Esteva, Gustavo

Gustavo Esteva
1 September 2002Feature

For some, Zapatista "leader" Marcos already has the same iconic status as Che. But in a few years time will commercial companies also be selling Marcos T-shirts, using and reducing him to yet another commodity: making the transition from cultured revolutionary to object in mainstream popular culture? And is he, and indeed Zapatismo, inspiring a culture of resistance, or cultural resistance? We asked Gustavo Esteva what he thinks.

Some people still reduce Zapatismo to Marcos. Pure racism. An educated white man was surely manipulating those poor, illiterate Mayas. They cannot say what he is saying and even less conceive such a movement... Unabated racism.

But what about the crowds? A year ago, subcomandante Marcos and 25 Zapatista commanders travelled to Mexico City. For the first time, millions were able to see and hear them. Time and again the crowds did not allow the other Zapatistas to speak. Marcos! Marcos…

1 June 2001Feature

It has been said that the Zapatistas had a revolution within a revolution in terms of the role of women and unique gender dynamics. Three activists from Mexico explain why they believe, as a movement, Zapatismo has more than just symbolic feminine qualities.

In this article we present the conjecture that Zapatismo is a feminine movement. It is not feminist: it was not organised mainly, exclusively or expressly for the defence of women's rights, nor was it based on the conventional claims of many feminist traditions. In describing it as feminine we want to suggest not only that women had and have a decisive role in its conception and realisation, but also that they gave it colour and meaning. The orientation and practices of Zapatismo openly…

1 March 2001Feature

In this comment on grassroots responses to the election of Fox, Gustavo Esteva argues that the people will not be easily appeased.

“On the night of 2 July [2000] Mexico finally became a democracy.” This statement, in Time, expressed the view of the media pundits celebrating the outcome of the elections in Mexico as another step forward in the implementation of the neoliberal agenda.

At the grassroots, the people were also celebrating, but for very different reasons. They had no illusions about the implications of the elections. “For us,” said an indigenous leader on 3 July, “the system is like a snake;…