Campaign EZLN: The Fire and the Word

When: Sunday, March 23rd, 2008 6pm

Where: El Kilombo Social Center, 324B West Geer Street, Durham, NC

What: A presentation on the history of the Zapatista movement

Who: Gloria Muñoz Ramirez, journalist and author of The Fire and the Word: A History of the Zapatista Movement

Gloria Muñoz Ramirez 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. She has lived and worked in Chiapas, Mexico for many years. Her U.S. tour is organized to coincide with the English release of her book, The Fire and the Word: A History of the Zapatista Movement,  which tells the story of the Zapatista movement, from its clandestine birth in the jungle of Chiapas, to its impact on Mexico and its ongoing influence around the world. Come take advantage of this unique opportunity to see Gloria Muñoz Ramirez on her U.S. tour.  So far, this is the only planned stop of the tour in the entire U.S. South!

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 Rebeldía 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.

***Please RSVP so we know how many people to expect, space is limited.**

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