Roger and Mazatl are in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, to participate in some of the events taking place around the 20th anniversary of the emergence of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation from the forests of highland Chiapas. We brought solidarity portfolios printed at the Martires del 68 studio in Mexico City featuring artists associated with the Martires as well as several other Justseeds artists. We’ll be painting some murals in the communities later this week with fellow Justseeds compa Favianna and the illustrious Emory Douglas, of Black Panther party fame. Above is a picture of a mural by some artist colleagues from San Cristobal that we helped with. It reads ” the struggle is for life and happiness.”
The struggle for indigenous self determination embodied by the Zapatista communities remains intense, twenty years after masked villagers occupied San Cristobal and several other towns in the early hours of January 1, 1994. Powerful interests encroach, seeking control of water, minerals, oil, and timber, and the restive and resistant populations of Maya that comprise the Zapatista base remain a thorn in their side. It’s worth doing a little reading to remind yourself exactly why these people are defending themselves, and how their struggles illustrate the basest foundation of predatory capitalism and the long colonial twilight.