From Axayácatl to El Chapo: Rethinking Migration and Mexico’s War on Drugs in Gabriel Garcilazo’s Dystopic Magical Codex
In this conversation between Gabriel Garcilazo and Adriana Miramontes Olivas, Garcilazo explains his interest in appropriating popular culture and historical documents such as the sixteenth-century Codex Azcatitlan. His artwork Dystopic Magical Codex (2015) examines the recent war on drugs in Mexico and its consequences through spatial and temporal elements that reconsider concepts of borders, nations, and trade. The conversation is introduced in a brief essay in which Miramontes Olivas contextualizes Garcilazo’s codex. She argues that Garcilazo criticizes state apparatus rhetoric on the war on drugs and harsh immigration policies, demanding the conceptualization of alternative solutions that could reduce both the carnage and the exodus of those living in fear. He also warns, as have other contemporary artists from Mexico, against new forms of colonization and master narratives that homogenize and hamper border-crossing and interaction among cultures.
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