Bibliobandido is a masked outlaw that rides through town on a burro,
ravenous for stories, and terrorizes little kids until they offer him what
Conceived by REV- in 2010 in collaboration with
the community of El Pital, a village in the jungles of northwest Honduras
where rural illiteracy rates average 80%*, El Bibliobandido first induced
terror, laughter, and tears in los niños (and more than a few
adults), prompting them to write and read furiously in order to avert
calamity. Soon after, he became the chief villain that the community loved
to hate. The originary drama was repeated on a monthly basis replete with
new characters—the police that show up chasing after (but never
catching) El Bibliobandido, tiny accomplices referred to as 'Los
Bandiditos,' and—as of May 2012—an inspector who imperiously
rides through town examining the books offered by little kids to make sure
they are at their most succulent, most spicy, and most sweet. Since 2010,
the living legend of El Bibliobandido has brought bookmaking and
storywriting activities to surrounding villages—some with hardly any
books or paper.
Today, dozens of adults and over 500 kids from
across the northwest region of Honduras are involved in the story's unfold.
Teachers in the 18 participating villages exchange information about
literacy activities as well as the latest Bibliobandido
‘episode’ that their communities invent and dramatically enact
on the third week of every month (or 'Bibliobandido Week’), marking
the monthly harvest of stories. El Pital remains Bibliobandido
Headquarters, where one part time paid employee and 15 volunteers with a
median age of 14 coordinate outreach within the region. There lies a troupe
of eager kids ready for new stories to offer El Bibliobandido.
El Bibliobandido makes his debut in New York City at the Studio Museum of
Harlem in a group exhibition (June 14–October 21, 2012; reception
June 13, 7–9 pm) entitled Caribbean: Crossroads of the World
that also spans to the Queens Museum of Art and El Museo del Barrio. Studio
Museum of Harlem is located at 144 West 125th Street, NYC.
*According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD),
in 2009, more than 40% of the Honduran population suffers from illiteracy;
that number jumps to 80% when concerning rural populations.
Call for entries due September 30, 2012
Well-Crumbed: Morsels from the Moustache of El Bibliobandido
(in Spanish: Bocadas del Bigote del Bibliobandido) is an anthology
of short stories written by those of all ages to be published in Winter
2012. Well-Crumbed centers around the idea that El Bibliobandido, in
haste and hunger, has gobbled down stories, leaving crumbs in his
moustache—or perhaps he's left little bits for later. REV- seeks
short stories of no more than 5000 words that depart from this notion.
Through this anthology, REV- will explore these tasty morsels of fiction.
The top dozen or so entries will be published in printed volumes; the top
first, second, and third place winning stories will be dramatically
reinterpreted and re-enacted by kids in El Pital, and produced by REV- as
5-minute video shorts in 2013. For submission details, please click here.
What is REV- ?
REV- furthers socially engaged
art, design, and pedagogy. A non-profit organization founded in 2009,
REV-'s projects, public art works and publications have been presented
internationally and reviewed in Wall Street Journal, The New York
Times, BBC, GOOD magazine, and more. REV- derives its name from
both the colloquial expression “to rev” a vehicle and the
prefix “rev-“ which means to turn—as in, revolver,
revolution, revolt, revere, irreverent, revelry, etc.
director: Marisa Jahn.
Rachel McIntire, Anjum Asharia, and 500 people in and around the
community of El Pital, Honduras
Mundo, People's Production House, Convent of the Sacred Heart High School
in San Francisco.