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Zapatista Stories


written by Subcomandante Marcos • Edited and translated by Colectivo Relámpago/Lightning Collective. A collection of allegorical stories and “an accidental archive” of the Zapatista’s struggle against neoliberalism. PM Press 2022

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A collection of allegorical stories and “an accidental archive” of the Zapatista’s struggle against neoliberalism.

In this gorgeous collection of allegorical stories, Subcomandante Marcos, idiosyncratic spokesperson of the Zapatistas, has provided “an accidental archive” of a revolutionary group’s struggle against neoliberalism. For thirty years, the Zapatistas have influenced and inspired movements worldwide, showing that another world is possible. They have infused left politics with a distinct imaginary—and an imaginative, literary, or poetic dimension—organizing horizontally, outside and against the state, and with a profound respect for difference as a source of political insight, not division. With commentaries that illuminate their historical, political, and literary contexts and an introduction by the translators, this timeless, elegiac volume is perfect for lovers of literature and lovers of revolution.


  • “From the beating heart of Mesoamerica the old gods speak to Old Antonio, a glasses-wearing, pipe-smoking beetle who studies neoliberalism, and both tell their tales to Subcomandante Marcos who passes them on to us: the stories of the Zapatistas’ revolutionary struggles from below and to the left. The Colectivo Relámpago (Lightning Collective), based in Amherst, Massachusetts, translates and comments with bolts of illumination zigzagging across cultures and nations, bringing bursts of laughter and sudden charges of hot-wired political energy. It seems like child’s play, yet it’s almost divine!”
    Peter Linebaugh, author of Red Round Globe Hot Burnin
  • “This is a beautiful, inspired project. In a joyful Zapatista gesture readers will welcome, this volume invites us to play, to walk on different, and even contrary paths through smooth and crystalline translations that bring these ‘other stories’ to life. The translators’ commentaries preserve a delicate balance of expertise and autonomy as they illuminate the historical, political, and cultural forces that provoked the stories’ creation. Among these forces are Zapatista women, whom the translators rightly dignify in their meticulous and provocative introduction. This volume is a gift to so many of us as we (attempt to) bring the Zapatista imagination to our students and organizing communities.”
    Michelle Joffroy, associate professor of Spanish and Latin American & Latino Studies, Smith College and co-director of Domestic Workers Make History
  • “Thinking through the heart. This collection reminds, (re)grounds, and expands our collective sense of possibility—as the Zapatistas so creatively have continued to do for over 27 years. From the alter-globalization movements to the horizontal assemblies in Argentina of the early 2000s, to Occupy and the Movements of the Squares in the 2010s, through our pandemic solidarities and mutual aid networks in the 2020s, prefigurative, autonomous and affective movements continue to move with the Zapatistas in our hearts and minds. The influence and inspiration is beyond words, yet this collection gives words, placing crucial stories of the Zapatista communities in historical context, giving us more lenses through which to see the world and our movements within it.”
    Marina Sitrin, author of Everyday Revolutions: Horizontalism and Autonomy in Argentina

Additional information

Weight 0.148000 kg