In 1904, the term “Banana Republic” was coined by the short story writer, O. Henry, in his collection of stories titled Cabbages and Kings based on his exile in Honduras. Then, the term referred to a small, unrich, tropical country, whose economy relied heavily on the exploitation of foreign investors to purchase commodities. This exploitation led to corrupt governments, foreign-funded coups, violence, and tremendous wealth disparity--all for the benefit of foreign interests and plutocracy, which still exists today. O. Henry labeled his Honduras under the pseudonym of Anchuria. His stories told tales of eccentric characters, spectacles of third world conundrums, and a country teetering on the edge of revolution. Over a hundred years later, little has changed.
In 2019 Honduras— over 60% of the population lives in extreme poverty, current legislation threatens to privatize health and education, military (trained by the U.S.) violently repress and kill protestors, and Juan Orlando Hernandez is being linked to narcotrafficking while in is illegitimate and illegal second term as president.
I work to show the characters and phenomena of everyday life in Honduras, at once resilient and vulnerable. Each day in Honduras seems like a surreal vaudeville of loosely connected stories, just as O. Henry’s Anchuria did. This series contains images of reality--truths of the continuance of repression and exploitation, but also images meant to bring intrigue and curiosity to the nature of the land of Anchuria.