El Bibliobandido is a masked outlaw that rides through town on a burro, ravenous for stories, and terrorizes little kids until they offer him what they've written.
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.
Creative Director: Marisa Jahn
Bibliobandido 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-