Chikle Bomba Collective

Chikle Bomba Collective


Embrace the Night:  On The Power of Masking Militancy

It will soon be 30 years since the armed uprising of the EZLN January 1, 1994.  The Zapatistas brought together an anti-identitarian call against neoliberal capitalism, creative use of new Internet technology, and a reverence for the mask.  Emblematic of the figure Subcommandante Marcos, the mask cautioned us against the perils of fame and the politics of difference as house of mirrors.  In this session we present a living document, a draft letter from our collective to the Zapatistas to be delivered in January 2024, where we explore what it might mean to reclaim the importance of the ‘mask’ as something that hides militants from authority today.  In the process we reflect on our experiences in Zapatista activism from 2006 to 2021.  In 2021 a delegation of Zapatistas from Chiapas came to Europe, casting into relief old and new problems of political solidarity, including the seductions of recognition and protagonismo, which we will unpack in general and in relation to this case.  Recognizing our failures and challenges through the exercise of approaching the Zapatistas dialogically forces us to confront ourselves intimately.  We also aim to learn from inhabiting the genre of the Zapatista communique, appreciating its highly coded and layered construction.  In the process we also explore the cosmological project of the Zapatistas, who share a Mayan cosmovision where spirituality is intermingled with political community organization based on rituals and local myths. 


We are a swirling agglomerate differentiated by colour and flavour that when chewed creates an explosion.  We are an international federation from hell.  We speak many languages.  In Berlin we will be represented by Nancy Hue AKA la Subcommandanta Rosa, Demian (better than Hesse’s) and June Thunderstorm. 

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