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  prantik / © Prantik Mazumder      Project : A place called Chiapas
It's no secret to anyone that I have a thing for Mexico, and particualrly Chiapas. I made three trips to Mexico over the past one and half years, and visited Chiapas twice which were the highlights of my trips. As Lonely Planet describes, Chiapas is Mexcio's most enigmatic state with wildly ethereal landscape, mysterious indigeneous cultures and customs, colonial and rebellious charm of San Cristobal de las Casas, majestic Mayan ruins of Palenque, and the political presence of the Zapatistas. Rural people of Chiapas, especially the indigeneous people, are among the poorest in Mexico. About one third of the population are direct descendants of the Mayans, and in rural areas many do not even speak Spanish. On January 1, 1994, the day of NAFTA's initiation, an armed revolutionary group, the Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional (EZLN), or popularly known as the Zapatistas, occupied San Cristobal and three other cities in Chiapas and started the anti-neolibralism "Zapatista uprising". The intent was not to overthrow any government, local or federal, but to focus the world attention to the plight of the poor indigeneous people of Chiapas and to protest the signing of NAFTA. The Mexican army evicted the rebels quickly from San Cristobal, and soon after EZLN declared unilateral cease fire. Since then, except for a few low level conficlts, the Zapatista movement kept a low profile and have been working on the grass root level to improve the standard of living of the indigeneous people of Chiapas.

Now, twelve years later, the omnipresence of Zapatistas is clearly palpable in the cobbled streets of San Cristobal. The city walls are full of revolutionary graffitis, the bars and cafes are adorned with Che Guevera, Emiliano Zapata posters, night life is dominated by rebellious reggae music. Since the uprising, the town has adopted a youthful zeal and has been attracting socially conscious people, especially students, volunteers, intellectuals and artists from various parts of Mexico and rest of the world. The city has become a gathering place for Zapatista sympathizers and a base for humanitarian organizations or groups or even individuals working on indigeneous issues.

I spent most of my time in the beautiful city of San Cristobal. Aside from soaking up all the youthful energy, I greatly cherished the sheer beauty of this charming highland town. I went to the Mercado Municipal (local bazaar) every morning for breakfast. It is an onslaught on all the senses, and I felt like I was in one of the bazaars in Calcutta. I made short trips to nearby villages inhabitated by the indigeneous Tzotziles and Tzeltales people of Mayan descent and could not help but develop a deep respect and admiration for the organic and community based cultures and sensibilities of these communities.
(Reference: Lonely Planet's Mexico, Wikipedia) 
9 photos 0 draft - completed on 11/01/2011 -



I dream of Chiapas
© Prantik Mazumder  prantik
31/10/2008    4 comm. photo
Reloaded
I dream of Chiapas
© Prantik Mazumder  prantik
31/10/2008   4 comm. photo
A place called Chiapas
© Prantik Mazumder  prantik
09/11/2008    5 comm. photo
Reloaded
A place called Chiapas
© Prantik Mazumder  prantik
09/11/2008   5 comm. photo
Half lit stage
© Prantik Mazumder  prantik
11/01/2009    5 comm. photo
Reloaded
Half lit stage
© Prantik Mazumder  prantik
11/01/2009   5 comm. photo
into the void
© Prantik Mazumder  prantik
11/01/2009    0 comm. photo
Reloaded
into the void
© Prantik Mazumder  prantik
11/01/2009   0 comm. photo
Paz's Mexican, 1
© Prantik Mazumder  prantik
11/01/2009    1 comm. photo
Reloaded
Paz's Mexican, 1
© Prantik Mazumder  prantik
11/01/2009   1 comm. photo
Paz's Mexican , 2
© Prantik Mazumder  prantik
11/01/2009    2 comm. photo
Reloaded
Paz's Mexican , 2
© Prantik Mazumder  prantik
11/01/2009   2 comm. photo
Paz's Mexican, 3
© Prantik Mazumder  prantik
11/01/2009    2 comm. photo
Reloaded
Paz's Mexican, 3
© Prantik Mazumder  prantik
11/01/2009   2 comm. photo
The Mask
© Prantik Mazumder  prantik
11/01/2009    1 comm. photo
Reloaded
The Mask
© Prantik Mazumder  prantik
11/01/2009   1 comm. photo
Bus stop
© Prantik Mazumder  prantik
14/11/2009    15 comm. photo
Reloaded
Bus stop
© Prantik Mazumder  prantik
14/11/2009   15 comm. photo

 
 

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