SUMMER SCHOOL OF SLOW ORIENTATION IN ZAPATISM by CHTO DELAT

Thursday 31st 20:00 – 21:30: Summer School of Slow Orientation in Zapatism, 2017. In the framework of IRI Madrid Meeting May 2018 an artists talk by Olga Egorova and Smitry Vilensky, collective Chto DelatFilmoteca popular de la Ingobernable, 3rd floor.

Summer School of Slow Orientation in Zapatism: In the Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona by Zapatistas in Chiapas and some other documents were introduced the idea of Zapatistas’s embassy – which should go in Mexico and into the world and deliver the message of Zapatista. The idea of encuentros (horizontal meetings) with local people would help to share information on zapatistas movement and to collect reports on the struggle against neoliberalism world wide. We do not know for sure if this plan was realized but we met in Mexico some people who definitely were part of this process. The film is based on the idea of anticipation of this embassy which actually has not yet arrived to Russia. And we have organized a long process of getting deep inside in the ideas of Zapatistas – the reading group, course of Zapatista’s spanish and practices of community building culminated in the 2 weeks summer school where 17 young people share a house at the countryside and live in temporary commune.

The film reflects this process of being together and how the Zapatistas way of life could be practice and question outside of genuine indigenous experience – how we as Europeans/Russian with all burdens of our political and cultural histories would imagine to change our lives and society. Realized in the Zapatistas tradition of anti-culmination and with a great deal of famous Zapatistas’ irony well-known from the texts of subcomandante Markos, the participants of the film immersed and investigate what is the meaning progress and how to live in harmony with the earth and land, what could mean “For everyone, everything. For us, nothing” (Para todos todo, para nosotros nada), what could be theology of emancipation in Russian situation, what is the role of culture in a process of liberation and how we are able to build an autonomy of “good people” in a hostile world.

The film can be considered as an upgrade of European pastoral tradition and reflects the frustration of young urban generation living under the pressure of society and capital and trying to find a way to get out of deadlines of new political reaction and to overcome its unhappy mindset and establish possible new forms of life inspired by Zapatistas ideas.

The film is constructed in attempt to grasp another form of temporality – the time of slow process which is a result in itself. That’s why the film’s edit is realized in a several versions which includes different numbers of points (chapters). This points creates a mental map reflecting the real space of the film making.


Chto Delat (What is to be done?) is a collective founded in early 2003 in Petersburg by a workgroup of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism. The group was constituted in an action called “The Refoundation of Petersburg.” Shortly afterwards, the original, as yet nameless core group began publishing an international newspaper called Chto Delat?. Chto Delat sees itself as an artistic cell and also as a community organizer for a variety of cultural activities intent on politicizing “knowledge production”. In 2013, Chto Delat initiated an educational platform, School of Engaged Art, in Petersburg and also runs a space called Rosa’s House of Culture. These activities are coordinated by a core group including Tsaplya Olga Egorova (artist), Artiom Magun (philosopher), Nikolay Oleynikov (artist), Natalia Pershina / Glucklya (artist), Alexey Penzin (philosopher), Alexander Skidan (poet and critic), Oxana Timofeeva (philosopher), Dmitry Vilensky (artist) and Nina Gasteva (choreographer).