Blockprint with Stencil
I made this print for a portfolio in solidarity with Zapatista communities coordinated by the Escuela de Cultura Popular "Martires del '68" in Mexico City. In English, the text reads: "We Don't Sell Out, We Don't Surrender, We Stay."
I was recently reading David Graeber's book of essays "Possibilities" and in the essay titled "There Never was a West" he describes the great history of Maya rebellion. That spirit of rebellion, he says, was first directed against the tyrannical Maya states themselves, bringing them down around the ears of their despotic rulers sometime in the latter part of the first millenium CE. He notes that "by the time the Spaniards arrived six hundred years later, Mayan societies were thoroughly decentralized, with an endless variety of tiny city-states, some apparently with elected leaders..." The struggle of the Zapatista communities is heir to that tradition, pushing back against the notion that the world has reached the "end of history" with the triumph of global capitalism. They have their own ideas of history: deeper, stronger, and in total rebellion against the authority of Neoliberal economics. Graeber quotes a Chol-speaking Zapatista who said, pointing to the ruins of Palenque, "we managed to get rid of those guys. I don't suppose the Mexican government could be all that much of a challenge in comparison."
I thought the image of masks hung on a line summed up the persistence of the Zapatista communities, and I included the Quetzal eating a dragonfly to echo themes of predator and prey- the Quetzal, beautiful and fragile descendant of the dinosaurs, perched delicately, ready to feast on one of the great ancient lineages of predators, the dragonflies, whom the birds displaced as rulers of the skies some 150 million years ago.
14" x 21"