Maritime Industry Has Money, We Have Our Imaginations
By Brent E. Beltrán
How does one fight what is possibly the largest industry in San Diego, an industry that has millions of dollars at its disposal? We use our creativity!
Barrio Logan is a laboratory of creative, artistic thinkers. Movements have sprung forth from its streets, homes, alleys and parks. With that kind of history it is no wonder that artists have decided to take on the behemoth that is Maritime Industry and their surrogates.
The first of many artistic projects has already begun. You won’t find this one in a gallery or on a pillar at Chicano Park. This project is only visible on the internet.
Ideas for various artistic projects flow out of my head on a regular basis. I’m not an artist but I wanted to be one when I was a youth. I’ve curated numerous art exhibits throughout the years, I’ve been involved in literary publishing, I’ve been on the boards of local arts venues but I’ve never been nor do I consider myself an artist. But that hasn’t stopped me from making the things that flow out of my head from becoming reality.
The most recent idea to spring forth is the Barrio Logan United Against Maritime Industry Pollution Holiday Meme Series.
It initially started out as a onetime thing. I wanted to create an image of the Virgen de Guadalupe wearing a gas mask (signifying pollution in Barrio Logan) and post it on Facebook and Twitter on her feast day (Dec 12). My wife Olympia, who is an artist, was initially going to draw my idea but didn’t have the time. So, I decided to create my own.
Using my Google machine I found the perfect images to use. With a little Photoshop manipulation I merged the images, tweaked it in a filter and voila! My first anti-Maritime Industry pollution meme was born.
The first to create a meme was Arizona artist Gabriel J. Vélez. I sent him a text asking if he’d be interested in drawing me a Santa cartoon that I could post before Christmas. I told him I needed it fast since Christmas was quickly approaching. I asked him on a Saturday and by Monday morning the toon was in my email inbox. Since then it has been posted numerous times.
Not wanting to let the holidays go by without continuing the meme assault on maritime interests I created five more Christmas themed memes: Santa Faulconer, Every time a bell rings, The Grinch, Rudolph and Frosty. Each were released on consecutive days.
I have New Year’s related memes percolating in my brain and I plan on sending those out on New Year’s Eve/Day. These will eventually be followed by memes created by various artists including Victor Ochoa, Olympia Andrade Beltrán, wika, Yeyo, Mario Chacon and many others. I also plan on creating more myself. Perhaps at the end of the meme cycle I’ll even consider myself an artist.
This meme project is but one in a long list of potential actions that artists, activists, Barrio Logan residents and our supporters will participate in over the next few months. Join us! Participate! Create your own memes! And help spread the word about San Diego Maritime Industry’s continued poisoning of Barrio Logan! ¡Juntos venceremos! Together we will win!
To see the memes when they come out follow me on Twitter @DesdeLaLogan. For more info on the Barrio Logan Community Plan and Maritime Industry’s referendum against it please visit the San Diego Free Press links in Battle for Barrio Logan.