United Notions is an exhibition that promotes connection between Nations and people. Many seem to overlook the fact, that we now live in a multicultural world. Though cultures differ, we still have a lot in common. I teamed with 19 more studios and designers from across the globe and brief each other with one word that is foreign to our culture and create 3 posters each.
“Before power was a man: the rubber fever”
During the latter part of the 19th century rubber was discovered here in Amazonia. The Rubber Boom had begun. During the 1880s the countries of Peru and Ecuador sent samples of rubber to England and the United States. Rubber was very much in demand then because it was being used in many products.
The elite “mestizos” who were of Spanish descent were recruited as caucheros or rubber barons. The work of the caucheros was to recruit, by whatever means, workers to harvest as much wild latex from the vast jungle as possible. The caucheros found the docile and obedient temperament of the natives easy to overcome and easily made them into rubber slaves. The caucheros did not go out and find the rubber slaves, instead they recruited black men from Trinidad and Jamaica in the West Indies. They were paid to capture as many slaves as possible and to make sure the slaves collected sufficient amounts of rubber, If the natives failed to collect sufficient latex they would be punished severely. This punishment increased in its severity until they were killed. Women were also enslaved and rape was the usual penalty for low performance. If a male slave escaped his wife and children were raped and tortured until the slave returned or they themselves revealed were the escapees could be found.
Around 1920 the Rubber Boom ended and with it the enslavement of native people. Some researchers tried to estimate the loss of indigenous peoples in Peru and Brazil, scores of souls lost in connection with the rubber trade.
Exhibition, Graphic Design