COA’s Blum Gallery presents photos, info from Yucatan

RELEASE COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC PRESENTS ONE STATE, THREE PROJECTS Blum exhibit features ethnographic research from Quintana Roo, Mexico CONTACT: Donna Gold, Public Relations: 207-801-5623, 207-266-4470,

BAR HARBOR, ME-Last winter, three College of the Atlantic students travelled to the state of Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico to pursue field work into land management, government aid, and politics. The three seniors, Zimmerman Cardona of Belize, Adelina Mkami of Tanzania, and Neil Oculi of St. Lucia, will be showing portions of their senior project in an exhibit called “One State, Three Projects: Ethnographic research in the Yucatan peninsula” in the college’s Ethel H. Blum Gallery from May 2 to 6. There will be an opening reception May 3 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Cardona’s project focused on understanding conservation in the Yucatan Peninsula, examining how two government programs work within the traditional communal land holdings of the Maya in Quintana Roo. To investigate these questions, he interviewed community members, looking into leadership, community organization, and how conservation fits into the broad mosaic of farming and other resource-based activities.

In addition to photos of the communities, Cardona will present excerpts of interviews, such as one he recorded with a representative from the Mexican Environmental Secretariat admonishing community members to protect forests from fires: “You are the owners of the forest, you are the inhabitants and what you do directly affects climate change-the emission of carbon that goes to the ozone layer…it is worldwide. That is why we need to be very careful with the use of fire because, apart that it destroys our forests, you can be fined. … In the forest there are many products we can use … in a forest fire, every thing is burnt, all the benefits.”

Mkami looked into the form of welfare known as conditional cash transfers that make welfare conditional upon specific criteria, such as sending children to school and making visits to health centers. Her research focused on how this money was spent in four communities. To show her findings, Mkami will present graphs and tables as well as photographs.

Oculi looked into political discourse and ideology within the small Maya community of Sabán, also in Quintana Roo. According to Oculi, investigating local politics provides insights into “everyday state formation, whereby the people have come together and agreed to be governed on the basis that the government must meet certain obligations.” He found that shared political ideologies are rooted in the population’s selective memory “to rationalize their actions,” and in the wider world experience of this population as militant and rebellious, thus legitimizing them “as leaders and political actors in the region.”

The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about “One State, Three Projects: Ethnographic research in the Yucatan peninsula” contact, 288-5105 or 207-801-5733. Free.

CALENDAR ITEM EXHIBIT May 2-6 with an opening May 3 from 4 to 6 p.m.: One State, Three Projects: Ethnographic research in the Yucatan peninsula, photos, excerpts and graphs by seniors Adelina Mkami, Neil Oculi, and Zimmerman Cardona Ethel H. Blum Gallery of College of the Atlantic. Gallery hours, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 105 Eden St., Bar Harbor, ME. For information contact, 207-288-5105 or 207-801-5733. Free.

Donna Gold Director of Public Relations, Editor, COA Magazine College of the Atlantic 105 Eden Street Bar Harbor, Maine 04609 207-801-5623, office 207-266-4470, cell

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