Mexican Independence Day – The Zapatistas, the Power of Art & Painting Murals in Utica Wednesday, September 16 at 7:00pm – 8:30pm
at the Mohawk Valley Freedom School (500 Plant Street, Utica, NY)
Please join us in celebrating Mexican Independence Day by watching the very short film “Galeano Vive! – Painting a Zapatista Teacher.” This will be followed by a short presentation on the Zapatista village of Oventic in Chiapas, Mexico that educator Brendan Maslauskas Dunn visited this summer, and a discussion of art and murals.
The fast-paced, visually stunning video will teach about the assassinated Mayan rebel Zapatista teacher Galeano while documenting the painting of an astounding mural deep in Zapatista territory. This dramatic artwork was painted by an international team of volunteers from twelve countries earlier this year and now lives on the walls of Galeano’s rebuilt school and clinic in the community of La Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico. Discussion will then focus on murals and art in Utica.
Planning is currently underway to paint a “people’s radical history” mural in Utica that people in the community will design and paint next summer under the guidance of mural artists from New York City.
During the last Freedom School class there was a lively discussion about the indigenous Mayan Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas, Mexico. The originally scheduled event for class this Wednesday is rescheduled until May. Instead, we will watch the film “A Place Called Chiapas.” The film will be screened at 7:00pm on Wednesday, April 15 at the Mohawk Valley Freedom School. The school is located at 500 Plant Street in Utica. Dinner will be served at 6:30pm.
The documentary film was released in 1998. It captures the rise of what the The New York Times called “the world’s first post-modern revolution” in Chiapas. The revolution was launched the same day NAFTA was put into effect on January 1, 1994. The revolutionaries called themselves Zapatistas in honor of the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, a hero of Mexico’s 1910 revolution. The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) was organized to spur the revolution forward. Since then the Zapatistas have carved out their own society autonomous from the Mexican state that is based off of principles of collectivism, mutual aid and popular power.
Come join us for a great film and an interesting discussion. As always, we will ask ourselves how this struggle is relevant to us and what we can learn from it.
The Battle of Algiers (1966. In French and Arabic with subtitles.)
Friday, December 12 from 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Mohawk Valley Community College – AB 233
Film screening of the film The Battle of Algiers and lecture by adjunct faculty Brendan M. Dunn on the Algerian national liberation struggle, imperialism, and terrorism.
“One of the most influential political films in history, The Battle of Algiers, by Gillo Pontecorvo, vividly recreates a key year in the tumultuous Algerian struggle for independence from the occupying French in the 1950s. As violence escalates on both sides, children shoot soldiers at point-blank range, women plant bombs in cafés, and French soldiers resort to torture to break the will of the insurgents. Shot on the streets of Algiers in documentary style, the film is a case study in modern warfare, with its terrorist attacks and the brutal techniques used to combat them. Pontecorvo’s tour de force has astonishing relevance today.” (from the Criterion Collection)
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006. In Spanish with subtitles.)
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
7:00pm – 9:30pm
Mohawk Valley Community College – AB 233
Film screening of the film Pan’s Labyrinth and lecture by MVCC adjunct faculty Brendan M. Dunn on the Spanish Civil War, Spanish revolution, and how this film is an allegory of the tragedy of Spain in the 1930s.
“Pan’s Labyrinth is one of the greatest of all fantasy films, even though it is anchored so firmly in the reality of war. On first viewing, it is challenging to comprehend a movie that on the one hand provides fauns and fairies, and on the other hand creates an inhuman sadist in the uniform of Franco’s fascists. The fauns and fantasies are seen only by the 11-year-old heroine, but that does not mean she’s “only dreaming;” they are as real as the fascist captain who murders on the flimsiest excuse. The coexistence of these two worlds is one of the scariest elements of the film.” – Roger Ebert