Landscapes of Erasure: geographies of absence in Michoacan.

The state of Michoacan in Mexico, where most of the drug war comes from, has a long history of exploitation against indigenous people and the natural resources concentrated in the state. Michoacan's vast system of forests has been subjected to years of illegal wood trafficking, a fact very well known but little exposed, pushing the indigenous 'purepechas' to become both slaves and accomplices of those crimes. Drug trafficking clashes with civil war and indigenous resistance struggles with their right for local jurisdiction of culture and natural resources. My research attempts to investigate how violence materializes in space, producing regulated territories that otherwise would just be a natural physical environment. For example, how the drug wars in Michoacan, a crime that leaves no apparent material residue, shapes the geographical and the social?. My interdisciplinary research combines social studies with studio arts practice, usually presented at museums, galleries and research centers.

Victor Arroyo
Faculty Supervisor: 
Jean-Claude Bustros
Project Year: 
Partner University: 
El Colegio De Michoacan