The Sixth Sun: Mayan Uprising in Chiapas
As part of The Zapatista Wi-Fi Rebellion program, join us on Friday September 20 for the screening of The Sixth Sun: Mayan Uprising in Chiapas (1996) by Saul Landau, followed by a skype with artist Skawennati of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), a research network of artists, academics and technologists investigating, creating and critiquing Indigenous virtual environment.
NAVEL will also have Zapatista coffee beans for sale.
About the film
Directed by Saul Landau
1996, 56 minutes
Before dawn on New Year’s Day, 1994, startled tourists and residents of the Mexican state of Chiapas watched as armed Mayan Indians declared war on the government, seizing eight towns and sending shock waves through Mexico’s political establishment. Calling themselves the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, these crudely armed peasants set in motion events that ripped away a modern face of prosperity and stability to reveal “the other Mexico.” Visually interweaving the Mayan past and the Mexican Revolution with contemporary reality, this documentary portrays an epic confrontation pitting impoverished peasants against large landowners and government forces in Mexico’s poorest state. The video features rare in-depth interviews with Subcomandante Marcos, the ski-masked “poet warrior,” amidst scenes of the mountains and jungles from which the rebellion sprang, as well as with other leaders and soldiers in the Zapatista movement. Other protagonists include Bishop Samuel Ruiz, Mexico’s outspoken practitioner of liberation theology and defender of indigenous rights; peasants on estates they have occupied; angry ranchers forced from their land; activist layministers; conservative Catholics who charge the Bishop with inciting revolution; government officials and army officers; and the notorious guardias blancas, the landowners’ private armies.
Saul Landau (1936-2013) was an Emmy-winning, internationally-known scholar, author, commentator, and filmmaker on foreign and domestic policy issues. Landau’s most widely praised achievements are the over forty films he has produced on social, political and historical issues, and worldwide human rights, for which he won the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award, the George Polk Award for Investigative Reporting, and the First Amendment Award, as well as an Emmy for Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang.
Skawennati makes art that addresses history, the future, and change. Born in Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, Skawennati holds a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal, where she is based. She is Co-Director, with Jason E. Lewis, of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), a research network of artists, academics and technologists investigating, creating and critiquing Indigenous virtual environments. She also co-directs their workshops in Aboriginal Storytelling and Digital Media. Skins, This year, AbTeC launched IIF, the Initiative for Indigenous Futures; Skawennati is its Partnership Coordinator.
Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace is an Aboriginally determined research-creation network whose goal is to ensure Indigenous presence in the web pages, online environments, video games, and virtual worlds that comprise cyberspace. Co-founded and co-directed by Jason Edward Lewis and Skawennati, our multi-faceted effort includes artwork, writing, lectures, workshops, residencies, and exhibitions. AbTeC’s roots lie with a project called CyberPowWow, a pioneering on-line gallery and chat space for contemporary Indigenous art.
Still from The Sixth Sun: Mayan Uprising in Chiapas by Saul Landau