Issue 4/2018 - #Fortschritt

#17, The New Dead End Street

Summer School of Orientation in Zapatism (2017)

Chto Delat

In the Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona by Zapatistas in Chiapas and some other documents were introduced the idea of Zapatistas’s embassy – which should go in Mexico and into the world and deliver the message of Zapatista. The idea of encuentros (horizontal meetings) with local people would help to share information on the Zapatista movement and to collect reports on the struggle against neoliberalism world-wide. We do not know for sure if this plan was realized but we met in Mexico some people who definitely were part of this process.
Our film is based on the idea of anticipation of this embassy which actually has not yet arrived to Russia. And we have organized a long process of getting deep inside in the ideas of Zapatistas – the reading group, course of Zapatista’s Spanish and practices of community building culminated in the 2 weeks summer school where 17 young people share a house at the country side and live in temporary commune.
The film reflects this process of being together and how the Zapatistas way of life could be practice and question outside of genuine indigenous experience – how we as Europeans/Russian with all burdens of our political and cultural histories would imagine to change our lives and society. Realized in the Zapatistas tradition of anti-culmination and with a great deal of famous Zapatistas’ irony well-known from the texts of subcomandante Marcos, the participants of the film immersed and investigate what is the meaning progress and how to live in harmony with the earth and land, what could mean “For everyone, everything. For us, nothing” (Para todos todo, para nosotros nada), what could be theology of emancipation in Russian situation, what is the role of culture in a process of liberation and how we are able to build an autonomy of “good people” in a hostile world.
The film can be considered as an upgrade of European pastoral tradition and reflects the frustration of young urban generation living under the pressure of society and capital and trying to find a way to get out of deadlines of new political reaction and to overcome its unhappy mindset and establish possible new forms of life inspired by Zapatista ideas.
The film is constructed in attempt to grasp another form of temporality – the time of slow process which is a result in itself. That’s why the film’s edit is realized in a several versions which includes different numbers of points (chapters). This point creates a mental map reflecting the real space of the film making.