Mexican Zapatistas donate artwork to Open Arms | New

The Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid is negotiating the purchase of works of art from the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) from Mexico.

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These are three canoes, an embroidery and a video that have been exhibited since last year at the Spanish museum, while waiting for the Ministry of Culture to authorize the terms of their purchase. The pieces are part of “Another World Is Possible,” a collection that includes stories of political dissidence produced by Zapatista insurgents.

The colorful canoes made of cedar and mahogany have images that represent the memory of the Mayan peoples and the daily life of the Indians of Mexico. They arrived in Spain in 2021 aboard La Montaña, a ship through which the EZLN embarked on an international tour.

The works of art are valued at around 25,000 euros and would be acquired by “Pallasos in Rebellion”, a Spanish foundation in solidarity with Mexican indigenous peoples.

If the artwork purchase goes through, the EZLN will donate the money to Open Arms, the NGO that rescues migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. “It is a gesture of solidarity, an international hug between defenders of human rights”, underlined the Zapatistas.

The tweet read: “We’re still alive!!! True love stories… EZLN donates proceeds from canoe sales to Open Arms Fund. Donation appreciated by Open Arms.”

News of the donation reached Open Arms activists on September 5 as they sailed on the Astral, their first rescue vessel.

“We want to express that your supportive embrace has reached us with the planetary winds, those that blow from the mountains of southeastern Mexico to the Mediterranean. It has renewed our enthusiasm and enlivened the sails of our ship, which are carried by so many such challenging missions.” Open Arms said.

“Your embrace moves and honors us all: the crew, the volunteers and the families who resist on the continent and wait for their daughters, partners, sisters or brothers to return safe and sound after each mission at sea.”

Christopher S. Washington