Video activism and the Chiapas Media Project – 11 March 2004

Title: Video activism and the Chiapas Media Project
Location: AFC Theatre – 150 William St, Woolloomoloo, NSW
Description: WHAT:

Video technology, an empowering tool world-wide.
Video activism and the Chiapas Media Project.
by Claudia Magallanes-Blanco, University of Western Sydney

WHERE:

AFC Theatre – 150 William St, Woolloomoloo

WHEN:

Thursday 11 March 2004 – 6pm drinks for 7pm start.

ENTRY:

Gold Coin Donation

RSVP

info@ozdox.org
Seats reserved till 6.45pm only.
Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2004-03-11

THE PROGRAM

World-wide along with the extended use of video in both domestic and public environments, in the last decade we have seen the development of different independent and community media projects (not affiliated to media networks). These projects are run by communities (virtual or real) and respond to the beliefs and information needs of individuals not of large corporations. Independent media are becoming important instruments of democratisation, attempting to empower minorities and to challenge media institutions and their links to power structures.

Amongst the different independent media projects video technology is playing an important role. Video technology allows ordinary people to register and report issues and events the big mainstream media corporations do not cover, like the uprising of the Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional or Zapatista Nartional Liberation Army (EZLN) on 1 January 1994.

Thanks to the auspices of the Pro medios de Comunicacion Comunitaria, also known as the Chiapas Media Project, indigenous Zapatistas in Chiapas and peasants in Guerrero, Mexico, have been able to learn how to use the video camera as a key weapon in their struggles for recognition and self-determination.

The Chiapas Media Project is a collective media project that provides training and tools for indigenous peoples and peasants to produce their own videos. What makes the experience of the Chiapas Media Project unique is that it works with indigenous peoples and peasants. It has given them the training and equipment to become independent video-makers, to be able to self-represent and create their own audiovisual messages about who they are what are they fighting for, and what are they accomplishing in their struggle.

Claudia Magallanes-Blanco from the University of Western Sydney will discuss her work ‘Video technology, an empowering tool world-wide – Video activism and the Chiapas Media Project’ and introduce Alexandra Halkin, Founding Director of the Chiapas Media Project.

Alexandra will present CMP’s videos and discuss the role of indigenous and campesino produced alternative media in the context of the current political situations in Chiapas and Guerrero. She will also tell us about a new CMP media center recently funded by the MacArthur Foundation that will document human rights violations in the “montana” region of Guerrero.

World-wide along with the extended use of video in both domestic and public environments, in the last decade we have seen the development of different independent and community media projects (not affiliated to media networks). These projects are run by communities (virtual or real) and respond to the beliefs and information needs of individuals not of large corporations. Independent media are becoming important instruments of democratisation, attempting to empower minorities and to challenge media institutions and their links to power structures.

Amongst the different independent media projects video technology is playing an important role. Video technology allows ordinary people to register and report issues and events the big mainstream media corporations do not cover, like the uprising of the Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional or Zapatista Nartional Liberation Army (EZLN) on 1 January 1994.

Thanks to the auspices of the Pro medios de Comunicacion Comunitaria, also known as the Chiapas Media Project, indigenous Zapatistas in Chiapas and peasants in Guerrero, Mexico, have been able to learn how to use the video camera as a key weapon in their struggles for recognition and self-determination.

The Chiapas Media Project is a collective media project that provides training and tools for indigenous peoples and peasants to produce their own videos. What makes the experience of the Chiapas Media Project unique is that it works with indigenous peoples and peasants. It has given them the training and equipment to become independent video-makers, to be able to self-represent and create their own audiovisual messages about who they are what are they fighting for, and what are they accomplishing in their struggle.

Please tell your friends!

Q & A session follows.
The three of the videos made by the CMP

Zapata’s Garden
(Tzeltal and Spanish w/English subtitles, 2002, 19:13)
Shot and produced by indigenous men and women video makers in the Autonomous Municipality of Emiliano Zapata this video looks at the new society that the Zapatista’s are building. Zapata’s Garden shows how this new municipality is fighting the effects of globalization and government corruption through their work in their collective garden. Community members talk about the importance of collective work in building this new society. “We don’t want things to be as they were before. Now we have land to work, and with it we will feed ourselves and our children”.

We Speak Against Injustice
(Tzeltal and Spanish with English sub-titles, 34:00, 2003)
We Speak Against Injustice follows the Zapatista caravan in March of 2002 that visited 11 cities on the way to Mexico City where the EZLN along with other indigenous groups presented the San Andres Accords to the Mexican Congress. We see what has happened since the Mexican Congress changed the San Andres Accords against the will of indigenous people throughout Mexico and ratified them into the constitution. The second half of the video documents the upsurge in paramilitary violence in Chiapas that began in August 2002. This violence is seen in the context of globalization and pressure that the state and federal government is putting on the Zapatista communities to leave their land so that their natural resources can be sold.

Reclaiming Justice: Guerrero’s Indigenous Community Police
(Spanish with English subtitles, 26:00, 2002)
Reclaiming Justice is the award-winning documentary of 42 Mixteco and Tlapaneco communities in the Costa-Montana region of Guerrero who, faced with injustice and corruption of local authorities, established the Indigenous Community Police (ICP) in 1995. Based on the traditional Indigenous justice system, the ICP is a volunteer organization elected by regional assembly. With the ICP, crime dropped substantially, organized crime has nearly disappeared, and police corruption is nonexistent. Instead of supporting the ICP, state and local governments attacked them publicly and claimed that they function outside the law. Reclaiming Justice gives voice to members of the ICP, demonstrates their success in creating community security, and shows how the ICP restored dignity and pride to Indigenous communities despite opposition by corrupt authorities.

Please RSVP by Oct 6 to: info@ozdox.org
Be advised seats are reserved till 6.50pm.