The predicament of mankind

One of the most eloquent works by Eduardo Terrazas was done in 1975. That year, the Club de Roma (CdR) gathered to hold one of its technical meetings in the city of Guanajuato. Founded in 1968, the CdR arose as a non-governmental, nonaligned (using the terminology of those Cold War years) initiative that brought together a group of international figures, headed by Italian industrialist Aurelio Peccei, intending to discuss the subject of “humanity’s predicament.”

For the Guanajuato meeting, Terrazas designed the Codex, Solidarity for Peace and Development, a 30-folio publication that unfolds like a screen fold codex, almost 30 meters long when completely extended. This editorial project also included a graphic solution of the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States, promoted, and presented by Mexico before the United Nations and adopted by the General Assembly in 1974. The graphic design of Codex, as a whole, is remarkable and draws on motifs and references present in Terrazas’s work. It also stands out for the modular design based on squares, as if a grid, containing more than eighty-eight representations of human beings from different periods and cultures. This work by Terrazas illustrates the information based on study variables employed in The Limits to Growth: population, food production, industrialization, pollution, and use of non-renewable resources. 

By unfolding the Codex the central image that occupies two folios is a photo of a detonation of the atomic bomb, with its distinctive mushroom-shaped radioactive cloud. This type of weapon would represent the worst use of the tool. This is the historical horizon before which the Codex calls for a new perception of reality.