You may have heard about El Bibliobandido, a character we (REV-) invented with denizens of a village in Honduras with an 80% illiteracy rate. Our legend goes like this: ravenous for stories, El Bibliobandido (‘book bandit’), is a masked bandit who rides around on his burro terrorizing little kids until they write and offer stories to nourish his insatiable appetite. After a group of us ‘enacted’ this legend in 2010, kids believed the character was real, prompting a flurry of writing so juicy and succulent so as to appease this villain everyone loved to hate.
Three years later, the legend lives on. The third week of every month is Bibliobandido Week. On that Sunday, one of 19 participating villages dramatize a new ‘episode’ where the audience is involved in the creation of the story.
Today, many of the 500 kids living in the region grow up ‘believing in’ El Bibliobandido. In Honduras, El Bibliobandido’s fame rivals Santa Claus.
Like 1001 Arabian Nights, El Bibliobandido is a frame tale — an overarching narrative with stories tucked in between. Each night Schezerezade provides stories to the king to save her head from being lopped off; each month, kids in Honduras prepare their monthly sacrifice of books for El Bibliobandido to avert general calamity. The pleasure of being starved for a good story unites both sets of storytellers as well as us, the reader.
Lead Artist: Marisa Jahn
Collaborators: Rachel McIntire, Anjum Asharia, and 500 people in and around the community of El Pital, Honduras
Director & Producer: Marisa Jahn
Koqui • (El Bibliobandido)
Yaquira Cantillano • (La Inspectora)
Danny Perez, Denny Perez, Eduardo Perez • (Narrators)
Durkis Acosta, Jorge Aguilar, Javier Anchecta, Anjum Asharia, Alicia Banegas, Andy Banegas, Eldy Carcamo, Elias Santos Dubon, Denis Espinal, Elly Goetz, Marcos Guillen, Marisa Jahn, Rachel McIntire, Marilo Pinto, Rosalina Pinto, Adonis Ponce, Lourdes Ponce, Melvin Reyes
The Communities of: El Pital, La Muralla, La Colorada, La Lucha, La Cuenca del Cangrejal, Honduras
Director of Photography: Marc Shavitz
Costumes & Props: Marisa Jahn, Lourdes Ponce
Two Letter U'S • Safety Scissors (Album: Parts Water)
Penso Ascoltando • Senor Coconut (Album: Break n' Bossa)
Smooth Operator • Senor Coconut (Album: Fiesta Songs)
Support: Un Mundo, People's Production House, Convent of the Sacred Heart High School in San Francisco, REV-
WHAT IS REV- ?
REV- is a non-profit organization that furthers socially-engaged art, design, and pedagogy. 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. A non-profit organization, 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, etc.