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First-Hand Education, Experiences and Support for the Austin Community, Artists and Schools

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On exhibit Jan to March 22, 2024

Texas Lutheran University - Schuech Fine Arts Center

517 Prexy Dr.

Seguin, TX 78155


Photography by Paula Ramirez

Resistance: Origin & Gender in the Zapatista Movement

LUPE Exhibitioner

Paula Ramirez

Paula Ramirez is an artist and photographer based in Los Angeles. Her photography focuses on Latin America - Mexico and Cuba - and encompasses a diverse range of subjects, from social and political struggles to intimate reflections of daily life. She has built an extensive body of work chronicling the Zapatista uprising that emerged in Chiapas, Mexico, from its beginnings in 1994 to the present day.

About The Exhibition

The participation of women has always been fundamental in all aspects of the struggle for freedom, democracy and justice worldwide. The prominence of women in the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) is unquestionable - from its origins in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, to the present day. The Compañeras have been a fundamental part of the organizational efforts within their indigenous communities of Chiapas as well as participants in the worldwide fight for women's rights.


With the photographs in this collection, Paula has documented some of the most relevant events in the Zapatista movement's history, captured glimpses into the daily lives of women in Zapatista communities, and gathered intimate portraits of their supporters.


In January 1, 1994, the Zapatistas emerged to take over the main cities in Chiapas just as then-president Carlos Salinas de Gortari announced México's entrance into the First World with the signing of Free Trade Agreement. Since then, the Zapatista struggle has had great impact in México, and the entire world, as they have fought to assert their existence.


They said "¡Ya basta!" - Enough! - to inequity, poverty, hunger, and injustice.


Since then, they have not ceased in their fight for their claims: work, land, housing, food, health, education, autonomy, liberty, democracy, justice, and peace. They have been the catalyst for many important events in which compañeras and compañeros from around whole world have participated. These include the Democratic National Convention, the San Andres Accords, the Intercontinental Meeting for Humanity and Against Neoliberalism, the Color of the Earth March, the Other Campaign, and Comandante Ramona's visit to Mexico City. 


In these works, you can  witness what Paula has; the first-hand the perseverance, struggles, efforts, and accomplishments of the Zapatista indigenous communities. They have served as a model for national and international organizations. They have created schools, hospitals, and co-ops, as well as fostered the arts. Twenty-four years after its appearance to the world, the children of that time are now spokespersons and leaders of their struggle.


Within her photographs you can see the great courage Zapatista Woman have had in confronting the conditions of daily discrimination head-on and becoming true leaders. They have drafted and promoted the Law of Indigenous Women's Rights, and have codified their demands within the movement.

Through this show you can take take part in a tribute to the Mexican woman: fighter, brave, and indispensable in any fight for the vindication of our rights. Amongst them, the artist's mother, sisters, daughters, friends, and fellow artists and social activists.


They inspired this work.


"Upon seeing hundreds of women, men, young and old, elderly, boys and girls, barefoot, the poorest and most forgotten of the Earth, with their faces covered with balaclavas and bandanas, holding a branch signifying a weapon, with a huge dignity, saying "Here we are, we exist!" moves in me the deepest feelings. It rips tears of joy and sadness, it wrings my heart, but most importantly, it inspires and fills me with hope. It makes me see that all is not lost. "

- Paula Ramirez

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Exhibition Details

March 22, 2024

Texas Lutheran University

Schuech Fine Arts Center

Art Gallery

517 Proxy Dr.

Seguin, TX 78155

Now Open Jan to

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