Indigenous Showcase – From the Zapatistas and Beyond

This event took place on Oct 20, 2018

$12 General Admission
$9 Student/Senior
$7 Member

Visiting Artist

** CMP/Promedios co-founders Alexandra Halkin and Francisco Vázquez will be in attendance! **


Started in 1998, the ground-breaking, award-winning, bi-national indigenous media organization Chiapas Media Project/Promedios will tour the U.S. in celebration of its 20th anniversary. There will be screenings of documentary films focused on indigenous rights and human rights, produced in the Mexican states of Guerrero and Chihuahua, as well as screenings of old and new Zapatista films.

… a rare and powerful example of how indigenous people are using the weapons of technology and trans-nationalism to make their voices heard and advance their struggles. Not only are their videos wonderful teaching resources, but their presentations inspire students and faculty alike to rethink old ideas about indigenous cultures, and forge new ties of solidarity.” Maria Elena Garcia, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Sarah Lawrence College

Program Notes:

The Land Belongs to Those Who Work it

(2005, 15 min, in Spanish & Tzeltal with English subtitles)

The Land Belongs to Those Who Work It discusses the situation in the town of Bolon Aja’aw, located in the north of Chiapas near the famous Agua Azul river system. The federal government sold the land in Bolon Aja’aw to a private company to create an eco-tourism center without the permission of the community members. The video documents a meeting between Zapatista authorities and Mexican Government functionaries, and offers a critical look at the practical implications of so-called eco-tourism.

Song of the Earth: Traditional Music from the Highlands of Chiapas

(2002, 17 min, in Tzotzil with English subtitles)

Tzotzil elders explain the significance of traditional music and the role of musicians in their communities. Various celebrations, songs and dances are presented including the festival of San Andrés, the most important festival of the year. Elders talk about the influence of western music and dress on youth and express their hopes that indigenous youth will maintain their traditions and culture.

Song of the Earth demonstrates the strength of communities in resistance as they struggle to preserve their cultural heritage amidst the low intensity war and the allure of pop culture.

We are Equal: Zapatista Women Speak

(2004, 19 min, in Tzeltal & Spanish with English subtitles)

Zapatista women speak about what their lives were like before the uprising in 1994 and how their lives have changed since. A very upfront and critical look at gender relations within the Zapatista communities — how far women have come and how far they still need to go.

We have awakened now; we know that we can do whatever we want in life, because we have rights too.

Living Juárez: Collateral Damage in Mexico’s Drug War

(Alexandra Halkin, 2010, 21 min, in Spanish with English subtitles)

In December 2006, during his first week in office, Mexican President Felipe Calderón declared war on drug cartels. Since then close to 30,000 people have died in Mexico as a result of the “War on Drugs.” Cd. Juárez, across the border from El Paso Texas is now considered the deadliest city in the world, where close to 7000 people have died since March 2008. There is now an estimated 10,000 security forces patrolling the streets of Cd. Juárez where the violence continues to escalate.

Living Juárez looks at the Cd. Juárez neighborhood of Villas de Salvárcar where in January 2010, of a group of youth attending a birthday party were brutally murdered and in the massacre’s immediate aftermath, Calderón characterized the youth as gang members. The outraged families personally confronted Calderón at public forums in Cd. Juárez during his visits to the city after the massacre.

Living Juárez tells the story of the real victims in Calderón’s Drug War: regular people just trying to survive in a city over run by senseless violence, and corruption. The neighborhood of Villas de Salvárcar is organized and speaking out against the arbitrary and frequent abuses that are committed by the armed forces against civilians and particularly the youth in Cd. Juárez.

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