The Long Memory is the Most Radical Idea in America
...It is the loss of that long memory which deprives our people of the connective flow of thoughts and events that clarifies our vision, not of where we're going, but where we want to go. -Utah Phillips
Created with the Beehive Collective, this picture is of a true story. It's something that is actually happening.
The Beehive's well known for making hyperdetailed posters that are hand-drawn stories about global struggle, climate justice, and class inequality. The pictures dissect our moment in history, and tell stories of resistance from the ground level. What many aren't familiar with is the Beehive's local work in a rural town in Washington County, the most economically fucked-over county in Maine.
The Beehive has been in Machias for the last decade, and this picture is a hopeful look at what's going on downtown. They've restored a historic Grange Hall for public use, are starting a community kitchen in the building next door, are fixing up an old five-and-dime for use as a community artist space, and are hoping to one day restore the empty, contaminated autoshop into a skatepark and rollerrink. The drawing also includes ghosts and relics of historical significance. The Passamaquoddy canoe characters from the past and future are included because the land is their territory, and their well-being is integral. The loggers, farmers, and ships out in the water are other significant pieces of the town's past. Taking a long look at the past has been the best way for us to keep the real needs of the people here first and foremost, and avoid slipping down the mudslide of unintentional rural gentrification.
The local work in Machias is remarkable because it is becoming a tangible example of a small-scale counternarrative. Beehive posters depict the runnaway train of generic globalized economies that propel a ruling class and leave a wake of atrocities.
This picture isn't about that. It's about where our community wants to go, and we're excited to help make that happen.
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