Zapotecs create their own television signal and content in Santa María Yaviche, in the Sierra Norte of Oaxaca; while in the north-eastern Sierra of Puebla, in the Náhuatl community of Cuetzalan, they make possible a virtual, social and community mobile operator to bring telephony and internet to the communities. Further south, in San Cristóbal de las Casas, in Los Altos de Chiapas, a group of children from the northern neighbourhoods of the municipality are acting, directing and filming their own film projects. In this 14th anniversary special of Desinformémonos, we present these three stories under the title “We do what we dream”, a name that encompasses the spirit of these projects that are born and grow in the heart of community and neighbourhood organisation, without which they cannot be understood.
Autonomy is not a theory, but, as Raúl Zibechi would say, the path of the possible, and that is precisely the horizon that links the three stories we present. Against the current and in a specific geography, these stories are not measured by the number of members, that is, they are not small, medium or large, but islands of organisation that, whether they will or not, challenge a system that is designed for individualism, competition and consumption. We have to learn from indigenous communities, thinkers like the philosopher Luis Villoro would say.
“We do what we dream” in contexts of violence, threats, disappearances, territorial dispossession, plundering of natural resources and institutional obstacles. The challenge is not to survive, but to live, and in these three stories this is achieved by building from below. Nothing is idyllic, but in Santa María Yaviche, Cuetzalan and San Cristóbal de las Casas, they dare to dream, to do and, above all, to smile. A community television station, an internet network and a film school for children, are all part of the way forward.
Gloria Muñoz Ramírez
Director of Desinformémonos
Texts: Gloria Muñoz, Adazahíra Chávez and Mariana Morales
Video and photography: Gerardo Magallón, Marlene Martínez y Gabriela Sanabria
Editing and proofreading: Delia Fernanda Peralta
Illustration: Dante Aguilera
Yaviche, a Zapotec community that creates its own TV signal
Wiki Katat: the dream of community telecommunications germinating in the north-eastern highlands of Puebla
Cinetiqueta, an alternative for children in the face of the wave of violence in San Cristóbal de las Casas