The Fire and the Word — A History of the Zapatista Movement

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Date/Time: 29/03/2008 12:00 am

Please join us for a multimedia presentation on the history and struggles of the Zapatista movement with very special guest from Chiapas, Mexico, Gloria Munoz Ramirez. Famed author of the recently translated El Fuego y la Palabra (The Fire and the Word), Gloria is probably the closest person to the Zapatistas in Chiapas to have ever come to NYC. Don’t Miss this!
Saturday, March 29th, 7:00pm
The Change You Want To See Gallery


84 Havemeyer Street, at Metropolitan Ave
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211
The Fire and the Word
A History of the Zapatista Movement
Video screening and presentation with the author, Gloria Munoz Ramirez
The film and book “El Fuego y la Palabra” (Fire and Word) is an oral history that recounts from the beginning of the movement of the Zapatista indigenous communities in the state of Chiapas. Their demands are liberty, justice, democracy, land, health, education, and labor rights. The story is told in the simple words of some of the original organizers of the movement. It is an inspiring testimony of hope and resistance. The author, Gloria Munoz, will be coming in to speak about the film and book to provide us with more insight to the compilation of this oral history and the struggles that the indigenous communities in the state of Chiapas have been organizing against.
Gloria Muños Ramirez lived with the Zapatistas for 7 years and wrote a book to share their story that is now available for the first time in English. She will speak about the Zapatista resistance and history. She has worked for the Mexican newspaper Punto, for the German news agency DPA, for the U.S. newspaper La Opinion and for the Mexican daily La Jornada.
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 Rebeldia 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 continue to shake 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 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 was presented in various countries and in various languages. In that period it traveled through all of Mexico and 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 of 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 video, the photographic exhibit, the book, and the musical collection are presented 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. See the tour’s itinerary.
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.
The campaign EZLN: The Fire and the Word is not organized by the EZLN, but by people and collectives in solidarity. The campaign does not represent or substitute the voice of the Zapatistas; it merely makes 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.

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