Illustration, art, digital photography and cartography provide powerful tools for inspiring, motivating and communicating in ways that substitute or complement written documents. Using a wide range of visual approaches and skills PPI collaborators have produced a materials designed to assist in the transmission of technical or socially-valued knowledge among a wide range of social actors.
This poster presents simple and practical guidelines for germinating jonote seeds, allowing artisans and coffee growers to cultivate and better manage a highly valued forest resource used in Puebla to make bark paper (papel amate). It is one of several community guides produced as part of the Overbrook Foundation-supported project Production and managment of 'Jonote' (Trema micrantha) for artisanal bark paper manufacture whose goal is to give coffee farmers and handicraft producers useful tools and knowledge with which to manage their forest resources more effectively, and derive greater social, ecological and economic benefits from their traditional activities.
Women handicraft weavers, Mexico (2012)
Working closely with several women weavers and their family-based organizations in the Sierra de Zongolica, Mexico, graduate student Belinda Contreras produced a set of four large, hardy, waterproof, visually attractive and informative banners on the plants, skills and knowledge used by women to prepare their famous weavings. Belinda has been collaborating with Citalli López on Overbrook-supported activities within the Knowledge Exchange Program, working with local producers in Zongolica to revitalise forest-based local knowledge systems in order to improve social and environmental well-being.
Wild maguey, Mexico (2008)
PPI worked with two NGOs, Grupo de Estudios Ambientales "GEA" and Sansekan, on a project supporting the community management of wild maguey (Agave spp.), a plant widely used in the production of such fermented beverages as pulque and mezcal, and which has great economic and cultural importance in the economically deprived region of La Montaña de Guerrero, Mexico. These posters were produced during a workshop with villagers, and were meant to raise awareness of the importance and vulnerability of maguey and its pollinators.
Black Dammar (Canarium strictum), southeast Asia
Black Dammar is a resin used by indigenous communities in India, Bangladesh and northern Burma for spiritual and medicinal purposes. These posters, which provide practical information and guidelines on the cultivation, uses, quality, characteristics and sustainability of harvesting the resin, were produced by PPI to assist Keystone Foundation in communicating research results to communities.
Vegetable Dyes used in traditional weaving, Indonesia
This series of posters were produced by PPI Steering Committee member Tony Cunningham and Indonesian partners Yayasan Pecinta Budaya Bebali and Threads of LIfe, and distributed to a large number of weaving communities (14 languages groups in seven islands in eastern Indonesia) who use the bark and leaves of several species of Symplocos as a red dye in their fabrics. Though intensely dependent on this plant, most of these people have never seen the actual plant or are aware of its endangered status.