The art of organization to enable the art of solidarity.
Koman Ilel. San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas. July 30, 2016.
The art is installed in Oventic
If the multiple artistic demonstrations throughout the week at CIDECI surprise by their diversity and quantity, the Zapatista compas expected no less. Dozens of performances covering all the arts delight those present: theatre, music, dance, painting, poetry … Hundreds of Zapatistas from the original Tzotzil. Tzeltal and Zoque peoples of Los Altos de Chiapas shared their creations throughout the day, all closely linked to the history of Chiapas, the Zapatista struggle, the struggle of the organized Mexican people and values such as autonomy, freedom, justice and dignity.
On Friday July 29, the seventh day of the festival CompArte for Humanity, dozens of cars, taxis, vans and pick-ups left San Cristobal heading towards Oventic, where for the first time at the festival, the protagonists and creators of the artistic manifestations were the Zapatista compas. The day dawned sunny, and from 9 am caracol II Resistance and Rebellion for Humanity, Oventic, began to receive hundreds of Zapatistas and artists, participants and spectators who had enjoyed the festival throughout the week.
Musical performances went through various styles, including traditional, ranchera, corrido. hip hop or pop. They played instruments such as the harp, guitar and accordion among others. Dances, often set to live music, were a favourite art of the compañer@s. Many of the dances were traditional, but there were also some surprises, such as the Vals del Obrero, in which the compas danced ska and enthused the public. The plays were warmly applauded, because through these processes or moments in the history or the present of the people of Chiapas, the Zapatista struggle and the Mexican people were reproduced. Poetry also played a major role both in Spanish and Tzotzil. And finally, painting, which was publicly and always accompanied with a presentation that contextualized it.
Subcomandante Moisés gives the welcome
The day began with the words of Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, who welcomed everyone and dedicated a few words to expressing the feelings of the Zapatistas in the context of the festival. With his words, he made a strong criticism of paid journalists, whom he defines as “intellectuals of lies”, and who have focused in their journalistic work on the events in San Juan Chamula; he accused them of treating the case superficially, in the best interests of power and not contemplating the depth of the facts, conditioned by a history full of repression and injustice. He also spoke of the relations of economic power and the inequality latent in all contexts: “We mistreat workers in the country and the city equally.” He added: “Without their exploitation of us, they would not be rich.” Moisés set the present in the context of a lack of justice throughout history, especially for the Mexican people and their ancestors. A reality that in recent years has been reflected in events like the massacre of Acteal, the ABC nursery, Ayotzinapa and many others. The opening words ended with a call to struggle and to the organization of all the sectors, the teachers, the health sector and the Mexican people. “There are differences, but we all want health, justice and democracy, and that unites us”.
The art of organization and solidarity
In the closing speech, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés invited all the attendees to go to the rest of caracoles to enjoy the “thousands of artists” who are still to be seen, as he exclaimed with his usual sense of humour. But his message focused on talking about the meaning of art for the Zapatistas, the art of solidarity and the art of organization to make solidarity possible. As an example he explained how Zapatista women and men had organized to feed the Chiapan teachers of the CNTE who are in resistance. In this collective work also the art of mathematics, of calculation is needed. He also spoke of the need for art to develop the imagination. “Poor women and men from the countryside and the city have the imagination to create a new society, but lack the ability to organize ourselves,” he said.
Translated and posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 31/07/2016