Photography: Exhibition of Zapatista Communites
PRESS RELEASE - WELLINGTON ZAPATISTA SUPPORT GROUP
*Dignity in Resistance *– an exhibition of photographs taken in Zapatista Communities 2006-7 by Julie Webb-Pullman, Jen Bell, and Julien
*Place*: Thistle Gallery, Cnr Cuba and Arthur Street *Dates*: 14-20 April *Opening Hours:* 10am – 6pm daily. *Opening:* 5.30pm Monday 14 April - media are welcome *Closing*: 7pm Saturday 20 April
In 1994 the Zapatistas in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas said "Enough!!" and took a stand against attempts to further dispossess them of their indigenous lands and culture. Within days of the 1 January armed uprising, a peace deal was brokered, and since then they have committed to pursue a peaceful path, constructing from below and to the left a "world in which many worlds fit". Despite their public commitment to peace and inclusion, they have suffered, and continue to suffer, ongoing repression and attack from military and paramilitary alike.
Their masks, to protect their community members from identification thus attack, have become an international symbol not only of dignified resistance, but serve as a mirror, reflecting back on the observer and forcing a connection and recognition at the most intimate and powerful level – eye contact.
Through the eye of the camera, this exhibition captures rare glimpses of largely unknown aspects of Zapatista life – at home, at church, at school, in the fields and the kitchens, and sharing their struggles and achievements at 'Encuentros', as well as the more familiar protests in the streets.
The photos have been selected for the strength, dignity, humanity and spirit of the subjects and their environment in their struggle not only to survive, but to build a better world.
Proceeds from sales will go to the La Garrucha Health Project, to train health promoters in the autonomous Caracol 111 of the La Garrucha Tzeltal Selva Zone, Chiapas, Mexico.
An adherent of the Zapatista "Other Campaign" is currently in Wellington, and available for interview.