By: Isaín Mandujano
The Zapatista CompArte Festival concluded Saturday with the slogan “Chinga tu madre Peña Nieto… and you too, Donald Trump,” indigenous of the five regions where the support bases of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) are grouped together.
First, there were four days in which exhibitors from different states and countries came to the al Center for Integral Development for the Indigenous Communities (CIDECI) to show the indigenous Zapatistas their most diverse artistic manifestations; such as, dance, theater, painting, film, sculpture, music and other activities.
There, from last Monday to Thursday, the masked ones, young people in the majority, were present at the presentations of the Mexican and foreign artists and participated in the offered workshops.
On Friday, August 28 and Saturday 29, the Zapatistas arrived from the five Caracoles, which are divided into the regions of the EZLN support bases, which are: Roberto Barrios, La Garrucha, Morelia, La Realidad and Oventik.
In Oventik, Comandante David of the EZLN as host welcomed all the attendees to the Second CompArte Festival for Humanity 2017 “Against capital and its walls, all the arts” and thus that first Friday began with 81 non-stop presentations all day. Activities like dances, theater works, poetry, music, as well as painting and sculpture.
The Zapatistas clarified that what they would see for two days would not be a “spectacle,” but rather the word, voice, rebellion, rage and struggle from the different regions of the EZLN support bases.
The dances, theater works, songs and poetry, remembered that past of oppression that their grandparents and great grandparents experienced; in the majority of the acts they remembered the exploitation of the indigenous on the part of caciques and cattle ranchers, for whom they worked the land.
Indigenous men and women, the majority of them youths between 15 and 24 years of age, born after the 1994 armed uprising, were the protagonists of these presentations.
Songs like “The sad history of our grandparents, ” “The mistreatments on the finca” sung by masked men from the Caracol of La Garrucha, “The exploitation of before” by singers from the Caracol of Morelia or “The tempest of the housed” sung by youths of the Caracol of Oventik, sketched the suffering of the indigenous communities in this region of the country.
In the same way, poems like “Our suffering throughout history” declaimed by indigenous of the Caracol of La Realidad, “The remote slavery of the past and present” by youth of the Caracol of La Garrucha and “The exploitation and rage that were transformed into rebellion” by masked ones in the Caracol of Morelia narrated the same history of exploitation in times of submission by the landowners.
In the songs and the poems, the top hit was always the same “Fuck you Peña Nieto and you too Donald Trump,” “We’re not afraid of you.”
The Corrido of Peña Nieto sung by masked men of the Caracol of Roberto Barrios and other songs were plagued with insults to President Enrique Peña Nieto and the president of the United States, Donald Trump.
The Zapatistas exposed how they organized to rebel against the oppression of which their grandparents were victims, how they had to confront that process of rebellion and struggle for a country with justice and dignity.
In all their artistic theater statements they aligned the struggle of Zapatismo against capitalism, the enemy to conquer now and the one that threatens extinction of the indigenous peoples that oppose the dispossession of their lands and territories.
“Art and culture are a fundamental part of our resistance, rebellion and struggle against capitalism,” asserted Comandante Insurgente David, in the name of all the Zapatistas.
“With the unity and organization of the world’s poor and rebellious, we will confront and destroy this system of death,” the host said.
“Art and culture have permitted us to survive the bad government’s harassment for more than 20 years, but now art and culture have given us life, resistance and pride in what we are. With this spirit of struggle for life we formally begin this CompArte Festival,” he added.
Even with the rain, the masked indigenous didn’t stop and staged a theater work about how the Indigenous Government Council (CIG) was formed and its spokesperson María de Jesús Patricio was elected, last October in the XX anniversary of the Nacional Indigenous Congress (CNI).
During the program they also made reference to the “43 absent from Ayotzinapa,” in reference to the normalistas from the state of Guerrero, disappeared by the Mexican State, in September 2014.
For two days, the Zapatista Tzeltals, Tsotsils, Tojolabals, Chols and other ethnicities present, also praised the role of women in this struggle of the EZLN and the indigenous peoples of Mexico. The traditional and well-known group The Originals of San Andrés didn’t stop singing the “Ballad of Marichuy” on various occasions.
At the end of the event the Zapatistas, closed with the seal of the event, Chinga tu madre Peña Nieto and you too Donald Trump.”
Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee