Enlace Zapatista

For my project I plan to continue my exploration of the indigenous uprising in Chiapas, Mexico, the EZLN (Zapatista National Liberation Army). Last semester, I wrote a chapter of my dissertation which explores the theoretical aspects of the movement as a neo-marxist approach to the pursuit of social justice. This semester, I want to complete another chapter where I explore the use of media (mainly the internet website Enlace Zapatista, as well as several newspaper articles, videos/documentaries, and songs about the movement). I would like to explore the complexity of the incorporation of media to this revolutionary movement and whether or not it has been a more effective method of achieving social justice for the indigenous people who make up the majority of the movement.

I plan to review the content of the various letters and communiques sent to local newspapers by Subcomandante Marcos since 1994. The book titled Shadows of Tender Fury provides a list of the communiques since the public emergence of the movement, which will be a great source for the first part of my project. Secondly, I plan to explore other books, as well as the EZLN website (for which I have been a member for years) to explore the direction of the movement through the past years.

Finally, I plan to incorporate the Media Studies’ theoretical models we have been studying in this class to the analysis of the effects of the media in the development and evolution of the EZLN.  Using McLuhan and the effects of technology, media and society, and media and our thought processes. McLuhan also discusses the “global village” which would be very relevant to the strategies used by the EZLN to appeal to an international audience.  As well as others as our course develops.

5 responses to “Enlace Zapatista

  1. Great idea! Even though you are planning to complete a chapter that will eventually be on paper, it would be interesting to show this chapter online, because you will be able to link to specific pages of the website, certain videos, and online media that will enhance your argument. This way you don’t have to spend your chapter explaining different types of media, the reader will be able to interact with and visualize exactly what you are talking about in your paper. Also, if you are analyzing media on the internet, your paper might also be useful for other media organizations trying to bring attention to the Zapatista’s cause.

  2. This sounds like a very cool angle from which to consider the Internet both as a tool for political and social change, and in terms of its impact on the broader media landscape. As Jori said, since you are going to be putting your writing online in some form, you should definitely think about how to utilize the medium to support your argument, as well as the potential impact of making your own writing available online.

  3. Great idea! I really like how you fuse the world of theory, social change and media in a global context. I think its important to think about how these mediums we study can be used for political reasons and also outside the United States.
    I would be interested to see how your project can/might explore the concepts we’ve talked about whether these tools have inherent democratizing capabilities or whether they are just vehicles within ideological movements.

  4. This sounds great. It’ll be interesting to see how putting part of your research online changes the way people experience it. Seconding Jori, I think it’ll be really beneficial to link your sources, which should really enhance your argument. Also, I think your project raises interesting question of social justice and the internet, and what communities have formed because of new technologies we’ve discussed.

  5. I completely agree with all of the comments above; this is a great topic, one that works well both with your dissertation focus and with the questions of digital communication we’re studying. As Clio notes, the questions surrounding social justice movements and the internet are extremely compelling, and have gotten a fair bit of consideration in recent scholarship. You may want to look in particular at the journal New Media & Society, which is likely to have some articles related to these issues. I’ll look forward to seeing more!