Since 1994, the Zapatista political autonomy project has been claiming that “another world is possible”. This experience has influenced many intellectuals of contemporary radical social movements who see in the indigenous organization a new political alter-native. I will first explore some of the current theories on Zapatism and the crossing of some of authors into anarchist thought. The second part of the article draws on an ethnography conducted in the municipality of Chenalhó, in the highlands of Chiapas, to emphasize some of the everyday practices inside the self-proclaimed “autonomous municipality” of Polhó. As opposed to irenic theories on Zapatism, this article describes a peculiar process of autonomy and brings out some contradictions between the political discourse and the day-to-day practices of the autonomous power, focusing on three specific points linked to economic and political constraints in a context of political violence: the economic dependency on humanitarian aid and the “bureaucratic habitus”; the new “autonomous” leadership it involved, between “good government” and “good management”; and the internal divisions due to the return of some displaced members and the exit of international aid.
Views from its day-to-day praxis
The 2011 Israeli protest for social justice marked a change in the responses of Israeli citizens to political and social matters. The ways in which art and social change intersected during the protest, and the emer- gence of art collectives following the events, call for an understanding of the relation between art and politics in Israel. This article suggests an alternative reading of socially engaged art in Israel. To this end, I use Félix Guattari’s notion of ‘transversality’ and Jacques Rancière’s theory on the ‘aesthetic regime’ to highlight signi cant periods where art and politics have intersected in ways that have challenged Israeli art historiography, often neutralizing the political within an artwork. By using a theoreti- cal framework that emphasizes notions of hybridity and the blurring of boundaries, I make new connections between times, places, and practices that go beyond the binaries of center and periphery, mainstream and alter- native, and aesthetics and politics.