Tag: Film Archives & Militant Cinema

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

photo courtesy of Natalia Arcos, Acteal 2016

We are fragments of light that prevent everything from becoming night

Curators / Comisariado 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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