With Margaret Cerullo

In 1994, to everyone’s astonishment, the Zapatistas rose in revolt in Chiapas, Mexico, the same day that NAFTA went into effect-January 1, 1994. How to make sense of the coincidence? Why have so many, in Latin America and in the world, found the Zapatista messages exciting? What challenges face the Zapatistas today, including the election of a “progressive” government in Mexico in 2018? The Zapatistas’ actions and writings constitute a case study in which the economic, the political, indigenous rights, women’s rights, civil society, cultural memory, and writing that is poetic and political–all converge. Focusing on the Zapatistas, we consider an example of “local” resistance to “global” designs. “Resistance” names the struggle in Latin America against the precariousness of life under neoliberal economics, and against dominant paradigms that relegate other forms of knowledge and doing to the realm of “the primitive” or the invisible. Together, the two constitute renewed efforts to decolonize Latin America, economically and culturally.

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