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Dancing with the Zapatistas

Diana Taylor, Lorie Novak, Authors

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Brian Batchelor is a PhD Candidate in Theatre and Performance Studies at York University in Toronto. He holds a BA honors and an MA in Drama from the University of Alberta. His research is a performance studies informed ethnography of tourism and its manifestations in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Specifically, he investigates the practices, acts, processes, affective entanglements, and imaginative spaces—what he terms small performances—that illuminate how people address the culture and politics of tourism. He is further interested in the slippages between researcher and tourist, as well as the importance of critically reflexive autobiographical travelogues in collaborative research. His work has appeared in Anthropologica, Canadian Theatre Review, and Theatre Research in Canada.

Henry Castillo is a doctoral student in the Department of Performance Studies at New York University (NYU). He holds a BA in Applied Linguistics (honors) from the University of California Los Angeles and an MA in Performance Studies from NYU. His research interests include race and ethnicity; women, gender, and sexuality; memory and “intangible cultural heritage;” blackness and cross-cultural politics in Latin America; and Afro-Colombian “heritage” practices and performance. He is a fellow of the workgroup Women Mobilizing Memory, a project of the Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University. Outside academia, Henry is an actor and former member of the Colombian avant-garde theater group Teatro Experimental de Cali, led by the late Maestro Enrique Buenaventura.

Hortencia Colorado and Elvira Colorado are sisters and veteran actresses of network television, feature film, and the Broadway stage. They first joined together as a performance group in 1980, debuting at the first Women’s One World International Theatre Festival in New York City. By 1994, the sisters' collaborative performance group was formally known as Coatlicue Theatre Company. As playwrights, Hortencia and Elvira developed Coatlicue Theatre's unique brand of non-linear storytelling, through which they explored the complexities of their tri-cultural existence as American, Mexican, and dispossessed indigenous women––including the experiences and concerns of other indigenous peoples and their diasporas on both sides of the US/Mexico border. Coatlicue Theatre Company has had its works published in numerous journals and anthologies and has toured its productions nationally and internationally, performing at universities, conferences, cultural centers, and festivals. In 1993, Hortencia and Elvira organized and introduced New York City's first Day of the Dead community altar celebration, which they would hold for the next 18 years. In their cultural work, they have been employed as consultants by various organizations, including The Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, and have played a foundational role in the establishment of danza Mexicana culture in New York City. Following a 2013 retrospective exhibition at the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics, and after a history of work spanning over three decades, Hortencia and Elvira brought the work of Coatlicue Theatre Company to a close––retiring the group and transitioning it into the archive as they moved forward to develop projects in new and evolutionary directions.

María Luisa de la Garza is Professor and Researcher at the Centro de Estudios Superiores de México y Centroamérica, at Universidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas (Mexico). She holds a BA in Latin American Literature from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico and a PhD in Philosophy from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. She specializes in corridos and other transnational musical practices. De la Garza has authored books such as Ni aquí ni allá: El emigrante en los corridos y en otras canciones populares (awarded the Premio Iberoamericano de Ciencias Sociales “Cortes de Cádiz” in 2005) and Pero me gusta lo bueno: Una lectura ética de los corridos del narcotráfico y de los narcotraficantes (2008). She coordinates Red Napiniaca de Etnomusicología, a network for ethnomusicology, and acts as secretary for the Latin American branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM-AL) during the 2014-2016 biennium. As a professor, she teaches the philosophy of culture, discourse analysis, and music and society.

Ricardo Dominguez is co-founder of the Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT), a group that developed virtual sit-in technologies in solidarity with the Zapatista communities in Chiapas, Mexico. He is co-director of Thing, an Internet service provider for artists and activists. His most recent project for the Electronic Disturbance Theater, which he created with Brett Stabaum, Micha Cardenas and Amy Sara Carroll, is the Transborder Immigrant Tool, a GPS cellphone safety net tool for crossing the Mexico/US border. It was the winner of the 2008 Transnational Communities Award and of two Transborder Awards from the University of California San Diego Center for the Humanities. Ricardo is an Associate Professor at UCSD in the Visual Arts Department, a Hellman Fellow, and Principal/Principle Investigator at CALIT2. He is also co-founder of Particles of Interest with artists Diane Ludin, Nina Waisman, Amy Sara Carroll, an installation that was presented in Berlin (2007), the San Diego Museum of Art (2008), and Oi Futuro in Brazil (2008).

Jennifer Flores Sternad Ponce de León is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research and writing focus on 20th and 21st century Latino@ and Latin American literature, art, and culture; postcolonial and decolonial thought; and left social movements in the Americas. She is currently working on a book project entitled Art & Politics Across the Americas: Artists, the State and Popular Struggles in the New Millennium, which is a study of the relationship between aesthetics and radical politics in recent Latin@ and Latin American cultural production. Her previous publications include essays in Art and Activism in the Age of Globalization; Live Art in LA, 1970-1983; and MEX/LA: Mexican Modernisms in Los Angeles, as well as in the journals e-misférica; GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies; and Contemporary Theatre Review.

Guillermo Gómez-Peña is a performance artist/writer who resides in San Francisco, where he is artistic director of La Pocha Nostra. Born and raised in Mexico City, he came to the United States in 1978 to study post-studio art at California Institute of the Arts. His pioneering work in performance, video, installation, poetry, journalism, photography, cultural theory, and radical pedagogy explores cross-cultural issues, immigration, the politics of language and the body, “extreme culture,” and new technologies. He writes for newspapers and magazines in the United States and Mexico, including The Drama Review. He is also an active member of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. Continually developing multi-centric narratives and large-scale performance projects from a border perspective, Gómez-Peña creates what critics have termed “Chicano cyber-punk performances” and “ethno-techno art.” In his work, cultural borders move to the center, while the alleged mainstream is pushed to the margins and treated as exotic and unfamiliar, placing the audience members and readers in the position of “foreigners” or “minorities.” Gómez-Peña mixes experimental aesthetics and activist politics, Spanglish and Chicano humor, live art, and audience participation to create a “total experience” for the audience member/reader. His installations and video work have been presented at over 800 venues throughout the world.

Marta Molina is an independent journalist from Barcelona, Catalunya. She writes for various independent media outlets in different countries on cultural resistances in Brazil and nonviolent struggles in Palestine. She now lives in Mexico and follows the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD) against the war on drugs and movements in defense of the earth that fight for autonomy in southeastern Mexico and Guatemala. You can follow her on her blog, Reporting on Resistances, or on Twitter @martamoli_RR.

Lorie Novak is an artist, Professor of Photography & Imaging at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and Associate Faculty at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. She is also founder and director of the Future Imagemakers / Community Collaborations at Tisch, a participatory photography project where NYU students teach digital photography to New York City high school students. In her photographic works, installations, and Web projects, she uses various technologies of representation to explore issues of memory and transmission, identity and loss, presence and absence, shifting cultural meanings of photographs, and the relationship between the intimate and the public. Her (1996-present), which explores how family photographs shape our memory, was one of the earliest interactive storytelling sites. She has been in numerous exhibitions in the United States and internationally and is the recipient of grants and fellowships including residencies at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center (Italy); Bogliasco Foundation, (Italy); ArtSway (England); and Mac Dowell Colony (US). Her photographs are in numerous permanent collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. See and for more information.

Julio Pantoja is a documentary photographer, journalist, and university professor. He teaches image theory and photography in the Department of Communication Sciences at Universidad Nacional de Tucuman (UNT). He has published in the mainstream print media in Argentina and abroad for over 25 years and has reported from more than ten different countries. His work involves social issues generally related to human rights, gender, and the environment. Pantoja is founding Chairman of Infoto Escuela and directs the Argentina Biennale for Documentary Photography. He has been a speaker in both academic and cultural events in Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Brazil, Spain, France, Portugal, Canada, and the United States. He is a member of the editorial board of Atlântic, a journal of the Instituto de Cultura Ibero-Americana de Portimão, Portugal, and member of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. Pantoja’s photographic work has been exhibited in more than 15 different countries. His photographs are part of the collections of Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Argentina), Casa de las Américas (Cuba), the art collection of the World Bank, the J. Paul Getty Museum (USA), and other important art institutions.

Claudia Isabel Serrano Otero, who is of Colombian nationality, is a PhD student of Social Sciences and Humanities at the Centro de Estudios Superiores de México y Centroamérica of Universidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas. She earned her MA degree in Social Sciences and Humanities with the thesis "Un, dos, tres, grabando. La producción discográfica en San Cristóbal de Las Casas" and finished her BA in Sociology with the thesis "Imaginando con musiquita un país. Imaginarios sociales de la vida campesina andina colombiana presentes en la narrativa de la música carranguera." She has taught in various undergraduate programs at Universidad Nacional Abierta y a Distancia, Bogotá campus. She has participated in several radio shows and has created spaces for dialogues about music as the living memory of the people. She is also part of Red Napiniaca de Etnomusicología and is in the Latin American branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM-AL).

Jacques Servin (aka Andy Bichlbaum) is an internationally-known media artist, co-founder and co-director of The Yes Men and the Yes Lab, a culture jamming activist group. Their exploits in "identity correction" are documented in the films The Yes Men (2003) and The Yes Men Fix the World (2009). As Ray Thomas, he is a co-founder of RTMark. A former Maxis employee, Servin was fired after secretly adding code into the game SimCopter that would cause sprites of males in swimming trunks kissing each other to appear on certain dates. This was not discovered until after the game had been published. The resulting media storm, which Servin says he didn't expect, inspired him to start RTMark, a bulletin board for similar actions whose goal was to get attention for under-reported issues. Jacques is also a Visiting Professor at NYU’s Department of Performance Studies. He is the author of six books, including two award-winning collections of short stories, and many articles. His software art pieces have been featured in exhibitions throughout the world.
Alexei Taylor is an interactive designer of screen-based publishing and authoring systems. Working with scholars, academics, artists, and activists to create born-digital, multimedia “books” using various publishing platforms, he bridges the divide between scholarly practice and web technologies, offering conceptual advice, design/user experience counseling, and development workshops. As the co-founder of TypeFold, a company that develops digital publications and software, Taylor’s focus is on a variety of authoring systems for classrooms, e-books, interactive journals, and virtual museums that utilize maps, augmented reality, streaming data, and community. He has taught graduate and undergraduate classes in design and technology and uses this experience to challenge the role of interactivity, collaboration, and media in pedagogy. Taylor holds an MPS from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, where he focused on digital storytelling and graphic novels.

Diana Taylor is University Professor and Professor of Performance Studies and Spanish at NYU. She is the author of the award-winning Theatre of Crisis: Drama and Politics in Latin America (1991), Disappearing Acts: Spectacles of Gender and Nationalism in Argentina's 'Dirty War' (1997), and The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas (2003), which won the Outstanding Book Award from the Association of Theatre in Higher Education and the Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize for Best Book in Latin American and Hispanic Studies from the Modern Language Association. She has recently published several books in Spanish: PERFORMANCE, Buenos Aires: Asuntos Impresos (2012); Acciones de memoria: Performance, historia, y trauma, Peru: Fondo Editorial de la Asamblea Nacional de Rectores (2012); Estudios avanzados de performance, Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica (co-edited with Marcela Fuentes, 2011). The Archive and the Repertoire appeared in Portuguese from the UFMG Press (2013) and in Spanish from Editorial Universidad Alberto Hurtado (2015). She has edited over a dozen books, has lectured extensively around the world, and is the recipient of many awards and fellowships, including the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005 and the ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship from 2013-14. She is founding director of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics.

Luis Vargas-Santiago is a PhD candidate in Art History at the University of Texas at Austin. From 2008 to 2010 he was curator at the Museo Nacional de Arte (MUNAL, Mexico). In previous years he served as researcher for the Photographic Collection of Fundación Televisa (Mexico). His curatorial projects included Materia y sentido: el arte mexicano en la mirada de Octavio Paz (MUNAL, 2009) and Imágenes del mexicano (Centre for Fine Arts-BOZAR, Belgium, 2010), among others. He has published extensively on Zapatista murals and Mexican art in Latin America, the United States, and Europe. His current research analyzes the migration and reproduction of the image of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata within Mexican and American contexts.

Moysés Zuñiga is a native of San Cristóbal de Las Casas. He began his study of science and technology at the University of Xalapa in Veracruz in 1998, where he worked in television, photography, and radio. In 2003, he began work at Diario AZ in Xalapa as a photojournalist and was subsequently hired by Milenio de Veracruz as the photography editor. Beginning in January 2006, he served as the correspondent for Mexican photography agency Cuartoscuro during Subcomandante Marcos’ "Other Campaign" and traveled the entirety of Mexico with Marcos; during this time, Zúñiga also worked with the Associated Press (AP), Agenica EFE, and Agence France Presse (AFP). Since 2007, Zúñiga has worked with La Jornada in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, covering the Chiapas region for the Associated Press and EFE. In 2009, he received a Rory Peck Training Fund grant for freelance journalists in high-risk areas from the Rory Peck Trust.

Video Editor: Victor Bautista

Lead Developer and Designer: Alexei Taylor

Editorial Assistants: Harry Buckoke, Olivia Gagnon, Grace McLaughlin, Denise Rogers Valenzuela

Media, Development, and Design Assistants: Francisco Millán, Geovanny Rapooso

Translators: Julie Ann Ward, Margaret Carson, Nikolai Kozak Olego, Oscar Lozano Pérez

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