Category: Practices of Insurgent Learning Spaces

THE ZAPATISTA COFFE HOUR | common space

Location/Lugar Centro Cultural La Corrala Date/Fecha: from 3-4 pm 15-16 & 19 September  Access/Entradas: Free until full capacity, prior registration by mail to info@instituteofradicalimagination.org indicating name, surname and motivation from September the 1st.

15-16 & 19 September, A series of programmed interventions during the Zapatista Forum in Madrid

The Provisory Learning Station is available to common use during The Zapatistas’ Coffee Hour , from 3pm to 4pm. If interested in SELF ORGANIZE an event, please write indicating name, contact info and proposed activity to:  info@instituteofradicalimagination.org  Access/Entradas: Free until full capacity. 

During the Zapatista Forum in Madrid ( 15-19 of September) a series of programmed conversations took place inside The Zapatistas’ Coffee Hour, a space-time happening from 3pm to 4pm inside The Provisory Learning Stationinstalled by artist collective Chto Delat at as part of the exhibition Somos Fragmentos de Luz…  We convened an autonomous learning space, and discussed what that means and how it is created or deployed; we started mapping our constituency in Madrid and beyond; hosted a class on the Zapatismo movement, poetics, and politics; presented the book When the Roots start moving. Navigating Backward/ Resonating with Zapatismo (available on Archive Books online catalog and at Traficante de Suenos in Madrid); shared meals, coffees, and conversations; planned visits and participation in the Forum’s proposed activities. 

Until the end of the exhibition on October 15th, The Zapatistas’ Coffee Hour is offered as a space-time available for those willing to self organize and host conversations, presentations, workshops, films, books, learning processes.The Provisory Learning Station provides tables and chairs, a temporary collective library, two flat screens, coffee. please bring your own tools to assemble!
We hope this can be a way to continue weaving our relations and struggles, learning together – otherwise.

The organization, communication, promotion of these events repose entirely on those proposing them, according to availability of space and previous coordination with IRI associates who will mediate with Centro Cultural La Corrala. If interested, please write to info@instituteofradicalimagination.org

COUNTER-ALLIANCE OF CULTURAL SPACES AND ACADEMIES | open round table

Location/Lugar TBD Date/Fecha: September 19th from 16:00 to 17:00 Access/Entradas: Free until full capacity, prior registration by mail to info@instituteofradicalimagination.org indicating name, surname and motivation from September the 1st. Language / Idioma English

Coordinated by Giuseppe Micciarelli, Theo Prodromidis, Massimiliano Mollona,

We aim to hack the neoliberal cultural system and build a counter-diplomacy through common and interdependent learning between activists and scholars into struggles. 

Chiapas is a living example of self-government that has inspired activists all over the world. It has also inspired many researchers and thousands of essays in journals and publications. Many scholars have written, many have tried to support, some may just happen to appropriate this democratic struggle. The same dynamic occurred with other territories like Rojava and Palestine amongst other places of struggle around the world. 

Scientific knowledge often profits from political struggles and social movements, leaving nothing in return. It remains largely Western-driven, in the

even narrower sense of the top-ranking, rich, often private universities that manage to get funding in a sick mechanism of competition between academies. The rich get richer and lay the foundations for being richer in the future. 

Culture is not based on competition: we want to try to hack this dynamic by creating other lines of cooperation and funding for another way of doing con-research between scholars, activists and communities in struggle. In this way we aim to give our contribution for the de-neoliberalisation of society. We want to start with the de-colonisation of culture, building a COUNTER ALLIANCE OF CULTURAL SPACE,SCHOOLS AND ACADEMIES.

We want to challenge academic institutions in order to open up and build common educational programmes and thus to allow academic collaboration to play a role in international diplomacy. 

Help break the siege where communities in struggles are: rushed by the diplomacy of western countries, which do not recognise their institutions. We want to use “our” cultural institutions to make evident this contradiction of western countries. We want to use culture as an act of parallel and dynamic diplomacy.

Create opportunities for scholarships, teaching contracts for students and professors from those areas of the world. Concretely, we want to create co-tutorship study programmes, masters, PhDs or any other programme that would use Western institutions’ privilege to strengthen other learnings and curricula in other countries whether in the South or in conflict. We do not want an only strategic exchange, but one that allows us to decolonise cultural paradigms and forms of teaching, building an autonomous space of mutual teaching and learning between students, activists and scholars.

We want to create this by creating concrete opportunities not only for young students, but further for many scholars and activists that teach in not western  institutions.


PROFILES

Giuseppe Micciarelli jurist and political philosopher. PhD in Public Law, Theory of National and European Institutions and Legal Philosophy at the University of Salerno, Italy. He is member of Laboratorio filosofico-giuridico e filosofico-politico ‘Hans Kelsen and editor of Soft Power, Euro-American Journal of Historical and Theoretical Studies of Politics. His research interests include: theory of commons and self-government, state of exception and emergency, processes of political subjectivation and transformation of institutions in contemporary governmentality. As resident member of L’Asilo Naples, he contributed to the drafting of the “Declaration of urban civic and collective use” recognized by the City of Naples, Palermo, Chieri and Turin. He is also advisor of many experiences of social and civic activism about the issues of self organization, participatory democracy and neo-municipalism.

Theo Prodromidis  visual artist and director based in Athens, Greece. He studied Contemporary Media Practice at the University of Westminster and was awarded an MFA in Fine Art by Goldsmiths, University of London in 2007. His work has been exhibited and screened in galleries, museums and festivals such as Furtherfield, Galerija Nova, State of Concept, 5th and 1st Thessaloniki Biennale, 4th Athens Biennale, i.a. Since 2017, he has contributed to The School of Redistribution by Future Climates, to Project P.R.E.S.S. (Provision of Refugee Education and Support Scheme) by Hellenic Open University and part of WHW Akademija’s program To care for another, radical politics of care. Ηe is a member of the Institute Of Radical Imagination, a volunteer at the Open School for Immigrants of Piraeus and a member of the Solidarity Schools Network. For 2020-2021, he is the co-leader of “An album from our square” at Victoria Square Project, supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Public Humanities Initiative (SNFPHI) at Columbia University. 

Massimiliano (Mao) Mollona writer, filmmaker and anthropologist. He has a multidisciplinary background in economics and anthropology and his work focuses on the relationships between art and political economy. He conducted extensive fieldworks in Italy, UK, Norway and Brazil, mainly in economic institutions, looking at the relationships between economic development and political identity through participatory and experimental film projects. His practice is situated at the intersection of pedagogy, art and activism. He has rececntly published Art/Commons.

LEARNING WITH ZAPATISMO | talk

Location/Lugar Centro Cultural La Corrala Date/Fecha: September 18th from 10:00 to 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. Language / Idioma Español

Natalia Arcos Salvo

comisaria e investigadora de Estética y política, comparte sobre: / curator and researcher of Aesthetics and politics, shares about: 

Historia y actualidad del Movimiento Zapatista en Chiapas / History and current affairs of the Zapatista Movement in Chiapas.

Un recorrido por la construcción de la Autonomía Zapatista, eventos claves, conceptos relevantes y comprensión de la ética organizativa. (45 mn) / A journey through the construction of Zapatista Autonomy, key events, relevant concepts and understanding of organizational ethics. (45 nm)

Coffee break

Escucharon?: Estructura estética y poética del Movimiento Zapatista / Did they hear?: Aesthetic and poetic structure of the Zapatista Movement.

El encuentro entre la cosmología maya y las ideologías de la izquierda del Siglo XX contribuyen a entender cómo la estética y la poética son columna esencial de la infraestructura política del Zapatismo.( 45 mn. ) / The encounter between Mayan cosmology and the ideologies of the 20th century left contribute to understanding how aesthetics and poetics are an essential column of the political infrastructure of Zapatismo. (45 min.)


BIO

Natalia Arcos (Santiago de Chile, 1979) has a Degree in Theory and Art History from the University of Chile and a Master in Contemporary Art from Paris IV-Sorbonne University, where she was the first latinamerican accepted. As an independent curator, she has done twenty exhibitions in Chile, Argentina, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Cuba, England and Greece. From 2008 to 2013, she was Programming Director of the Chilean Television Channel specialized in art, ARTV. From 2013 to 2020, she was member of GIAP (Grupo de Investigación en Arte y Política) based in Chiapas, México, where she also directed the center for artistic residencies. Natalia was collaborator on the books “Los latidos del corazón nunca callan: poemas y canciones zapatistas” and “Para una estética de la liberación decolonial”invited by Professor Enrique Dussel. Actually, she follows a Master Degree in Sociology of Art at CESMECA Institute of University UNICACH, México.

CONVERGENCE OF AUTONOMOUS LEARNING SPACES | hybrid zoom & in presence

The hybrid roundtables will take place online on zoom [ https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82794802239] + online streaming on IRI YouTube Channel + in presence > Location/Lugar TBD Date/Fecha: September 19 17:00-20:00 Access/Entradas: Free until full capacity, prior registration by mail to info@instituteofradicalimagination.org indicating name, surname and motivation from September the 1st.

With CCRA, Free Home Universities, Chto Delat’s  Schools of Engaged Art Ecoversities Alliance, the Global Tapestry of Alternative, Uni-tierras and other friends in the struggle of learning 

Previously activated by a series of questions and provocations, we will consider what are the challenges and possibilities of our insurgent practices of learning, and in which ways we can commit to continue a journey to life. 

Please join us for a unique gathering and a critical space of reflection and action that we will convene as part of The  Zapatista Forum. 

In the wake of the Zapatista 421st Squadron and in anticipation of subsequent visits, a group of us have conspired to consider the importance of autonomous learning spaces in the current conjuncture and activate such a space together. We invite you to join us to think out loud together. 

Our motivation in convening the proposed convergence of autonomous learning spaces results from our sense that the Zapatista political project has brought into focus the critical uses of self-organized forms of learning, research, and documenting. 

Autonomous spaces of learning seem to be a critical way for “societies in movement” to weave struggles together. We might ask what we mean by an autonomous space of learning, how have they been used and how might we deploy them moving forward? How do we deploy them while preguntando caminando with the Zapatista squadrons and others who have been struggling and are part of “the clamor for life” in their own locally rooted communities of struggle? How can autonomous learning spaces contribute to our shared efforts to confront the current catastrophe?

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A PROVISORY LEARNING STATION | artworks & films & the Zapatista coffe hour

Location/Lugar Centro Cultural La Corrala Date/Fecha: 16 September – 15 October  Access/Entradas: Free until full capacity, prior registration by mail to info@instituteofradicalimagination.org indicating name, surname and motivation from September the 1st.

In one of the aisles of La Corrala, Chto Delat providesThe Provisory Learning Station for an open and porous research team to convene. 

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TO NAVIGATE BACKWARD: RESONATING WITH ZAPATISMO | book presentation

Location/Lugar Centro Cultural La Corrala Date/Fecha: September 16 20:00 Access/Entradas: Free until full capacity, prior registration by mail to info@instituteofradicalimagination.org indicating name, surname and motivation from September the 1st.

As part of the opening of the exhibition “Somos fragmentos de la luz que impide que todo sea noche” editors Alessandra Pomarico, Nikolay Oleynikov and contributors: Natalia Arcos Salvo, Marco Baravalle, Manuel Callahan, and Dmitry Vilensky (Chto Delat) present the book

WHEN THE ROOTS START MOVING. First Mouvement: To Navigate Backward.

Chto Delat and Free Home University. Resonating with Zapatismo

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AURELIANO & NAFTA | Mia Eve Rollow & Caleb Duarte

Somos Fragmentos de la luz que impide que todo sea noche exhibition – Open / Abierto 15 – 30 September 2021, Mo-Fr / L-D 10:00 – 22:00 Sa 10:00-14:00 Location / Lugar Centro Cultural La Corrala, Museo de Artes y Tradiciones Populares Calle de Carlos Arniches, 3, Madrid

An important aspect of creating “other worlds” through Zapatismo is the belief that each culture, each language and each individual creates its own understanding of beauty, normality, happiness and autonomy. The cultures of capitalism and consumerism introduced by NAFTA persuade large populations that there is only one way toward progress and prosperity. Here, Aureliano Martinez shapes his own image of beauty outside of the commercialization of the body.

20 YEARS AFTER NAFTA, 
MANY WORLDS ARE POSSIBLE

https://www.miaeverollow.org/creative-time-reports/4581907570

Caleb Duarte and Mia Eve Rollow from EDELO (En Donde Era La UNO/Where the United Nations Used to Be) explore the effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement in Chiapas, Mexico’s poorest state and the site of the Zapatista revolution sparked by the agreement.

Mexico was said to be one step away from entering the “First World.” It was December 1992, and Mexico’s then-president, Carlos Salinas, signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The global treaty came with major promises of economic development, driven by increased farm production and foreign investment, that would end emigration and eliminate poverty. But, as the environmentalist Gustavo Castro attests in our video, the results have been the complete opposite—increased emigration, hunger and poverty.

While the world was entertaining the idea of the end of times supposedly predicted by the Mayan calendar, on December 21, 2012, over 40,000 Mayan Zapatistas took to the streets to make their presence known in a March of Silence. The indigenous communities of Chiapas—Tzeltales, Tzotziles, Tojolobales, Choles, Zoques and Mames—began their mobilization from their five centers of government, which are called Caracoles. In silence they entered the fog of a December winter and occupied the same squares, in the same cities, that they had descended upon as ill-equipped rebels on January 1, 1994, the day NAFTA came into effect.

In light of the 20th anniversary of NAFTA’s implementation and the Zapatista uprising, we set out to explore both the positive and negative effects of the international treaty. The poverty caused by NAFTA, and the waves of violence, forced migration and environmental disasters it has precipitated, should not be understated. The republic of Mexico is under threat from multinational corporations like the Canadian mining company Blackfire Explorations, which is threatening to sue the state of Chiapas for $800 million under NAFTA Chapter 11 because its government closed a Blackfire barite mine after pressure from local environmental activists like Mariano Abarca Roblero, who was murdered in 2009.

Still, one result of the corporate extraction of Mexico’s natural resources and displacement of its people that has followed the treaty has been the organization and strengthening of initiatives by indigenous communities to construct autonomy from the bottom up. Seeing that their own governments cannot respond to popular demands without retribution from corporations, the people of Mexico are asking about alternatives: “What is it that we do want?” The Zapatista revolution reminds us that not only another world, but many other worlds, are possible.

Original Title / Título Original Aureliano, 2012 Director / Dirección Mia Rollow y Caleb Duarte Running time / Duración 5:50′
Original Title / Título Original Nafta, 2012 Director / Dirección Mia Rollow y Caleb Duarte Running time / Duración 12′

Mia Rollow and Caleb Duarte are two American artists who traveled to San Cristóbal de las Casas from California in 2008 to settle there. In this context, they invited Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture of the Black Panthers of the United States, to carry out projects with the indigenous communities of Chiapas. From this encounter, ZAPANTERA NEGRA was born, an integration of the imaginaries of the Afro-American and Zapatista peoples in resistance and in organizing a new life in autonomy and freedom. In murals, embroidery, performances and videos, the images of the creative struggle of both communities on the north and south side of the Rio Grande border are intermingled. This interaction of imaginaries certainly has a political background that unites both struggles. But also, the reception of the indigenous communities towards this Afro-American proposal could be given by the “nahual” with which the Black Panthers present themselves to the Zapatistas. The nahual is a spiritual entity that corresponds to each person, town and territory and that takes the form of an animal. For the Zapatistas, the cultural identification with the jaguar and the bat is ancient and is revived as collective empowerment through the use of clothing elements that invoke these nahuales: the red scarf to the jaguar and the black balaclava to the bat. A black panther is then the nahual of another sister people, which communicates and empowers through the union of forces through images. In this sense, to understand the configuration of ZAPANTERA NEGRA, it is not only necessary to understand the political struggles but also the spiritual forces that are mobilized in the territories.

Mia Rollow y Caleb Duarte son dos artistas estadounidenses que desde California viajaron a San Cristóbal de las Casas en 2008 para establecerse allí. En ese contexto, invitaron a Emory Douglas, Ministro de Cultura de los Black Panthers de los Estados Unidos, a realizar proyectos con las comunidades indígenas de Chiapas. De este encuentro nace ZAPANTERA NEGRA, una integración de los imaginarios de los pueblos afroamericanos y zapatistas en resistencia y en organización de una nueva vida en autonomía y libertad. En murales, bordados, performances y videos, las imágenes de la lucha creativa de ambas comunidades al lado norte y sur de la frontera del Rio Grande, se entremezclan. Esta interacción de imaginarios  tiene por cierto un trasfondo político que aúna ambas luchas. Pero también, la recepción de las comunidades indígenas hacia esta propuesta afroamericana podría estar dada por el “nahual” con el que se presentan los Panteras Negras ante los Zapatistas.  El nahual es una entidad espiritual que corresponde a cada persona, pueblo y territorio y que toma forma de animal. Para los zapatistas, la identificación con el jaguar y el murciélago culturalmente es de antigua data y revive como empoderamiento colectivo a través del uso de elementos de vestuario que invocan a estos nahuales: el pañuelo rojo al jaguar y el pasamontañas negro al murciélago.  Una pantera negra es entonces el nahual de otro pueblo hermano, que se comunica y potencia a través de la unión de fuerzas a través de las imágenes.  En este sentido, para entender la configuración de ZAPANTERA NEGRA no solo hay que entender las luchas políticas sino también las fuerzas espirituales que se movilizan por los territorios.

Mia Eve Rollow was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1984. She received the Creative and Performing Arts Scholarship to attend the University of Maryland where she received her BFA in 2006. Rollow completed her graduate studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago earning a master’s degree in 2009. Her artworks are often performative in nature, and due to her fascination with alchemy and shamanistic traditions, her work usually revolves the physical and spiritual world. A college classmate, Caleb Duarte, invited her to Mexico to work on an experimental project based around the Zapatista movement. She later moved to Chiapas, Mexico where she co-founded the EDELO arts collective along with Duarte. Mia Eve Rollow works in a variety of media including video, painting, installation, and performance art. In 2017, Rollow had a solo exhibition titled, Eve: A Series, which featured large-scale video projections of natural phenomena. She primarily produces art through EDELO in collaboration with its community members.

Caleb Duarte is best known for creating temporary installations using construction type frameworks such as beds of dirt, cement, and objects suggesting basic shelter. His installations within institutional settings become sights for performance as interpretations of his community collaborations. Duarte has created public works and community performances at the World Social Forum in Mumbai India, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, El Pital, Honduras, and throughout Mexico and the United States. He has collaborated with autonomous indigenous Zapatista collectives, communities in movement, and working children and refugees. Duarte is co-founder, along with artist MIa Eve Rollow, of EDELO, a Spanish acronym for (Where the United Nations Used To BE). EDELO was a house of art in movement and an inter-comunal artist residency of diverse practices in Chiapas Mexico. The project challenged the traditional artist residency and art spaces in that it placed residents alongside rural autonomous communities that have been using performance, theater, poetry, and a rich visual culture to demand drastic social, political, and economic change. The space invited collaborators to live and create within a period of time. Residents were from PHDs to jugglers, contemporary artist, activist, educators, rural farmers, and autonomous community members. Through EDELO, he is lead facilitator of ZAPANTERA NEGRA, in collaboration with Rigo 23, Emory Douglas and Mia Eve Rollow. Zapantera Negra united Zapatistas (EZLN) with Black Panther Party esthetics to investigate the use of the body and visual culture in both distinct political and artistic movements. Caleb Duarte is profesor of scupture at Fresno City College in Fresno California where he has his studio. He continues to work with Central American unaccompanied minors currently seeking asylum working in community performance, sculpture, film, and painting.

   

PEOPLE OF FLOUR WATER AND SALT by Chto Delat

photo courtesy of Free Home University

Somos fragmentos de la luz que impide que todo sea noche exhibition – 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 learning film People of Flour, Salt and Water realized by the Russian art collective during the 2019 session of Free Home University result of A long-term militant and artistic research started in 2015 with A Slow Orientation in Zapatism, exploring the influence of Zapatista’s politics and poetics, beyond the original context of their struggle in Chiapas, Mexico. A collective study of some early texts of Subcomandante Marcos with a group of refugees and asylum seekers, artists and activists will result into an investigation in the form of a learning-film. Through somatic, dance and vocal exercises, living together, and filmmaking, the group will resonate with aspects of Zapatismo, -re-imagining a politics of the everyday, and forms of autonomy and solidarity to undo the neoliberal pervasiveness in every sphere of life.  

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ABOUT THE FOOTPRINTS, WHAT WE HIDE IN POCKETS AND OTHER SHADOWS OF HOPE by Chto Delat

image: Still from the film

Somos fragmentos de la luz que impide que todo sea noche exhibition – 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

A film in seven portraits / Una película en siete retratos

This public performance and the film were realized in collaboration with participants of the Solidarity school in Pireus and its teachers. It comes as a result of the process of integration of few key texts of Subcommandante Markos into educational process of learning Greek language. This texts and meeting with Stavros Stavrides who run a seminar about long relations between Zapatista movement and political activists in Greece have created a new situation of learning in between many real and imaginary situations.  In the performance we integrate two narratives – one comes from the Zapatista texts where Durito – the fictional beetle character explains in metaphorical way some basic ideas of Zapatistas movement and personal stories from the life of the performance participants – the refuges from different countries who arrived to live in Greece. These narratives are represented in the form of shadow theater. It was realized as a result of the workshop under direction of Stathis Markopoulos who introduces the participants into basic methods and organization of shadow theater. In this film we see how reality intertwine with the fiction and our imagination is overcoming the cruel limitation of our world and creates a shadow of hope. The film also reflects a production situation during pandemic and how we are able to deal with limitation brutally imposed on our lives. 

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