Culture

This Artist Gave Pokémon The Mayan Makeover You Didn’t Know They Needed

Erick Parra / mitú

Indie artist Mona Robot (Mona Robles) is giving the Pokémon you grew up loving that Latino flair you didn’t know they were missing. But don’t worry. She isn’t giving them mariachi outfits or showing them eating tamales. She is applying some stunning Mayan aesthetics to these Japanese monsters to create art that is truly jaw-dropping.

It all started three years ago, according to Mexican artist Mona Robots, who had just started experimenting with Mayan aesthetics.

unnamed
Courtesy of Mona Robots

“It all started because the Pokémonathon was going on, it’s a creative project were artists reimagined Pokémon in their own style. By then I had started experimenting a bit with this aesthetic, so I decided to go for it,” Mona Robots told mitú. “I’m from Chiapas, where there are several Mayan ruins I’ve visited, this is a mythology and aesthetic I love and am familiar with, I think it’s really interesting and has a lot of potential to adapt to modern ideas. ”

The artist credits the Pokémonathon project to helping her create some her first proper digital artworks: like this Bulbasaur evolution.

bulbasaurs
Courtesy of Mona Robots

“I don’t intend to make Pokemayas exclusively or forever, but I’d love to set out to re-work some of my favs,” Mona Robot told mitú. “It would basically just be reworking the lines so they don’t look so dated, and perhaps include a few new ones I never got around to make.”

Not to mention her sick rendition of the Charmander evolution.

charmander
Courtesy of Mona Robots

“I decided it would be neato to apply elements of the Maya aesthetic and cosmovision to Pokémon because there are so many creative works out there inspired in oriental mythologies, but you don’t see the same phenomenon happening with other cultures,” the artist told mitú.

The artist says she wasn’t a huge fan of the game when she was younger, but she knew enough to reimagine fan favorites like Squirtle.

squirtle-evo
Courtesy of Mona Robots

“Pokémon was a huge phenomenon while I was growing up,” Mona Robots recalled to mitú. “Everything Pokémon was popular and exciting and new.”

Of course she included the three legendary birds: Articuno [Ice]…

articuno
Courtesy of Mona Robots

…Zapdos [Electric]…

zapdos
Courtesy of Mona Robots

…and Moltres [Fire].

moltres
Courtesy of Mona Robots

“I love the concept of creatures with powers and skills based off the elements, and the idea that they evolve,” Mona Robots told mitú. “They are important because they’ve always been there, and it’s something familiar me and a ton of other people can connect with, even if we are not exactly the same age, that’s pretty dang cool.”

She has even given all the Eevee fans something to celebrate.

eeveeevo
Courtesy of Mona Robots

#Hallelujah

And yes, she even drew her favorite Pokémon, Nidoking.

nidoking
Courtesy of Mona Robots

If you want to support the artist, you can click here for her Patreon page.

H/T: Remezcla

READ: This Guy’s Pokemon Go Corrido Is Funny And Actually Pretty Sweet

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Artwork Created By Detained Teenagers Are On Display In El Paso In An Exhibit Called ‘Uncaged Art’

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Artwork Created By Detained Teenagers Are On Display In El Paso In An Exhibit Called ‘Uncaged Art’

UTEP

Between June 2018 and January 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services detained more than 6,000 teenagers from Central and South America in a tent city 40 miles south of El Paso. It was called the Tornillo Children’s Detention camp and was the largest detention center for children in the United States. While detained there, the teenagers, aged 13-17, were asked to participate in a social studies project to create art that reminded them of their home. Their art was on display around the tent city until a story by The New York Times shined a light on the teens’ paltry living conditions, and the government shut the facility down in January 2019.

As Tornillo Children’s Detention Camp was being shut down, workers trashed nearly all of the 400 pieces of art. However, one priest and several community organizations came together and were able to save 29 of the pieces.

Father Rafael Garcia, a Jesuit Priest, was one of the few outside visitors allowed into the camp.

Credit: Sacred Heart Church, El Paso, TX / Facebook

“It is hard to describe the mood there; some kids were very glum and sad, others had no expression,” Father Garcia told NBC News. “Then there were others interacting like normal kids.” The artwork was on display until January 2019, when the U.S. government decided to close the camp. As officers were tossing the artwork, Garcia asked for permission to redistribute the art to others who may want it.

“If I hadn’t been there, and received permission to keep some of the pieces, it probably would have all been thrown in the dumpster,” Garcia said.

With the artwork in hand, Garcia called Yolanda Chávez Leyva, Ph.D., University of El Paso Texas Professor and co-founder of El Paso’s Museo Urbano.

Credit: Borderzine Reporting across fronteras / YouTube

Leyva would go to the Tornillo Children’s Detention Center on her days off to visit with the kids. Garcia knew that she co-founded El Paso’s community museum known for preserving borderland history. Garcia wanted the museum and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) to protect the artwork. They did one better and put all the art on display at UTEP’s Centennial Museum. 

Father Garcia sees the final outcome–an exhibit featuring their work–as “a ray of light from a grim experience.”

Credit: UTEP

The Museum website describes the exhibit as reflective of “the resiliency, talent, and creativity of young men and women who trekked 2,000 miles from their homes in Central America to reach the United States.” The exhibit, titled ‘Uncaged Art,’ “provides us with a window into the personal world of migrant children whose visions and voices have often been left out of mainstream media accounts,” reads the website.

Still, the art is on display behind a chain-link fence, to remind visitors of the conditions the young artists were in at the time.

Credit: Borderzine Reporting across fronteras / YouTube

The social studies teachers allowed the students four days to create the art and allowed them to create individually or in groups. There were no other instructions other than to think of their home. Those instructions resulted in an array of mixed media art including dresses, sculptures and hundreds of drawings and sketches. Then, “camp officials” judged the art and selected their perceived best works to display around the camp.

Human rights attorney, Camilo Pérez-Bustillo thinks that the camp released the artwork as a PR stunt to look good.

Credit: UTEP

Pérez-Bustillo had interviewed about 30 children from the camp and believes the artwork was essentially curated by the facility. “I think they released it to look good,” Pérez-Bustillo told The Texas Observer. “They had so much negative publicity at the end from the national media, especially after news reports that their employees did not have to submit to FBI checks, they decided to shut it down and cut their losses.”  

For now, we don’t know the faces behind the artwork.

Credit: UTEP

In June 2018, Beto O’Rourke led hundreds of protesters to the tent city demanding humane conditions for the ever-expanding tent city. Temperatures were over 100 degrees while the children were living in tents. A DHS spokesperson told the public that the tents were air-conditioned. Some of the children told an attorney that the worst part of the facility was never knowing when they’d get out. Some kids would keep track of the days that passed by scribbling numbers on their forearms.

Still, the government’s response to the problem was to loosen the strict requirements for sponsorships. All of the children are now sponsored by people around the country.

Wherever they are, we hope that they see their artwork is cherished by our community.

Credit: “tornillo art” Digital Image. Texas Observer. 23 August 2019.

We know that the symbol of the quetzal bird created in this artwork is a symbol of freedom for Guatemala. In the words of one of the artists, as told by The Texas Observer, “The quetzal cannot be caged or it will die of sadness.”

READ: Texas Detention Officer Charged With Sexual Assault Of An Undocumented Mother’s Child

Mexican Officials Jailed This Donkey Because His Owners Didn’t Pay Their Property Taxes But The Donkey Is Finally Out Of Jail

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Mexican Officials Jailed This Donkey Because His Owners Didn’t Pay Their Property Taxes But The Donkey Is Finally Out Of Jail

@Abriendo_Brecha / Twitter

A burro walls free after spending more than 72 hours in a local Mexican jail. He was booked and thrown in there because his owners, a couple in their eighties, were unable to pay their property taxes. 

Together with the help of a local animal welfare group, the donkey is a free from the jail cell and is once again back with his owners. 

Animal lovers everywhere are celebrating the news of a burros release from jail.

A donkey has been freed from jail in San Sebastián Río Dulce, Oaxaca, after 72 hours behind bars through the efforts of an animal rights organizations.

The animal was arrested over the weekend for its owners’ inability to pay local taxes.

Pascual Cruz and Alejandra Mejía, both in their 80s, did not have the means to pay the taxes, which other residents have denounced as abusively high.

After hearing that the couple had been refused the right to take the donkey food and water during its detention, animal rights activists in the state united to file an animal cruelty case with the state Attorney General’s Office.

Oaxaca animal rights group president Hilda Toledo said that activists had planned on going to Río Dulce to protest but the town is considered dangerous and outsiders must solicit authorization to enter, so they chose the legal route.

It all started when a couple in their eighties allegedly didn’t pay taxes. 

A donkey was booked into the town jail in San Sebastián Río Dulce, Oaxaca, apparently for unpaid property taxes.

In a truly cruel move, the city’s tax agent ordered the animals arrest so that the elderly couple wouldn’t be able to transport the firewood they use for cooking. But  Pascual Cruz and Alejandra Mejía, 88 and 86-years-old respectively, say they’ve been caught up in a power struggle between groups trying to take control of local resources. 

Authorities in the Mexican state of Oaxaca came to seize the couple’s burro.

Even though the couple says they only use the burro for domestic uses around the house, not for economic gain, the tax agent seized the donkey and placed it in the town jail. 

The incarceration was denounced by the Network of United Animal Rights Activists of Oaxaca.

“It may not be of much interest or importance to others, but it is for the animal’s owners,” said the organization in a Facebook post, “given that it is one of their most valuable possessions, since they use it to transport firewood from the hills to their home.”

The burro was being held without food or water and many people around Mexico were upset by the animal cruelty.

The couple also claims to have been refused the right to take the animal food and water during several days of imprisonment.

Many people around the world were really concerned for the donkey – some even writing to PETA for help.

One Twitter user wrote to to PETA and. Arjona animal rights supporting celebrities including Ricky Gervais. It’s not clear if any of them were involved in the release of the burro. 

Strangely, this isn’t the first time a donkey has been placed under arrest and thrown behind bars.

Another Mexican donkey landed itself in jail after biting and kicking two men.

The animal was locked up in a holding pen normally used for keeping drunks off the streets after it lashed out at the pair at a ranch in Chiapas state. 

The owner of the angry burro, Mauro Gutierrez, was told that he‘d have to pay the injured men’s medical bills before the creature is released from custody.

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