The Association of Chicana Activists at San Diego State University held a film screening and panel discussion at Centro Aztlan Marco Anguiano (moved from Chicano Park because of rain) in Barrio Logan on Saturday, January 21 as part of Enero Zapatista. The film, Corridos sin Rostro (1995), tells the story of the 1994 uprising of the Zapatistas through popular ballads and interviews with members of the EZLN, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, and indigenous residents whose traditional ways and subsistence have been disrupted by colonization, government-corporate policies and the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Four members of recent delegations from San Diego to Zapatista autonomous communities, David, Fernanda, Jose and Enrique, provided a description of their experiences and recent developments in the communities.
The Association of Chicana Activists is a student association founded in 1991 to empower women from the Chicana community in higher education through working both on campus and in the communities. A.Ch.A. at SDSU holds an annual conference for high school students with free workshops and inspirational speakers to "form solidarity among Chicanas, to provide support in their college entrance experience and to provide networking and leadership skills for attendees."
Video of the Event || Corridos sin Rostro Video || A.Ch.A. F***book || A.Ch.A. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org || Event Announcement
Excepts from Video of the Panel:
"They started singing Himno Zapatista. And at that moment it really got to me how all the children youngest to oldest stood up and they all started singing. Everyone knew the words and you could tell they knew it and they believed in it, they believed in what they were singing. Me being there and sitting within and next to them, next to the students. I remember turning to one of them and seeing their expression how much they believed in what they were singing. It just give me so much hope and I was able to realize it is possible, that another world is possible, like the Zapatistas say."
"This compa showed us a drawing of a monster. And it is very hard to describe without a drawing of it. For me it was very hard to understand the [capitalist] system and how it works. I didn't go to school to learn about any of this, and a lot of times it was very hard for me to understand and to be able to articulate. So when this compa drew it out in this monster figure and broke it down into pieces, it was like, 'Wow, i understand it. '"
"Olmeca would always tell us 'you are going to liberated land.' To us, it was just like 'yeah yeah yeah yeah.' First they didn't let us go in, because they have to do a check for our safety and for their safety. The atmosphere, the space that was created, the energy that's coming from all over, from the buildings and the murals and the words, from the children and everybody there, you could see that it was a different environment, a different space. You felt that freedom on that liberated land. That's when it hit me what he was talking about. No one can claim it. It's free. To nurture everyone who works on it, who lives on it… Once we were cleared, it was an amazing feeling, everyone just came and welcomed us with open arms. They are one of the humblest people you could ever meet, and it was just an amazing feeling."
"I heard about the Zapatistas and i was like 'Ok, I'll check them out.' This one compa, Alex, he lent me a VHS of the Zapatista film, and I was like oh damn, and from there I started learning. I always tried to tie the Zapatistas and how it relates to home. That has always been important to me. I also had the honor to go on the delegation in 05 and 06. And that was a good experience, because it made me connect clearly how down there they are trying to create something different and we are able to exchange information about our struggles."