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How Activists “Take Zapatismo Home”


Transnational Zapatismo exemplifies a broader pattern wherein Southern movements inspire discourses and practices in the Global North that challenge lines of economic and political domination. Recent scholars describe South-North mutuality at the level of international framing. Consideration of what this apparent mutuality means to Northern activists on the ground suggests that for many of them espousing Zapatismo entails not only a set of tactics but also the interrogation of their own positions of power. As a symbol of reflexivity, the Zapatista name legitimates Northerners’ commitment to changing the very system that privileges them. Inspiring this reflexivity may prove to be a lasting legacy for the Zapatistas, but it has provoked rifts with some former allies and diverted resources from Chiapas as activists elsewhere focus on problems at home.

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