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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Transnational Zapata: From the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional to Immigrant Marches


Drawing on the examples of the neo-Zapatista movement and the pro-immigrant marches of 2006, this article analyzes images of Emiliano Zapata, a Mexican national hero intricately tied to postrevolution nation rebuilding, as used within transnational movements that “de/territorialize” his image. At the same time that people in these movements have felt the negative effects of globalization, they have also benefited from certain recent technological developments associated with globalization, especially “technoscapes” and “mediascapes” that have launched the “local” discourse of Revolutionary nationalism across borders and onto the world stage through a variety of national and international (cyber)spaces, creating transnational heterotopias or “other spaces” for cultural and political expression that transgress national boundaries. Analyzing examples of Zapata imagery from the post-revolutionary era (1920s–1930s) against the neo-Zapatista movement of the 1990s and 2000s and the 2006 migrant protests in the United States, the paper explores the ways in which the formation of transnational “imagined communities” can destabilize traditional concepts of the nation-state.

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