The School of Panamerican Unrest

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The School of Panamerican Unrest (La Escuela Panamericana del Desasosiego) is a conceptual art project led by Mexican artist Pablo Helguera. The project involves a series of performances, discussions and screenings to seek connections between the different regions of the Americas. The core of the project consisted of a travelling schoolhouse which made 30 stops between the U.S. state of Alaska and Chile's Antártica Chilena province between May and September 2006, following the entire length of the Pan-American Highway. At each stop topics such as immigration, globalization and the role of art in society were examined as they relate to Pan-American culture, history and ideology. The project echoes the efforts of intellectuals such as José Marti, Simón Bolívar and José Vasconcelos to create a unified cultural region in the Americas. The project began with an interview of Marie Smith Jones, the last living speaker of Eyak, a Native Alaskan language; and ended with an interview with Cristina Calderón, the last living speaker of Yaghan, in Puerto Williams, Tierra del Fuego. Currently a travelling exhibition and accompanying documentary are being planned, bringing together the documentation obtained during the project.

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