A swarm is coming! The Beehive Design Collective heads to Portland

The  “True Cost of Coal” graphics campaign is here!

Who: The Beehive Collective, a 100% volunteer-driven non-profit political organization that uses graphical media as educational tools to communicate stories.

What: A presentation of the Beehive Collective’s newest work. Two years in the making, the “True Cost of Coal” is an elaborate narrative illustration that explores the complex story of mountaintop removal coal mining and the broader impacts of coal in Appalachia and beyond. To create the poster, the Beehive interviewed hundreds of community members throughout the Appalachia region. In their interactive picture-lectures, the Bees lead audiences through an engaging, larger-than-life banner version of the graphic, interweaving anecdotes, statistics, and history.

When/Where: Several events in Portland.

  • Last Thursday on Alberta Ave, August 26th, location TBA
  • Friday, August 27th, 3-5pm at the Ecotrust Building, Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center, 2nd floor (721 Northwest 9th Avenue)
  • Sunday, August 29th, 7pm at Autonomy (316 Northwest 4th Ave.)
  • Tuesday, August 31st,  2pm – 6pm, Special Art Workshop & Presentation at Tryon Life Community Farm (details below)

The Full Story:

The image is the culmination of an intensive and collaborative research process, as the Beehive methodology centers on first hand story-sharing. “We feel it’s extremely important to gather our information from as close to the source as possible,” a Beehive illustrator says.

The Bees craft visual metaphors and weave them together in a patchwork “quilt” of personal stories. Beehive presentations prompt discussion and understanding of contemporary struggles about energy and coal, while honoring the deep legacy of the Appalachian experience. Upon seeing the graphic, Tanya Turner of Pineville, KY said, “This image is changing Appalachia. Appalachians are taking back Appalachia and this image is a tool for that change.”
“The True Cost of Coal” is only the latest work in the Beehive’s repertoire of graphics campaigns. The Beehive hums with activity, tackling issues as diverse as biotechnology, corporate globalization, food and agriculture, and colonialism. The group’s mission is to “cross-pollinate the grassroots” by creating images that educate the public and deconstruct complex geopolitical issues.  Their body of work is distributed as “anti-copyright;” individuals and organizations are encouraged to reproduce the graphics for non-profit use as a means of circulating information and awareness.

The Beehive Collective is currently touring nation-wide to distribute the graphic. For more information and to view the graphics visit www.beehivecollective.org OR beehivecollective.blogspot.com.

Details on the Tryon Life Community Farm Event!

Beehive Collective Art Workshop & Presentation
Tuesday, August 31st, 2pm – 6pm

At Tryon Farm (tryonfarm.org)

Join us and the Beehive Collective for an afternoon of collaborative creative process and cross-pollination. Using Beehive design methodology, we will develop ideas and images for TLC Farm’s educational land signs. This will be a participatory, co-created artistic process – please come even if you’ve never before visited the Farm. Afterwards, the Bees will present The True Cost of Coal.

We will be running a shuttle from People’s coop (SE 21st and Tibbetts), meeting at 1:15 and leaving by 1:30.  The shuttle will return to People’s by 6:45. This workshop is a by-donation event, with nobody turned away for lack of funds.  Please RSVP to maralena.murphy@gmail.com so we can know about how many folk to expect.  We look forward to seeing you!


Climate Ground Zero presents @ 6:30 pm — Thurs, August 26th
Autonomy Hive (316 NW 4th Ave)

Climate Ground Zero is an ongoing campaign of non-violent civil resistance in southern West Virginia to end mountaintop removal.  Since Feb 2009, over 150 people have been arrested (in WV alone!) confronting the irrevocable destruction of Appalachia & its accompanying toll on air, water, & lives of Appalachians.

Come learn about the campaign and how you can help!

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