Visual Artist, vocalist, and member of SOAW Artist Collective, Dulce Lopez. Photo by Jalileh Garcia.

As a member of the SOAW Artist Collective, I participated in the Witness for Peace Solidarity Collective summer delegation called "Body-Territory: Ecofeminism and Resistance" in Honduras. During this delegation, we had the privilege of engaging with artists, members of the diaspora, and activists to discuss the critical issue of land protection in Honduras and explore how artists can contribute to international solidarity efforts.

Join the Artist Collective this Sunday in a Virtual Vigil for Peace

Currently, in Honduras, agro-industries, particularly those involved in cultivating African palm, have expanded, transforming the landscape into eerie scenes dominated by monocultures under the shadow of palm trees. The oil extracted from African palm is widely used in products like soaps, oils, margarine, and more, with international market prices soaring to $600 USD per ton. Unfortunately, African palm, a non-native species to Honduras, consumes excessive water, leading to the depletion of rivers, displacement of native flora, and a threat to food security for Hondurans. Those who don't cultivate palm often face pressure to rent or sell their land, or they are subjected to threats until they join the palm industry.

Astonishingly, in Honduras, three companies control 61% of palm oil production, even as they engage in social projects that serve as a facade to mask their harmful practices and sow division within communities. Some individuals have reclaimed their land but find themselves at odds with companies that manipulate palm prices, depriving them of fair compensation for their crops. "They economically oppress us in an attempt to demoralize us," said one farmer we heard from during the delegation. Resisting African palm agro-industries has come at a high cost, including the loss of freedom and lives of farmer activists. The land is in chains due to insufficient support for small-scale producers and the greed of governments and transnational corporations.

"Cuál frontera?" (What Border?) painting by Dulce Lopez

In the face of this challenging landscape, our commitment to learning, demonstrating solidarity, and illustrating the fight for land and freedom remains unwavering. The Agrarian Platform and De Pueblo y Barrio reinforces the importance of exploring ways to carry forward the memory, voices, and protection of frontline activists. We must amplify the experiences and ideas of those who have come before us and remind ourselves that we are not alone. Even a poster or a small painting on a remote wall can serve as a reminder. 

The spirit of revolution thrives within the land and its crops, which are a living form of art that resists over-exploitation and capitalist systems. In a world marked by language, cultural, and physical barriers, let's strive to understand and feel the struggle with all our senses. Let's compose songs, paint our stories, cultivate spaces for creativity, and weave solidarity with our pueblos and barrios (towns and neighborhoods). 

Thank you SOAW community for your commitment to Peace, Justice, and Creative Resistance!
Please join me and my fellow SOAW Artist Collective members in a Virtual Vigil for Peace this Sunday.


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