From the Cat-Dog’s Notebook: Preparations for the Puy Ta Cuxlejaltic Film Festival, a CompArte Focused on Dance, and the Second International Gathering for Women in Struggle
From the Cat-Dog’s Notebook:
Preparations for the Puy Ta Cuxlejaltic Film Festival, a CompArte Focused on Dance, and the Second International Gathering for Women in Struggle
Twenty-six years ago, in 1993, the Zapatista women wrote the “Women’s Revolutionary Law.” In one of the articles of the law, they declared they had a right to study… “and even to be drivers,” as noted by SupMarcos in a public letter commemorating the anniversary of the law and the role of the late Comandanta Ramona and Comandanta Susana in the creation of the women’s law. Maybe someday we’ll learn why the indigenous Zapatista Women aspired to be drivers. But for now, the EZLN’s Sixth Commission presents an exclusive preview of the documentaries to be premiered by the Terci@s Compas [Zapatista media] on a still to-be-determined date. Here goes:
Title: “…And Even to be Drivers”
A documentary filmed entirely in the mountains of Southeastern Mexico in 2019. Written, directed, and produced by Zapatista women, this documentary compiles scenes of Zapatista compañeras learning to drive. Duration: undetermined. Format: unknown. Rating: Z (as it should be). It won’t come out on Netflix, nor on Amazon Prime, nor on Apple TV, nor on HBO, nor Fox, nor…what are the other options? Well, not on any of those either. Nor will it be shown in theaters. It will be shown exclusively in the Zapatista Caracoles… Oh, also at the Second International Gathering for Women in Struggle? Should I include that? Got it. But without any date or location? Okay. But people are going to complain that I’m leaving them hanging. Couldn’t we at least give them a hint, like a road sign? No, not for the actual road, I mean like an idea of potentially when and where… in December? Of this year? Hello? Helloooooo? Feeling low? Huh, well it looks like they left, but I can tell you they don’t look low at all… in fact they had a glint in their eye, in their gaze, like a goal, or a challenge—a rebellion, really. A Zapatista glint, that is.
Disclaimer: no men were hurt in the production of this documentary. Well actually there were, but only in the form of a few blows to the ego. Oh, and also a few who fell as they were running away from a compañera who got pissed because they were yelling stuff at the women learning to drive… no, it wasn’t me, I was watching from a ways away, I wasn’t going to find myself in the vicinity of that piece of lead pipe she was carrying… yee-haw…
Apocalyptic Synopsis: A virus produced in the laboratories of the Illuminati is released in the mountains of Southeastern Mexico. For some strange reason, it only affects those law-breakers who call themselves Zapatista women. The virus causes them to do strange and illogical things—they rebel, they resist, and they take over jobs and responsibilities that should be the exclusive domain of men. This documentary compiles evidence of this insubordination, and you can see exactly how the Zapatista women consider themselves not only to be free but also—you’re not going to believe this—even to be drivers. Didn’t I tell you? Nobody has any values anymore. (Continuar leyendo…)
Images from the Breaking of the Siege II (and last)
From August 17, 2019.
Note from SupGaleano: Here there should be a photo slide show from the new CRAREZ [Centers of Autonomous Zapatista Resistance and Rebellion] which were announced as part of the breaking of the siege on August 17, 2019. This video will likely be removed by Mr. YouTube since it is set to a song by Ana Tijoux (Chilean-French) and Shadia Mansour (Palestinian) entitled “Somos Sur,” [We are the South] and supposedly we either have to pay royalties or accept advertising. We are not of course going to accept advertising, and if there’s no money for water tanks for the new caracol Tulan Kaw, then there’s certainly no money to pay royalties. In any case, the Sixth Commission does not “monetize” our videos (plus, the traffic on our channel is like the traffic during semana santa (Easter) in Mexico City), so I doubt Mr. YouTube is going to end up any less rich because of our refusal to accept advertisement, nor are Ana Tijoux and Shadia Mansour going to lose artistic quality or followers because we have accompanied their rebellion with ours.
Maybe instead of taking down the videos that people set to music—as Zapata didn’t say, “music belongs to those who sing/dance/hum/bounce/whisper/shout and spread it (and like Shadia Mansour says, rapping in Arabic: “music is the mother tongue of the world”)—Mr. YouTube should work on his damned algorithm (“Oh, the twisted lines of YouTube”i). You know how it goes, you start out looking for videos of the guys from Botellita de Jerez to pay homage to the memory of Armando Vega Gil, or you search for ska from Los de Abajo, or Salón Victoria, or some tracks from Jijos del Mais, or Van T, or Mexican Sound, or LenguaAlerta, or Lirica, or Ely Guerra, or Keny Arkana, or the Batallones Femeninos, or from those masters Oscar Chávez and Guillermo Velázquez and Los Leones de la Sierra de Xichú, and all of a sudden you’re getting bombarded with videos of rodeos, cockfights, Maluma giving classes on how to respect women, or makeup videos (“now we’re going to learn how to do makeup for a ‘no makeup’ selfie”).
It’s not that we’re being fussy—after all, like Inodoro Pereyra said (or was it Mendieta?), “Broad and Alien is the World”ii—but rather that here, bandwidth is about as broad as Trump’s IQ: paltry, in other words.
Given all of the above, if YouTube removes the video because of its soundtrack (like it already did with Princess Mononoke, apparently because Studio Ghibli decided to side with the system instead of with natureiii), we’ll repost the same photo slideshow here but without music, and you can add the music yourselves. In fact, I’ll include the translation from Arabic to Spanish of Shadia Mansour’s rap (based on the contribution from the user qmqz posted on the official music video) [TN: translated here in English]:
“Give me the mic:
Music is the mother tongue of the world
It supports our existence and protects our roots, tying us to greater Syria, Africa, and Latin America
Here I stand with Anita Tijoux
Here I stand with those who suffer, not with those who sold us out
Here I stand with culture, resistance
From the beginning and forever, hasta la victoria siempre!
I am with those who are against, with those who have cooperated, with those not on our side
Way back I did the math and I decided to invest in Banksy after Ban-Ki went bankrupt (Note from SupGaleano: possibly a reference to Ban-Ki Moon, who was Secretary General of the United Nations when this song was recorded, and went “bankrupt” when he refused to condemn the Israeli government’s terrorist actions against the Palestinian people).
As the saying goes, “it’s not that the situation needs a ‘proportionate response’, the situation needs to be stopped”
For every freed political prisoner an Israeli settlement grows
For every civil greeting a thousand homes are destroyed
They use the press to their benefit
But while my sorrow is vetoed, reality insists”
You know what? With or without YouTube, with or without advertising, the Palestinian people and the Mapuche people will achieve freedom. Ten, one hundred, a thousand times they will reach victory.
And if Mr. YouTube takes the whole thing down as part of the “fuck the Zapatistas now” campaign, oh well, we’ll just go back to the good old days of the Zapatista Intergalactic Television System, “the only television channel that you read” (Permit 69, currently being processed by the Good Government Councils, submitted as of 1996 but caracoles move slooooooooowly….).
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Los Tercios Compas
EZLN Sixth Commission
i “Los renglones torcidos de Dios” (The Twisted Lines of God) is a novel by Torcuato Luca de Tena.
ii “El mundo es ancho y ajeno,” a 1941 novel by Ciro Alegría narrating indigenous struggle in the Peruvian highlands against land-hungry interests. Inodoro Pereyra is an Argentinian cartoon created by Roberto Fontanarrosa that parodies folklorism through the story of a lonely Argentinean gaucho and his co-protagonist, a talking dog, Mendieta.
iii Princess Mononoke is a Japanese animated period drama written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and animated by Studio Ghibli which narrates an epic and fantastical struggle between the supernatural guardians or gods of a forest and the humans who consume its resources.