Art as Catalyst and the Zapatistas

By Susan Goldman, Photos by Norma Suárez

The Center for Global Justice convenes an international conference, Moving Beyond Capitalism, Tuesday July 29th through Monday August 4th at the Hotel Mision. A highlight of the conference is the Art as Catalyst exhibition featuring 11 artists and 60 works of art. Ten sculptures by Ariel Garibaldi, paper mache sculptor, and eleven photographs by Norma Suarez will reveal the humanity of the Zapatista movement. Their art will enhance the talk on the Zapatistas given by Gustavo Esteva who presents Friday August 1st. Esteva is a Mexican economist, activist, and founder of the Universidad de la Tierra in Oaxaca.

Art Exhibit Open to the Public
Part of Center for Global Justice conference
Opening Reception
Tue, Jul 29, 5-7pm
Open to public
Wed, Jul 30-Mon, Aug 4, 12-1:30pm
Sat, Aug 2, 9am-5pm
Hotel El Molino
Salida a Querétaro 1

Author Chris Hedges, writes: “The Zapatistas gave global resistance movements a new language, drawn in part from the indigenous communal Mayan culture, and a new paradigm for action. They understood that corporate capitalism had launched a war against us. They showed us how to fight back. The Zapatistas began by using violence, but they soon abandoned it for the slow, laborious work of building 32 autonomous, self-governing municipalities.”

Ariel Garibaldi describes his sculptures as “reflecting the admiration and enthusiasm that awaken popular movements, as there is nothing more hopeful than a people in struggle, a people mobilized and committed to good causes, people who give everything to create this new possible world, as the Zapatistas say, a world where many worlds fit.” Ariel recently exhibited his paper mache sculptures in the Che auditorium at UNAM in Mexico City. He is also a presenter at the conference on local currency.

In her photography, Norma Suárez analyzes and explores the human condition through fundamental issues such as the condition of women, the origin of war, sexual diversity, social inequality and violence. She followed the indigenous movement that rose up in 1994 and now believes: “The Zapatista movement has been a very important agent of change in Mexico and the world, catalyzing progress in support of human rights. Only history will honor the role they have played in the construction of a better world” Find Norma’s photos of Zapatistas in their community on her website:

Among her many accomplishments, Norma has had solo exhibitions in Boston and several cities in Mexico. Her photographs have been published in the magazines “Artes de Mexico” and in the book “Cycles of Conflict, Centuries of Change” from Duke University.

For more information on the “Art as Catalyst” exhibition go to:


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