Drug Cartels and 60,000 deaths

Drug Cartels and 60,000 deaths

Mexicans use humor and satire as a tonic to soften the sting of reality. This multi-media work comments on and challenges the reductionist and problematic ways the mass media presents the endless drug war in Mexico.

I have to think about the deaths of the more than sixty thousand people in Mexico as a result of the called war on drugs. I question the value that is put in news as a consumable device for veracity, as well as how well it informs about social problems with several layers of complexity. I visually manifest my concerns by drawing on visual culture and using images from mass media that attempt to simplify reality and make it easily consumable. The performance emphasizes the active role that television has to translate stories in consumer products. The visual elements highlight the level of information excess is found in mass media communication. The animation of the Mexican drug cartel mugshots ridicules Western media’s method of dissemination and renders these errant icons of popular culture static and anonymous.

In the exploration of the topic the drawing animation allowed me to render a series of images to show the portraits of relevant Mexican drug cartels and sterile data about their lives in the two years, as if they were there to blame for the bloody calamities of this war. I use performance because it references the mass media and advertising, I use this language to convey the simplistic way to understand a complex topic like this.