AMATE, MACONDO and SELF-HELP GRAPHICS
IMAGES OF A MOVEMENT
Images of a Movement, a photo exhibit that portrays the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), will open Saturday, August 7, 2004, at 7 p.m., at Self Help Graphics and Arts.
This photo exhibit is a visual exploration of the Zapatista movement, the daily life of the indigenous peoples of Chiapas, and the various manifestations of support that the Mexican and international civil society has given to the social, political and cultural movement provoked by the EZLN. Images of a Movement is composed of over 50 photographs, color and black and white, taken by Paula Ramírez and Raymundo Reynoso.
In the early hours of January 1st, 1994, while the Mexican government was celebrating the initiation of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, a group of predominantly indigenous rebels identifying themselves as the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, seized several cities in the southern state of Chiapas. The largest and most important was San Cristóbal de las Casas, a 16th century colonial city and former capital of the state. On that occasion, these insurgents, soon known simply as the “Zapatistas”, made public their Ya Basta! the first of the hundreds of political statements through which the EZLN would communicate with the world.
NAFTA, the rebels denounced, was “a death sentence to the indigenous people of México”. This, declared the spokesperson of the EZLN, a then unknown “subcomandante Marcos”, was the defining factor for the Zapatista uprising.
Since early 1994 –Reynoso arrived to the war zone in the first days of January and Ramírez followed a few weeks later- both began a consistent work of documenting the process of a movement that would go around the world with a message of hope and vindication.
IMAGES OF A MOVEMENT 
“With Images of a Movement", state Paula Ramírez, a skilled artisan and Raymundo Reynoso, a writer who aside from photographic ventures have been partners in countless other projects as well as in life for the last three decades, “we want to celebrate the heroic deed of the ‘smallest’, the struggle and resistance of the men, women, children and elderly of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.”
“We adhere to the Zapatistas’ message that a better world is possible,” they say, “especially in these times during which the future of humanity is at risk”.
“With the photo exhibit”, says Ramírez, “we want to be an integral part of the internationalization of hope that the EZLN made possible.”
“It is a fact that the plight of the indigenous people of Chiapas, along with the Zapatista movement, has practically disappeared from most media outlets, corporate and non corporate with very few exceptions…”, Reynoso states, “that is why we resort to alternative and autonomous means in order to share with the people some aspects and issues that the media monopolies despise. However small, Images of a Movement goes in this direction.”
In addition to the photo exhibit, Images of a Movement will include video documentaries, panel discussions, music concerts, poetry, speakers, art and crafts sale, and more, during the month long celebration.
IMAGES OF A MOVEMENT will run from
Saturday, August 7 through Saturday, August 28.
at Self-Help Graphics,
3802 E. Cesar Chavez Ave. at Gage,
East Los Angeles, 90063.
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