Aesthetics of Indigenous Affinity: Traveling from Chiapas to Palestine in the Murals of Gustavo Chávez Pavón
To Exist is to Resist,” is the title of a story that describes two murals, one banner, and the shrinking distance between Mexico and Palestine. This banner, which affirms indigenous steadfastness inspired by Palestinian ṣumūd, appears in big bold red font on similar murals in different sites in Mexico and Palestine: a community center in caracol Oventic—one of the major autonomous Zapatista municipalities in the highlands of Chiapas— and the Apartheid Wall in Occupied Bethlehem. Gustavo Chávez Pavón, a Zapatista cultural promter and an artist from Mexico City, painted both murals in 2004. In this essay, which summarizes series of personal interviews that I conducted with Chávez Pavón between 2017 and 2018, I reflect on how murals function as an artistic expression of indigenous solidarity between Mexico and Palestine. In addition to documenting an untold history of Zapatista solidarity with Palestine, I seek to examine how the Zapatista muralist movement in Chiapas exemplifies notions of indigenous encounters in the Global South.
Copyright (c) 2019 Amal Eqeiq
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