Category: On the Precipice of Time – The Zapatista Forum

PRACTICES OF INSURGENT LEARNING SPACES

a process and public program curated by Alessandra Pomarico (Free Home University) with Center for Convivial Research and Autonomy (CCRA, California ) in collaboration with Ecoversities Alliance at the intersection with A Provisory Learning Station by Chto Delat (Russia), with Free Home University, and local-global learners 

What constitutes an autonomous and radical learning space? Why is such a space necessary? How do we collectively organize it, what do we want to learn and research together, with whom and for whom?

Co-convening an Autonomous Learning Space means for us to ask what are the tools to hold together a horizontal, inclusive, learning environment —to support community regeneration, circulate knowledge about struggles and unlearn destructive patterns of separation, exploitation and fragmentation.

In Madrid, where the Zapatista travesia has built momentum inviting us to question as we walk, commit to a journey for life, and to practice a pedagogy of the encuentro, Free Home University, CCRA, Uni-Tierra Califas, the Ecoversities Alliance, IRI, Chto Delat School of Engaged Arts, with other local and translational organizers, activists, and educators —will come together to explore the challenges and the possibilities of a shared learning in times of accelerated social and ecological injustice, violence, and war.

Resonating with Zapatistas’s pedagogy, their practice of “learning how to learn” through encuentros, conversatorios, escuelitas, comParte and conSciencias festivals—as a praxis of Zapatismo beyond Chiapas, we propose to collectively convene a space of convivial research, to share our tools of autonomy across different geographies, looking for the “devices” many communities of struggle and practices are claiming, as a way to rebuild social infrastructures.

A series of programmed interventions during the Zapatista Forum in Madrid alternates with more impromptu conversations during The Zapatistas’ Coffee Hour, a space-time where we can meet daily from 3pm to 4pm – inside The Provisory Learning Station, installed by artist collective Chto Delat at La Corrala – open every day from 3 to 4 pm to all those wishing to convene, discuss, study or simply share a free (Zapatista) coffee. The Provisory Learning Station provides tables and chairs, a printer, a computer with wifi connection, a temporary collective library, two flat screens and other tools to study, research and work together. Everyone is welcome to use the space to host conversations, presentations, workshops, films, books, and coffee times according to availability and scheduling. We hope this can be a way to continue weaving our relations and struggles, learning together – otherwise.

Besides what our convergence is proposing – bleow – we invite others to self organize workshops, conversations, informal and convivial moments of learning during and beyond the time of the exhibition Somos fragmentos de la luz que impide que todo sea noche.

CINEMA AS ASSEMBLY | debate

photo courtesy of Francisco Lion, 2018 ©

Location / Lugar Museo Reina Sofia Date / Fecha: September 15 18:00

The debate brings together curators Mao Mollona and Natalia Arcos with indigenous filmmaker from Chiapas Francisco Huichauqeo whose works together with María Sojob, Delmar Méndez-Gómez, Liliana K’an will be screened in the framework of the exhibitions Somos fragmentos de la luz que impide que todo sea noche & Pero la luz será mañana para los más

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ART FOR UBI #3 | assembly

Art for UBI Terraforming, courtesy of Emanuele Braga

Location / Lugar Museo Reina Sofia, Edificio Sabatini Jardin Date / Fecha: September 17 19:00

with Andy Abbot, Emanuele Braga, Marco Baravalle, Érik Bordeleau, Ilenia Caleo, Anna Cerdà Callís, Kuba Szreder.

Third public assembly organized by the ART for UBI (Manifesto) an initiative born within the framework of the activities of The School of Mutation by the Institute of Radical Imagination. The Pandemic of Covid19 has been correctly defined as a syndemic. The term clearly shows how pre-existing conditions of social, race, gender and environmental asymmetries, influenced the impact of Covid19, exposing to serious consequences poor and precarious workers, women and lgbtqia+ subjectivities, racialized and indigenous people and those living in areas more subjected to pollution and extractivism. In Europe (and elsewhere) thousands of billions of Euros are allocated to respond to the crisis. Unfortunately, at least from European perspective, it looks like the vast majority of these funds will go to the supply side, in the vain hope that financing private companies will have an overall positive impact on society. The result will be a further polarization of global richness, and the progressive impoverishment of millions of people. Contrary to this option, It is time to support the implementation of forms of universal, basic and unconditional income. We believe UBI is a struggle of primary importance in order to finally achieve a fair remuneration for the value freely extracted from our lives on a daily basis (for example through platform capitalism and through the still invisible care work performed mainly by women). We believe UBI will have a radical impact on social life, not only in terms of reducing poverty and precarity, but also freeing time and energies to build worlds where care, mutual aid and the commons become priorities.

Using the ART FOR UBI [Art for Universal Basic Income] Manifesto as its starting point, the IRI has been proposing discussions on the role that art and the world of cultural production should play in the fight for financial redistribution based on mutualism, methods of self-management of resources, access to the means of production and other solidarity practices. This activity begins in the Museum’s Sabatini Garden, with a “performative round table” based on the proposal of the artist Anna Rispoli, who regularly works on topics such as remuneration, income and the UBI (universal basic income), mixing performance, social research and conducting real experiments on how to share assets and financial resources.

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UNA RENTA, MUCHOS MUNDOS | performance

image courtesy of Maddalena Fragnito

Location / Lugar: Museo Reina Sofia, Jardin Edificio Sabatini Date / Fecha: September 17, 18:00 Language / Idioma: Español Access / Entradas: Free until full capacity, free tickets available from Reina Sofia Museum website (here) from September 15

the performance introduces the Art for UBI #3 | assembly at 19:00

Using the ART FOR UBI [Art for Universal Basic Income] Manifesto as its starting point, the IRI has been proposing discussions on the role that art and the world of cultural production should play in the fight for financial redistribution based on mutualism, methods of self-management of resources, access to the means of production and other solidarity practices. This activity begins in the Sabatini Garden of the Museum, with “One income many worlds” performative round table based on the proposal of the artist Anna Rispoli, who regularly works on topics such as remuneration, income and the UBI (universal basic income), mixing performance, social research and conducting real experiments on how to share assets and financial resources.

In the performance Una Renta, Muchos Mundos (One Income, Many worlds) a diversified group of people will perform a fictional assembly in the form of a public coral speech, where the hypothetical impact on their lives of a universal, basic and unconditional income is analyzed on the background of the current pandemic crisis. Is UBI a “simple” financial measure, or is it an essential tool for a radical alternative to the neoliberal reality we are experiencing? What about earning money unrelated to jobs and working hours? What about the possibility to say no to the blackmail of precarity? What about putting and end to race and gender asymmetries so common in today’s labor market? What about detoxing the planet from ecologically dangerous jobs? What about care and mutual aid in front of the endless invitation to be competitive individuals? These are some or the questions inspiring the public dialogue.The performance will be followed by the panel Art For Ubi #3 at the Museum Reina Sofia. 

On this occasion, an IRI team has worked to adapt Rispoli’s proposal and carry out a dramaturgy that takes up these lines from dialogue with a group of people who live and work in Spain, and who have participated in a series of interviews that have given rise to the dramaturgy of this performance. This research phase is part of the DESVÍO Open Program, a tool for dialogue and collective work promoted by hablarenarte / Planta Alta that aims to actuate and affect our immediate context.

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SOMOS FRAGMENTOS DE LA LUZ QUE IMPIDE QUE TODO SEA NOCHE | film exhibition

photo courtesy of Natalia Arcos, Acteal 2016

We are fragments of light that prevent everything from becoming night | Curators Natalia Arcos, Mao Mollona

Open / Abierto 15 – 30 September 2021, Mo-Sun / L-D 10:00 – 22:00 Location / Lugar Centro Cultural La Corrala – Museo de Artes y Tradiciones Populares, Calle de Carlos Arniches, 3, Madrid



The title of the exhibition is from the commentary to the film “Acteal 10 años de impunidad” (2008) made by Tzotzil filmmaker José Jimenéz Peréz to commemorate the infamous “massacre of Acteal”, in December 1997, when forty-six Tzotzil were gunned down by paramilitary militia, marking the attempt by the Mexican state to repress the Zapatista insurgency. By Embodying the memory of the massacre, the film is a form of struggle against state violence and institutional forgetting. Candle-burning in Mayan cosmology celebrates the world of shadows, and the human struggle against darkness and historical oblivion. In the Popul Vuh, a foundational sacred narrative of the K’iche’ people, it is argued that before the creation of the world – before the first true dawn – there was a flickering of “light from behind the sea”.  Subcomandante Marcos would often tell the story of Hunahpe and Xbalanque, the twin heroes of Popul Vuh, who defeated the Evil in the House of Darkness by keeping alive a candle and two cigars helped by a bright red macaw and an army of fireflies. The image of the candle, as a collective force consisting of fragments of beings fighting against the darkness of racial and patriarchal capitalism, returns in the communique that Zapatista women issued after their international meeting in 2018. Our proposed exhibition revolves around the dialogue between indigenous and revolutionary aesthetics in filmmaking in Chiapas, and the idea of cinema as material, spiritual and political assembly.

Fragmentos show not only the convergence between the revolutionary and the indigenous symbolical horizons – the milpa cycle as cycle of life and death, the reproduction of ancestral knowledge as a form of anticolonial struggle, and the entanglement between linear history and the circular temporality of the cosmos – it also highlights the modalities of assembly, communal decision-making and collective production – captured in the ethics of autonomia – that have historically sustained both revolutionary urban and peasant struggles and their aesthetics.  “Somos Fragmentos” reflects IRI’s commitment to revolutionary cinema, that is, a cinema of prefiguration and construction of a post-capitalist and decolonial imaginary and life. The idea of the assembly is replicated in the gallery space, which is divided in three cosmopolitical spaces – three journeys and forms of gathering of Zapatismo, from the EZLN’s base in the Lacandon jungle, to local indigenous villages, ending into the space of international solidarity. 

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CUIDADO(S)! RAISING CARE | workshop & assembly

Location/Lugar La Villana de Vallekas Date/Fecha: September 19 12:00 Access/Entradas: Free until full capacity, prior registration by mail to info@instituteofradicalimagination.org indicating name, surname and motivation from September the 1st.

The crisis of care, a consequence of the correlation between patriarchy and the sexual division of labor, was redefined in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Faced with the collapse of public institutions, citizens have organized autonomous care and support networks for precarious workers, migrants in an irregular situation, families without resources, etc. In this context, the collective assembly Raising Care emerged in 2020.
This assembly is made up of seven groups from southern and eastern Europe: Brigate Volontarie per l’Emergenza, Obiezione Respinta and the Institute of Radical Imagination (Italy); Skart (Serbia); Open School of Immigrants from Piraeus (Greece), Domestic Territory and the Association of Senior Citizens of Usera (Spain). All of them have worked, in virtual meetings, on the concept of assembly as a device for mutual care and support, and have approached care as a starting point for their political, activist, artistic position, etc. This has culminated in the publication of a fanzine used in the course of the workshop as a device for activating the knowledge gathered in the meetings: establishing and sustaining relationships from / to / for care, of other people and of oneself. The objective is to generate a fruitful conversation between all the participants, questioned by the question of the politicization of care, autonomous health and the philosophy of “good living”.

La crisis de los cuidados, consecuencia de la correlación entre el patriarcado y la división sexual del trabajo, se resignificó en el marco de la pandemia de COVID-19. Ante el colapso de las instituciones públicas, la ciudadanía ha organizado redes autónomas de atención y apoyo a trabajadores precari+s, personas migrantes en situación irregular, familias sin recursos, etc. En ese contexto surge, en 2020, la asamblea colectiva Raising Care [Cuidados en lucha]. Esta asamblea está conformada por siete colectivos del sur y el este de Europa: Brigate Volontarie per l’Emergenza, Obiezione Respinta y el Institute of Radical Imagination (Italia); Skart (Serbia); Escuela Abierta de Inmigrantes del Pireo (Grecia), Territorio Doméstico y la Asociación Mesa de Mayores de Usera (España). Todos ellos han trabajado, en encuentros virtuales, el concepto de asamblea como dispositivo de cuidado y apoyo mutuo, y han abordado los cuidados como punto de partida de su posición política, activista, artística, etc. Ello ha culminado en la publicación de un fanzine utilizado en el transcurso del taller como dispositivo de activación de los saberes recogidos en los encuentros: establecer y sostener relaciones desde/hacia/para los cuidados, de las otras personas y de una misma. El objetivo es generar una conversación fructífera entre tod+s l+s participantes, interpelad+s por la cuestión de la politización de los cuidados, la salud autónoma y la filosofía del “buen vivir”.

This workshop is carried out in collaboration and thanks to the support of the La Villana de Vallekas social center / Este taller se realiza en colaboración y gracias al apoyo del centro social La Villana de Vallekas.

Team/Equipo: Elena Blesa Cábez, Emanuele Braga, Sara Buraya Boned, Ana Campillos, Jesús Carrillo, Maddalena Fragnito, Pablo García Bachiller, Elena Lasala Palomar, Theo Prodromidis and Gabriella Riccio.