Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Pop politics, or if Virginia Woolf were a blogger

Some of my DPhil research looks at contemporary subaltern social movements, and one of the movements I'm particularly interested in are the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico. This is such a heavily documented movement that there is no dearth of information on the web - 3 good portals I've found are Chiapas 95, Zapatistas in Cyberspace, and a page maintained by the Struggle collective.

Of late, the Zapatistas have been relatively quiet - although Marcos has been doing various quirky things such as co-writing crime novels and soliciting football matches with Inter Milan. Some people I've talked to have dismissed all of this as the desperate publicity gimmicks of a dying movement, but I suspect if Gramsci were alive he would consider these tactics part of a highly astute war of position. Sometimes, I think, if Gramsci were alive in Britain at this time, he'd recommend infiltrating the Big Brother house and talking about things that were politically important. This may be easier said than done: there's something about the format of the programme that makes me want to watch Anthony more than listen to anything anyone is saying (btw Craig is so intensely whiny, you just want to tape his mouth shut). I'm not sure if Germaine Greer had such Gramscian ideas when she entered Celebrity Big Brother, but she seems to have gotten fed up pretty soon. Sorry this is so random. My thesis is going to end up looking like 'To the Lighthouse' at this rate. It has already been called 'unruly'.

Back to the Zapatistas. After a long silence, from the depths of the Selva Lacandona comes their Sixth Declaration, providing a succinct account of where they have come from and where they are going.

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