José Eduardo Bartolo Tlatempa

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow Escocia, quiero saber dónde está José Eduardo Bartolo Tlatempa. Digital Collage: © Jan Nimmo

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quero saber dónde está José Bartolo Tlatempa. Digital Collage: © Jan Nimmo

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quero saber dónde está José Bartolo Tlatempa. Digital Collage: © Jan Nimmo

José Eduardo, the son of a bricklayer, comes from Tixtla, Guerrero and is a first year student at the Escuela Normal “Raul Isidros Burgos” in Ayotzinapa. He was 19 years old when he was disappeared alongside 42 of his fellow students on 26th September 2014 in Iguala. There is more background information on “Caso Iguala” and why I am making these artworks in a previous post.

I have translated the following from an article by Rosa Emilia Porras Lara for El Milenio Digital to give some background on José Eduardo’s family:

Mexico City, 6th October 2014

The mother of José Eduardo Bartolo Tlatempa asks, over and over again “Where is my son?”. None of her family dare to tell her that no one knows.

José Eduardo Bartolo Tlatempa, a first year student at the Normalista Teacher Training School in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, is one of 43 students who were disappeared on 26th September 2014.

In an interview with El Milenio newspaper, Aunt Ana Celi tells of how Eduardo’s mum isn’t aware that her son has been disappeared.

“My sister is in hospital because she has cancer. She doesn’t know what’s happening, none of us dare tell her that Eduardo hasn’t appeared since he went to Iguala. She simply asks, “Where is my son?” to which we reply, “With us”.

Eduardo’s aunt was in Mexico City the previous Friday, as part of a delegation that was received by Luis Enrique Miranda, Vice-Secretary of the Interior Ministry, to ask for his support in the search to locate the whereabouts of students.

Ana Celi says that Eduardo left for school as usual on the 26th. He said he was going to Iguala to collect funds so that they could go on the march on the 2nd October (to commemorate the 1968 student massacre in Mexico City).

“Friday 26th was the last time we saw Eduardo. The plan was that they were going to communities around Iguala the following week, and for that reason they also needed money.”

Ana Celi, is sure that the municipal police started to follow the young students as soon as they started collecting money.

“The students who got away alive have said that the police followed them all the time and didn’t let them out of their sight, and when the students were leaving, the police attacked them with without any motive. Many of those who were injured are critically ill as they were shot in their vital organs and we want justice for them”.

Eduardo’s aunt directly accuses the municipal police in Iguala and also organised crime gangs for the disappearance of the students.

“Of course those who are involved in organised crime are behind this, as well as the Mayor of Iguala; they are all linked to one another. They have done this because it doesn’t suit them to have educated young people around.”

Ana Celi insists, “We know that they are alive, probably badly beaten and for that reason they don’t want to show them”.

Article ends. Original article in Spanish here.

Since then I understand that Eduardo’s mother’s cancer has been in remission. The whereabouts of the students is still unknown with one exception – Alexander Venancio Mora – whose remains were identified (from a 1cm fragment of bone and a molar found in Cocula) by Argentinian forensic scientists.

You can see a short video report with the families by James Fredrick for The Guardian here.







Argyll Colliery Portraits

Coal belt and joy loader at Argyll Colliery, Machrihanish. Still from the film "Kintyre" Courtesy of Scottish Screen Archive/NLS.

Coal belt and joy loader at Argyll Colliery, Machrihanish. Still from the film “Kintyre” Courtesy of Scottish Screen Archive/NLS.

I have started a series of portraits/drawings of people who worked at Argyll Colliery, Machrihanish. These will form a body of work for an exhibition and will be a tribute to the workers. My intention is not only to include the men who contributed to The Road to Drumleman but also want to involve anyone who was too shy to participate or who simply slipped through the net because I had so little in the way of resources for the film project. If there is any who wishes to be portrayed/included or if you know someone who may be interested please contact me. You can do so via this blog, The Road to Drumleman Facebook page or contact me email: You can also see the drawings as they progress on this Facebook page and here on the blog. Many thanks!

Arrieros: Manolo “Donato”

Manolo "Donato" with Curro, Galaroza. Drawing by Jan Nimmo ©

Manolo “Donato” with Curro, Galaroza. Drawing by Jan Nimmo ©

I often meet Manolo when I’m either leaving or when I coming home to the village with Chaparro. There are two possible locations where our meetings might occur; at Manolo’s “huerta” or kitchen garden on the Las Chinas path, just at the entrance to the village or out at his son-in-law’s smallholding where the path forks for Valdelarco or El Roblecillo. Either way we usually stop for a chat and if I’m lucky then I may come home with a bag of chard or a watermelon hanging from the pommel of the saddle. Like all “Cachoneros” (the people of Galaroza) Manolo is generous to a fault. I have grown broad beans here at my allotment in Glasgow which were one of his presents to me. One day he shouted to me from his huerta and came down to give me a box with bags of seeds, all with beautifully handwritten descriptions of the contents; coriander, dried lime tree leaves, which are apparently good for calming the nerves, arnica for aches and pains… Manolo knows a lot about plants and herbal remedies and I often bump into him carrying a bunch of mint or oregano, depending on the time of year.


Manolo gathering acelgas (chard). Photo Jan Nimmo ©


Manolo and his broad beans. Photo Jan Nimmo ©

Manolo is retired now but worked as an “arriero” or muleteer. He’s travelled all over the Sierra with his mules, carrying cork, saplings and anything that needed moved across county and from one village to another. He would have done a lot of ploughing in his time too. He still has one mule, Curro, but his partner died a few years back. I remember leaving for a ride to Valderarco, one frosty morning, and seeing the cadaver of Curro’s companion lying at the gate of the holding, waiting for collection. The emotional part of a horse’s brain is the same as ours and so I wondered how Curro would feel about the absence of the other mule – after all those years spent working and grazing together with that spooky, nonverbal communication that they have with us and one another.

Often, in the early evening, I’ll go out for a stroll and if I pass by Manolo’s huerta we’ll stop for a chat. I’ll have a look at his produce and marvel, as I can’t match his success at the allotment in Glasgow. He grows all the usual vegetables and he has a particularly lovely pink rose bush as well as a few fig trees. Nearby, Manolo has a wee stone shed with a great big fireplace and this is where he makes miniature ploughs out of wood and which are exact working replicas of the real thing.


Manolo “Donato” with a handmade miniature plough, Galaroza. Photo by Jan Nimmo ©

Curro has a corral and shelter just along from the huerta and he always has plenty to eat; lots of hay and holm oak acorns which Manolo gathers for him. In spite of being well fed, Curro is a bit skinny – it’s the leanness of old age. Each time I return to Galaroza I wonder if he will still be there. He can be a bit grumpy at times but he’s part of the furniture and Chaparro and I would miss him if he wasn’t there.

Curro. Galaroza. Photo Jan Nimmo ©

Curro. Galaroza. Photo Jan Nimmo ©

© Jan Nimmo 2014

Jan Nimmo

Jan and Chaparro. Photo: Paul Barham ©

Jan and Chaparro. Photo: Paul Barham ©

I am a Glasgow based artist and filmmaker. My work is essentially about sharing peoples’ stories through artwork, film and writing. I am especially interested in agriculture, the lives of working people and Latin American popular culture.

I have worked with banana and pineapple workers in Latin America and Central Africa since 2000. I want workers’ testimony to help us, the consumers, to understand that the work is backbreaking, that a 12 hour day may be routine and that workers are often exposed to harmful, toxic chemicals. It is often difficult or impossible for workers to join a trade union in order to defend the most basic of rights so international solidarity is important. My work has been to make portraits (both woodcuts prints and photographs), installations, documentary films and to write about the experiences of banana workers.

Deleafer, Banana Plantation, Cameroon. Photo: Jan Nimmo ©

Deleafer, Banana Plantation, Cameroon. Photo: Jan Nimmo ©

I have travelled extensively in Latin America and am interested in Mexican and Guatemalan popular art and Cuban traditional music. Because I have a great affection for Mexico and am concerned about human right violations so I make artwork in solidarity with people and campaigns there. Since 2014 I have been making portraits in solidarity with the 43 disappeared students of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero Mexico. These took a year to make and I continue to make work about Ayotzinapa. The portraits have been exhibited in the Scottish Parliament and thanks to human rights activist, Eréndira Sandoval Carrillo, my has work reached the parents of the missing students. The work has almost taken on a life of its own in Mexico and is frequently seen in the hands of the families at meetings and marches or decorating the Normalista college in Ayotzinapa, where the students were studying to become primary teachers. Recently I have made work in collaboration with with the families of miners who worked in a coal mine in northern Mexico, Pasta de Conchos, where 65 miners were killed in an underground explosion. Their bodies have never been recovered so the work is about naming them and remembering them.


Yo, Jan Nimmo,Glasgow, Escocia, quiero saber dónde está Giovanni Galindrez Guerrero. Artwork: Jan Nimmo ©

I am making portraits and gathering the testimonies of the agricultural workers in the Sierra de Huelva, a place I know like the back of my hand, thanks to my horse, Chaparro. Cork oaks are the backdrop to my rides there so I have gradually become involved in gathering moving and still images of cork, cork oaks and the people who work in this slow burning, sustainable but precarious industry. More drawings here:

Rafael, Cork Harvester, Sierra de Huelva. Drawing: jan Nimmo ©

Rafael, Cork Harvester, Sierra de Huelva. Drawing: jan Nimmo ©

Closer to home, I have been involved in an oral history project “The Road to Drumleman” about the coal mine in Kintyre where my father worked as a young man. I made a film but want to continue to gather people’s stories about the Argyll Colliery. I have made a series of portraits of people associated with the mine and am currently leading a heritage/arts project in Kintyre. Here is the blog and you can view the drawings here:

Neil Nimmo, Shot-firer, Argyll Colliery. Drawing: Jan Nimmo ©

Neil Nimmo, Shot-firer, Argyll Colliery. Drawing: Jan Nimmo ©

I am interested in sustainable growing and food. I share an allotment, “Plot 16” with my husband. We also like to forage both in Scotland and in Spain.

My “bread and butter” work is facilitating community arts projects, educational work and graphic design. One of the most recent projects that I facilitated here in Scotland was A View From Here with Scottish Refugee Council, where I worked as Visual Arts Coordinator.