster I finally got to understand that it all connects and it tells a story about the 500 years of terrorism and other great impacts in Colombia. I also really liked the great detail and effort that they put into the poster and how they used the different bugs and animals as metaphors in exchange for the actual details.
Jeffrey: The first time I saw the poster I quite didn't understand what the poster meant because the poster had an image that I never saw in my life the use of color was amazing. After examining the poster a little more I started to get an understanding of what the poster meant. I knew that it had to do with Plan Colombia the most interesting part that caught my attention was that the ants were the heroes of the story. The picture was so incredible so amazing that anyone would like to know what is it about. The insects and the animals represented us humans and it went along with the poster. Overall the poster showed the hard work and dedication that everyone put in to create this fantastic poster.
Kristina: When I first saw the poster, I wasn't really interested in it because so many things were going on in it and I was a bit confused. All I really understood was I didn't even know what Plan Colombia was that there was a map of the United States and Europe on it. When The Beehive Collective came and they started explaining the poster. I don’t think I've ever seen anything with so much detail before. I loved how every little thing that was happening in the poster was showing what is going around in different parts of the world. The other thing that I really loved was that they went all the way to Colombia to find out information because they didn't trust the news said. It show's that they are really interested in what they are doing and enjoy it.
Malachia: I had seen this poster hanging up before, but I never really paid any mind to it. I only understood that it said Colombia and there were insects on it. Until The beehive collective came, I didn’t even know what "Plan Colombia" meant, it was very interesting. The poster also related to a lot of our cultural capital terms so it helped.
Andrea: When I saw the poster I thought it was one of the most descriptive posters I have ever seen. What I didn’t understand was what it was really about. Once the Bee Hive collective actually came to explain what it was about I felt that I had no idea what it was really about. I thought that considering the amount of time that was needed to make a poster like that they did a spectacular job.
Francois: Seeing this poster on a daily basis didnt capture my eye because it didnt have any color. Until the other day Nick brought it to our attention and told us to analyze to see if we can get the true concept behind it. While examining it I began to see that it was covered with insects and animals. I really began to think that this poster was based on insects in Columbia, until the Beehive Collective came and presented their work of art. As they began to explain the true concept behind there master piece it began to all come together as one, explaning what Plan Columbia was. I really enjoyed the poster because first, it changed our class room ciriculum for the day, and also it opened my eyes to a topic I never knew about. I really enjoyed this presentation because usually lessons like this are taught the standard way through books, but with this avant-garde type of teaching, it allows us student to get invovled.
Jlayne: Just looking at the level of detail in the poster gets your mind engrossed and curious of what it represents. It has so many characteristics of the poster. It shows all the aspects of Plan Colombia. It shows missionaries, the different resource extractions, the act of getting rid of the Coca-plant while harming the environement, and many more wrong-doings. You have every bug doing something characterized by the actions that have been done in that part of history. The amusing thing is that the people involved in the situation match the characteristics of bugs. It's very clever how they did that. This art piece is just extraordinary.
Mathew: Started explaining the art work piece by piece, I got very into it. I truly started analyzing the piece, and I started finding out the true meaning of the art. The story that was in the piece was very detailed. Even though it was not said orally, it was still one of the best stories I ever heard. My favorite part of the presentation and the piece was when we discussed the hive that was in the shape of the United States. Each state is represented by a bee larva and the larva represents one part of the American society. My favorite larva is the McDonald’s larva which shows how much Americans truly consume during their lifetime.
Bryan: The first time I laid my eyes on the poster it was difficult to grasp the concept behind it and the reason it was made. There were beehives, wasps nest, ants, and other extravagant creatures in the poster, leaving me thinking about the significance of the poster, while at the same time confused about why they were there. Other posters I had seen in the past had none of the characteristics this one had, making this one unique in a sense. For one, The Plan Colombia poster looked as if it had taken a great deal of time to make. Other poster can be finished in no more than thirty minutes. The fact that it took a year to make the magnificent work of art, still leaves me in a state of shock. Every character and object was very detailed, having the characteristics of an obscene insect, while the distinct hats and the objects being carried by the bugs, such as the bible depicting the religions brought by foreigners to America, kept us intact with reality and the occurrences that has happened in the United States History. These include things such as the slave trade and the migrations of foreigners looking for refugee from their destructive home in other parts of the world.
Roman: When i first say the poster I looked at it and said hey nice and kept it moving. One day I got a real good look at it close up and was amazed by the amount of things that was going on in there. I kind of thought it was wierd because looking at a bunch of bugs is a little different from an artistic point of view, but when we started to discuss the piece and translate parts of it my mind did a complete 180. Seeing all the stories going on there was incredible, the amount of visual metaphors being displayed and toyed with in that presentation was just straight up awe inspiring. I used to think art like Jim Lee from DC Comics stuff was ultra detailed, but this brings in a whole new meaning to that word. The picture also shows off high level of teamwork, having multiple people working on something and for it to all come together so smoothly and easily shows how great these guys are as a group. As far as the presentation goes it was awesome. The guys and girls were well educated on their topic and I walked out of the presentation very enlighten and educated. THANKS FOLKS AT BEEHIVE!!!!!
Kainat: I thought the poster was absolutely magnificent, a perfect example of avant-garde and just eloquence in its own meaning. Just like everyone else said, the poster did stump me when i first saw it, I myself thought it was a "War of the Worlds" parody. But there was a deeper meaning to it as we analyzed it closely. The fact that its so detailed and you finished it in about 2 months still haunts me. I also loved the "ironic" fact that it connected up to Persepolis so well, it opened up deeper chanches to analyze all the chapters through the topics of westernization and imperialism. I hope we can get more poster presentations from you guys, thanks ^.^.
Mark: When I first saw the poster I thought it was some fantasy poster. But as soon as the Bee Hive collective did their presentation on this poster and explained all of the parts I soon realized it wasn't a fantasy poster. But that it was a poster based on the Drug War in Columbia. After the presentation I was actually stunned because of how you explained that the guards used chainsaws against people who tresspased. I would like to thank you guys for coming to present at our school.

The presentation on “Plan Colombia” was awesome! When I first saw it in nicks room, I glanced at it but I really didn’t pay attention to all of the details and the characters; basically the overall imagery of the drawing. It’s kind of weird because I saw it and I knew it was trying to tell me something but I just couldn’t see the message. When we looked at it as a class we all tried to break it down and find some of the things that we could understand and that we saw connected to our knowledge. The first thing I noticed was that there was some type of transformation going on from the top of the drawing to the bottom. What really caught my attention was that everything was connected in some way or another and that the entire poster was full. I couldn’t find one spot on the poster that was blank without significance. For example, the only blank parts I saw were where the ants are cutting off the “nightmare” and the part with ghost forest. I don’t think the presentation could have been better because the beehive collective group took the time to break down everything for us and you guys explained the entire poster from top to bottom and from left to right. I would really like to see a poster done around current events like 911, the war, global warming, and bush.

Relationship with Persepolis
The "Plan Colombia" poster has similar aspects relating to the book Persepolis . Both the book and poster talk about the western influences that have taken over their land. Iran is just one of the few places that was affected by the US and the British allies. These major powers put Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in power. In return they benefited by getting control over the oil production. Mohammad wanted to modernize Iran and put his plan to action, this angered many Iranians. People living in Iran wanted to keep their old traditional ways, so they started to get together and protest. Some protests weren't as peaceful as others. In Persepolis a group of revolutionaries got together and burned down a movie theater that was playing a "westernized" film because the theater was showing movies from the represented things that had come from the western influences. The movie had been showing men wearing ties, the woman wearing cloths that were considered revealing. Mohammad Reza Shah was one of the major political leaders that tried to westernize Iran but was eventually overthrown by Ayatollah Khomeini.

Other Bee Hive Posters



Other sources you can go to, to find out more information are: www.Beehivecollective.org

If you have any questions about the poster, email the Bee Hive Collective at: