Compañeros y compañeras
Les escribimos de la campaña EZLN: El Fuego y la Palabra, para invitarlos a participar en la organización de las actividades que proximamente planeamos realizar en Estados Unidos.
Como muchos de ustedes saben, esta campaña arrancó en México en noviembre del 2003, en el marco del décimo aniversario del levantamiento zapatista y el vigésimo de la fundación del EZLN. Para festejar estas fechas, la revista Rebeldía coordinó la realización de una serie de materiales que próximamente se presentarán en Estados Unidos en versiones actualizadas. Se trata del libro *EZLN: El fuego y la palabra*, que está siendo publicado en Estados Unidos en versiones separadas en inglés y en español (City Lights); una memoria musical integrada por cuatro CDs de ska, reggae, rock, trova y corridos compuestos bajo la influencia de la lucha zapatista; la exposición fotográfica más grande y completa que se haya organizado sobre el zapatismo; una serie de videos sobre su historia y autonomía.
El recorrido de la autora del libro se realizará por regiones de Estados Unidos, en varias etapas, durante el año 2008 y partiendo de California, estado que se visitará del 1 al 15 de febrero. La invitación concreta es a organizar la presentación de alguno o todos los materiales de la Campaña (libro, fotos, memoria musical o videos en sus barrios, foros, espacios comunitarios, universidades, etcétera), con el modesto objetivo de seguir acercando esta lucha a más personas: mexicanos, latinos, chicanos, afroamericanos y otros estadounidenses (entre otros); además de apoyar la construcción de la autonomía de los pueblos zapatistas, que son la columna vertebral de este movimiento.
Estamos enviando esta propuesta a los colectivos adherentes a la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona en California (para esta primera etapa).
De antemano ofrecemos una disculpa a algún colectivo interesado que por un error involuntario no reciba la presente.
Compas, queda en sus manos esta propuesta, con la esperanza de que la hagan suya y podamos organizar algo jun@s. En archivo adjunto encontrarán más detalles sobre esta invitación, sobre los materiales y la historia de esta campaña de difusión.
En espera de su respuesta, reciban un abrazo donde quiera que se encuentren
Gloria Muñoz (periodista de la revista Rebeldía y del periódico La Jornada)
Campaña El Fuego y la Palabra
Subject: Invitation to Zapatista collectives in the United States
Compañeros and compañeras,
We’re writing to you on behalf of the campaign EZLN: The Fire and the Word, to invite you to participate in organizing the activities we are planning for 2008 in the United States.
As many of you know, this campaign was launched in Mexico in November 2003 during the 10th anniversary of the Zapatista uprising and the 20thanniversary of the foundation of the EZLN. To celebrate those dates, the magazine *Rebeldía *coordinated the development of a series of materials, which will be presented in 2008 in the United States, in updated versions.
The materials are: the book *EZLN: The Fire and the Word*, which is being published in the US in both English and Spanish editions (City Lights); a musical collection composed of four CDs of ska, reggae, rock, trova, and corridos composed with the influence of Zapatista struggle; the largest and most complete photographic exhibit ever organized on Zapatismo; a series of videos on Zapatista history and autonomy.
The book’s author will tour various regions of the United States in several stages throughout 2008, starting with California, which will be visited from February 1 to 15. The concrete invitation is to organize the presentation of some or all of the Campaign’s materials (book, photos, musical collection, or videos) in your communities, forums, community spaces, universities, etc., with the modest goal of continuing to make this struggle known to more
people: Mexicans, Latinos, Chicanos, Afro-Americans, and other US Americans, (among others); as well as supporting the construction of autonomy of the Zapatista communities, which are the foundation of this movement.
We are sending this proposal to those collectives which have adhered to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle in California (at this first stage). We apologize in advance to any interested collective which, due to an involuntary mistake, may not receive this proposal.
Compas, the proposal is in your hands. We hope that you will make it yours and that we will be able to organize something together. Attached you will find more details on this invitation, on the materials, and on the history of this campaign.
We look forward to your response and we send you greetings wherever you are.
Gloria Muñoz (journalist for the magazine Rebeldía and the daily La Jornada)
Campaign The Fire and the Word
INVITATION TO ZAPATISTA COLLECTIVES IN THE UNITED STATES TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CAMPAIGN EZLN: THE FIRE AND THE WORD
In November 2003, within the context of the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and the 10th anniversary of the indigenous insurrection that shook the world, the Mexican magazine Rebeldía coordinated the Campaign EZLN: 20 and 10, The Fire and the Word.
Within the framework of these two anniversaries, a series of materials was developed that gathered works created by painters, photographers, video makers, and musicians from around the world who have been influenced by Zapatista discourse and practice. Additionally, a book on the history of the EZLN, with the same title as the campaign, was presented together with the largest and most emblematic photographic exhibit in the history of Zapatismo, the most representative musical memory of this first decade of political struggle, and a video that, like the book, brings together pieces of that history.
The appearance of the EZLN represents a turning point that does not end and that continues being reinvented. The materials that make up the campaign The Fire and the Word tell the story of the days and years that shook the world. By recapitulating and documenting this history in progress, the book, the video, the photographs, and the musical collection try to become tools with the modest (and ambitious) goal of continuing to bring home this history, especially for youths who in 1994 were only children and who today try to find different ways of seeing the world.
In four years (from 2003 to 2007), the Campaign EZLN: The Fire and the Word has been presented in various countries and in various languages. In that period it traveled through over 150 cities of Greece, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, Turkey, Switzerland, Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, with presentations of the book The Fire and the Word in its various translations, the video and the musical collection with the same name, and the photographic exhibit “69 Gazes against Polyphemus.”
In addition to the above presentations, which were organized directly by the magazine Rebeldía and by collectives and organizations from each country, a number of events were put together as part of this campaign in 33 countries of the five continents, in a period of only two months.
THE CAMPAIGN IN THE UNITED STATES
Throughout 2008, updated versions the materials will be presented in several regions of the US, using as a pretext the publication of the book The Fire and the Word: a history of the EZLN, in both English and Spanish versions, by City Lights.
The general proposal is to present the book, the video, the photographic exhibit, and the musical collection at various events during different stages, just like it has been organized in other countries, with several tours by the book’s author accompanied by activists and collectives that are interested in the Zapatista movement. At each location the author will contact universities, collectives, and organizations interested in organizing presentations of one or more of the materials. It may be just the book, or a concert with the musical collection, or the book and the photographic exhibit, or the video and the book, all of this depending on the interest and proposals of the organizers and the spaces they choose.
It is important to note that all potential profits, both from the sale of the materials (book and musical collection) and from the events organized (conferences at universities, concerts, or any other event) will be destined to finance projects of the Zapatista Good Government Boards, as has been the case in all tours organized in other countries. Both the Good Government Boards and the Zezta Internazional (the Zapatistas’ international initiative), as well as organizers of other presentations around the world, may confirm the delivery of these funds.
Finally, it is important to clarify that the campaign EZLN: The Fire and the Word is not organized by the EZLN, but by people and collectives in solidarity. The intention is not to represent or to substitute the voice of the Zapatistas, but merely to make known a history of rebellion that, for many of us, is still an alternative. Both the Good Government Boards and the Zezta Internazional are aware of these activities, but we in no way represent them or make contacts or create connections in their name.
California: February 1 to 17, 2008
Chicago and surrounding areas: April (dates to be confirmed)
New York and surrounding areas: June (dates to be confirmed)
Washington and surrounding areas: September (dates to be confirmed)
Border states other than California: November (dates to be confirmed)
MATERIALS OF THE CAMPAIGN EZLN: THE FIRE AND THE WORD
Book: The Fire and the Word: a history of the EZLN
Four years after its publication in Mexico, the book The Fire and the Word, written by Gloria Muñoz Ramírez, is released in the United States in an updated version and in two separate editions, in English and Spanish, both of them published by City Lights.
The original edition draws a landscape composed of pieces of the history of the Zapatista movement from its creation, in November 1988, to the birth of the Good Government Boards in August 2003. The introduction and the prologue were written by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, military chief and spokesman of the EZLN, who in an extensive interview also evaluates the first decade of Zapatista struggle and resistance. The English and Spanish U.S. editions of The Fire and the Word have two additional texts that bring the book up to date and help answer the question: “What are the Zapatistas doing now?”
The first addendum is a series of reports by the author on the five Zapatista regions of Chiapas. According to Carlos Montemayor—president of the jury that honored the reports with the José Martí Latin American Journalism Award—it is “a series that reveals the political and social complexity of an indigenous autonomous movement—the EZLN—in today’s America.”
The reports were first published as a special supplement for the 20th anniversary of the Mexican daily La Jornada in September 2004, under the title “Chiapas, the Resistance.” They reveal the daily challenge faced by thousands of Zapatista men, women, and children in their everyday construction of autonomy; that is, as they forge their own destiny.
The new epilogue to the US editions was written by the book’s author and by Hermann Bellinghausen, renowned Mexican writer and journalist who has been covering the war in Chiapas since its beginnings. Bellinghausen is undoubtedly among the journalists who most thoroughly knows and understands Mexico’s indigenous movements.
The epilogue deals with the current stage of the Zapatista movement, set forth in the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, published in June 2005. Its national component initiated a tour through “deep Mexico”—Mexico from below and on the left. The objective was to develop a national plan of struggle and a new Constitution. This initiative, which was called The Other Campaign, spanned Mexico and crossed the northern border to reinvent the map, creating what the Zapatistas call The Other Geography—one without walls, which has become a new territory where Mexicans and Chicanos encounter one another across artificially imposed barriers. This Other Geography finds echoes around the globe because, by refusing to recognize borders, it recognizes systemic problems that affect all who struggle from below for justice and dignity in any country of the world. This is basis of the international component of the Sixth Declaration, better known as the Zezta Internazional, which is delineated in this epilogue through its recent initiatives.
Since its first Mexican edition, the book The Fire and the Word has traveled the world. It has been translated into French, Italian, German, Turkish, Persian, and Greek, and published in separate Spanish-language editions in Spain, Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. It is also currently being translated for publication in Russian, Portuguese, and Japanese.
In the last four years The Fire and the Word has been presented in approximately 150 cities of Spain, Greece, Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Turkey, Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, by social leaders, activists, intellectuals, and scholars from various parts of the world, including Subcomandante Marcos, Nobel laureate José Saramago, Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, Catalonian writer Ramón Chao, French sociologist Yvon Le Bot, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo from Argentina, and the Mapuche Indians of Chile, among others.
Photographic Exhibit “69 Gazes Against Polyphemus”
The exhibit “69 Gazes against Polyphemus” is undoubtedly the most complete and emblematic photographic collection on the Zapatista movement (and one of the largest collective exhibits presented in Mexico on any topic). In it, 68 photographers from around the world and an anti-photographer (Subcomandante Marcos) offer 137 images covering the EZLN’s first decade of public struggle (from 1994 to 2004). The immense effort of gathering and selecting the works was undertaken by photographer Yuriria Pantoja.
According to Mexican photographer Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, “the true authors of this exhibit are not the 69 photographers—an undoubtedly evocative number. The Zapatistas soon understood the power of images and adopted them as a weapon to make themselves felt and seen, and to show the world that this other reality exists.”
Subcomandante Marcos, military chief and spokesman of the EZLN, who participates in this exhibit as presenter and, for the first time, as photographer, states: “A photograph is a gaze. And a gaze is a way of illuminating something. Like the sun, these photographers’ lenses illuminate various moments of Zapatismo. They do not encompass, nor do they pretend to, the entirety of their subject. They are honest and they declare with their gaze that they only see a part of it. But that is precisely their main virtue, because it allows us to interrogate their gaze and ask ourselves what is not seen. With those answers we begin to complete the jigsaw puzzle of gazes that neo-Zapatismo has been claiming since that cold early morning at the beginning of 1994.”
The photographers that participate in this collective exhibit—who, as a side note, paid the setup costs for their own photographs—are: Sebastião Salgado, Antonio Turok, Eniac Martínez, Fabricio León, Pedro Valtierra, Francisco Mata, Raúl Ortega, Adrián Mealand, Alberto Contreras, Alejandro Meléndez, Alfredo Estrella, Angeles Torrejón, Araceli Herrera, Arturo Fuentes, Arturo Talavera, Carlos Cisneros, Carlos Ramos Mamahua, Cecilia Candelaria, Claudio Cruz, Cristina Rodríguez, Eduardo Verdugo, Elsa Medina, Emiliano Thibaut, Erik Meza. Ernesto Ramírez, Félix Cúneo, Fernando Castillo, Fernando Luna, Fernando Villa del Ángel, Francisco Olvera, Fred Jacquemont, Frida Hartz, Georges Bartoli, Gildardo Magaña, Guiomar Rovira, Heriberto Rodríguez, Javier García, Jesús Ramírez, Jesús Villaseca, Jorge Claro, José Ángel Rodríguez, José Carlo González, José Núñez, Juan Ramón Martínez León, Julio Candelaria, Leonor Solís, Lourdes Grobet, Luis Cortés, Luis Jorge Gallegos, Marco Antonio Cruz, Marco Peláez, Marco Ugarte, María Meléndrez, Omar Meneses, Oriana Eliçabe, Pasqual Gorriz, Patricia Aridjis, Paulo Vidales, Rafael Seguí i Serres, Ricardo Deneke, Rosaura Pozos, Simona Granatti, Tim Risso, Víctor Flores Olea, Víctor Mendiola, Xóchitl Zepeda, Yazmín Ortega Cortés, Yolanda Andrade, Yuriria Pantoja and the anti-photographer Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
The Photographic Exhibit in the United States
For its presentation in the United States, new images will be included in the exhibit, covering Zapatista autonomy and the Zapatistas’ current initiatives, within the framework of the Other Campaign and the Zezta Internazional.
The exhibit was set up in two formats. A professional format with photographs measuring 40.64 x 50.80 cm and a smaller format laminated in plastic, easier to handle, transport, and present. For the US tour, we propose to bring from Mexico a selection of approximately 40 photographs in the professional format, and the entire exhibit in the smaller, more manageable format.
The professional exhibit should be presented in a closed space with large walls or dividers appropriately set up for hanging with nails. A total of 40 meters are needed. In the case of sufficiently tall walls, two rows of photographs may be placed together.
Installing the exhibit requires time and effort, so we recommend setting it up in places where the exhibit may remain three or four days. Ideally, the same space would be used to present the video or the book. The exhibit in the plastic format can be placed in public spaces: plazas, school patios, gardens, etc. The photographs have holes that allow them to be hung with strings. They are also easily attached to any kind of wall.
Musical collection The Fire and the Word
Any social movement that leaves its mark on time has its background music: its songs, anthems, a soundtrack. In other words, the sounds that capture and evoke its spirit. The national and international mobilization generated by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) has its own music, and it was gathered in a four-CD collection edited by the magazine Rebeldía with the title The Fire and the Word.
The collection gathers 82 songs that talk about and celebrate the Zapatista uprising and its social and political impact. The collection and selection was done by Ignacio Pineda and remastered in the studios of Foro Alicia, an emblematic center of Mexico City’s Zapatismo. Each CD in the collection has a different title: Fire, The Word, Resistance, Dignity.
For the version presented in the United States, a fifth CD is being planned, composed of groups and musicians on this side of the border who have been inspired by Zapatismo.
Fire, explains Pineda, contains “international groups that have been supporting the Zapatista cause: Basque, French, Spanish, Chilean, Argentine, Brazilian, Venezuelan, Chicano and other US American.” It includes names such as Fermín Muguruza, Mano Negra, Sargento García, Manu Chao, Hechos Contra el Decoro, Aztlán Underground, Kortátu…
The Word includes Mexican or international authors and composers that, while not necessarily alluding directly to the Zapatista movement, reflect the social context within which the EZLN arises and evolves. The volume contains songs by Lila Downs, Café Tacuba, Joaquín Sabina, León Chávez Texeiro Arturo Meza, Gerardo Enciso, León Gieco, Rafael Catana, Pedro Guerra, Real de Catorce, and Nina Galindo, among others.
The third CD, Resistance, contains Mexican ska and reggae groups that, contrary to the trends established by the large commercial music industry, combine their musical creation with social commitment: Salario Mínimo, Los Rastrillos, La Tremenda Korte, Tijuana No, Panteón Rococó, Salón Victoria, La Sonora Skandalera, and Maldita Vecindad.
Dignity, the fourth CD, includes musicians from Zapatista communities in mixed and remastered field recordings. In this CD, the protagonists of one of the most important social movements in recent years tell a musical chronicle of their own struggle, especially through cumbias and corridos. The musicians include insurgents, comandantes, and bases of support of the EZLN.
The musical memory The Fire and the Word has been distributed in Mexico, Spain, Italy, France, Greece, and Germany. Ann additional CD is being planned for the version presented in the United States, bringing together part of the music that Mexicans, Chicanos, and other US Americans have produced on this side of the border.
We propose presenting this collection in small or large concerts, with the participation of groups and singers in solidarity, according to the possibilities and resources of the organizers.
The following is the content of the four CDs (without the additional disk that will probably be included, with music and songs from this side of the border).
1. Fermín Muguruza; Brigadistak
2. Hechos Contra el Decoro; Un mundo donde quepan muchos mundos
3. Banda Bassotti; El pueblo unido jamás será vencido
4. Amparanoia; Somos Viento
5. Arpioni; Zapata
6. Segarroi; Begi estalitako indioa
7. Todos tus muertos; Alerta guerrillas
8. Aztlán Underground; Revolution
9. 99 Posse; Resiste Chiapas
10. Chico Science a nacao zumbi; Monólogo a opéido ouvido
11. Mano Negra; Long long nite
12. Sargento García; Qué palique
13. La Banda de la Banana Voladora; Casas de cartón
14. Ozomatli; Guerrillero
15. Dusminguet; Babilonia
16. Quetzal; Todos somos Ramonas
17. Dr. Calypso; Brigadistes internacionals
18. Kortátu; La línea del frente
19. Los Miserables; Corrido Zapatista
20. Cojón Prieto y Los Guajolotes; Carcelero
21. Manu Chao; Clandestino
22. Flor de Fango; Zapatista Anthem
1. Rockdrigo González; Tiempos híbridos
2. León Chávez Teixeiro; En esta ciudad
3. Arturo Meza; La rebeldía de la luz
4. Café Tacuba; Flores de color de la mentira
5. Gerardo Enciso; Daga
6. Marina Rosell; Emiliano Zapata
7. Ismael Serrano, México Insurgente
8. Roberto González; Ramona
9. León Gieco; Sr. Durito y yo
10. Santiago Feliú; Declaración de principios
11. Leticia Servín; Cachos
12. Rafael Catana; Pueblo de patinetas
13. Pedro Guerra; Contra el Poder
14. Joaquín Sabina;Como un dolor de muelas
15. Real de Catorce; Crecimiento cero
16. Vicente Feliú; Preguntas desde un ocho de marzo
17. Guillermo Velázquez; Para que conste
18. Lila Downs; Smog
19. Santiago Behm; Donde el hierro mata
20. Durito y Los Twin Tones; Moraleja
21. Nina Galindo; Zapatista Anthem
1. Salario Mínimo; Zapatista Anthem
2. Los Rastrillos; Vaya
3. La Yaga; Libertadores del Babylon
4. Nana Pancha; Wake Up
5. La Tremenda Korte; Yo no vengo
6. Salario Mínimo; Declaración de Principios
7. Bosquimanos; El fantasma del sur
8. Antidoping; Planeta
9. Tijuana No; Transgresores de la Ley
10. La Secta Kore; Insurgente
11. Panteón Rococó; Marcos Hall
12. Salón Victoria; Zapata Bophal
13. La Sonora Skandalera; Sin rostro
14. Maldita Vecindad y los hijos del quinto patio; El barzón
15. Los de Abajo; Tiempos muertos
16. Mescalito; Cosa buena
17. La Comuna; En los brazos de Babylon
18. La Revuelta Propia; Yo Digo No
19. Panteón Rococó; Gracias compañeros musicales
1. Dos Vientos de Voz y Fuego; Mañanitas Revolucionarias
2. Dos Vientos de Voz y Fuego; Zapatista Anthem
3. Dos Vientos de Voz y Fuego; Combate de Ocosingo
4. Perseguidos Magonistas; Toma de Ocosingo
5. Dos Vientos de Voz y Fuego; Porque esto ya comenzó
6. Colectivo Polho; Ven, ven, ven
7. Jóvenes Zapatistas del Sur; Héroes y Mártires
8. Jóvenes Zapatistas del Sur; Año de 94
9. La Comandancia; No nos dejaremos
10. Dos Vientos de Voz y Fuego; Fundación del Municipio
11. Grupo 17 de noviembre; Compañeros Insurgentes
12. Dos Vientos de Voz y Fuego; Solicitando Parcela
13. Los Continuadores de los Veteranos del Sur; Primero de Enero
14. Los Relámpagos del Norte de Chiapas; Placas inolvidables
15. Trío Montaña; El Insurgente
16. Trío Montaña; La Cumbia del Insurgente
17. Trío Montaña; 17 de Noviembre
18. Los Magonistas Perseguidos; Traición del 95
19. Los Magonistas Perseguidos; El deber de las Mujeres
20. El Comandante David; Corrido de la Selva
21. Colectivo Musical de San José del Río; Diana Revolucionaria
Documentary Video: The Fire and the Word
The Fire and the Word is a collective work that brings together dozens of voices and faces, but not just those of the leaders. One of the most important aspects of this video is that it focuses on the least visible characters that make Zapatismo possible. The idea is for people to realize that the Zapatista struggle is a long-term movement that stays alive and keeps moving beyond current political contexts.
It is a story made up of images of small stories: a dance party, a theater piece, a soccer game, an army helicopter hovering over the village, a march of torches; previously unpublished scenes of the uprising in San Cristóbal de las Casas on January 1, 1994, of the tragedy at Acteal, of uprooted communities, of armed conflicts… “fragmentary and apparently local” stories traversed by a thread of coherence that give weight and drama to their political presence in the world and legitimizes their struggle of resistance.
This hour and a half video, in DVD format, has been subtitled into French, Greek, German, and English, and the intention is to present it in the US, whether for sale or simply for viewing, at any location chosen by interested collectives or universities.
Other videos are also proposed for presentation, produced by autonomous video makers from Zapatista communities. They are videos of various lengths in DVD format (15, 20, or 30 minutes), and they deal with topics such as the defense of the land, women’s struggles, and other aspects of Zapatista autonomy.
Valley World Peace Alliance
La Nueva Raza News