Artists: Eugenio Cornejo and Marisa Cornejo
Place: Political, artistic, sporting, and cultural International Congress of Women who Fight, Caracol Morelia, Chiapas, Mexico
Date: 9 March 2018
The 9th of March 2018 in the context of the “Political, artistic, sporting, and cultural International Congress of Women who Fight”, called by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in Mexico, (EZLN) I proposed to the organizers of this event: to do an art demonstration and art selling of an engraving my father Eugenio Cornejo (1940, Santiago de Chile-2002, Puebla, Mexico) did as a refugee in socialist Bulgaria in 1977. The authorities of the autonomous organization granted me permission in 15 minutes and offered me a piece of cardboard and a public space to sell my engravings. I became part of the art market for the first time in my life in an autonomous community.
Drawing My Dreams, from State Terrorism in Chile to Exercising the Revolutionary Law of Women: A Talk with Images
An agreement with Mother Earth
« A dream that I managed to put into practice recently, but it took me 16 years, was the first one I had with my father after he died. In that dream I was having problems with my papers (I was a migrant). I was alive but in a rush, and suddenly he was crossing me in the opposite direction, looking beautiful, relaxed and wearing some beautiful embroidered white cotton indigenous clothes while riding easily a bicycle towards Chiapas, Mexico, where he was going to join his last girlfriend Celia.
So when the first historical encounter of “Political, artistic, sporting and cultural International Congress of Women who Fight” was called by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in Chiapas, Mexico, (EZLN) in march 2018, where around 9000 women from all over the world engaged in the defence of women’s rights and the protection of mother earth, I trusted the dream and went . In that context I felt more loved and safe than in 12 years living “safely” in the settlements of the Geneva Headquarters of the International Organizations. Reasons I will developed further on.
Once there, trying to choose from the hundreds of seminars proposed, I went to a workshop on feminist internet bringing awareness on how internet has become a shopping mall, how we are giving to multinationals leaded by white privileged men, our information and how these companies extract wealth from our information. They exposed how instagram and Facebook do censorship and take political decisions, as well as promote individualistic narratives to exacerbate the celebrity culture and competition as the only way to have a life.
I also heard the Compañeras from Landless Movement in Brazil, breaking the silence of the situation of women in the agroindustry of the northeast of Brazil. Where most of the pineapples and tropical fruits exported in to the US and European markets, are leaving their drinking water full of chemicals, due to monoculture and the excessive use of pesticides. They explained how the women of this communities are facing premature illnesses on their own, the lack of health facilities and the poisoning of the land. If there is something to say about terror today we should listen to them.
I also listened to the collective Subversiones, an autonomous publishing house presenting the book “Nosotras”, a jewel at really affordable prices, where the testimonies of other women, their struggles and victories to recover their bodies, territories, memories and dignity gave us useful tools. https://subversiones.org
While in the encounter, I proposed the 9th of March 2018 to the organizers of this event: the women from the EZLN to do an art demonstration and selling of the engraving I called The Ancestor my father Eugenio did in Bulgaria in 1977. The authorities of the autonomous organization granted me permission and offered me a piece of cardboard and a public space to reprint and sell my engravings. I became part of the art market in 15 minutes in an autonomous community. I have been trying to find a commercial gallery for my work for 12 years in the modernity of Geneva and haven’t got there yet. I got told “your art is not contemporary” by a publicly funded art institution when I show them the drawing of the dream of my father in the bicycle, as if I was coming from another time. But in this encounter effortlessly I found my place and joined the grand majority of women of this planet, whose only heritage is the memory of the violence neocolonialism is using to dispossess them from earthly wealth and human rights leaving them only with the testimonies of how their grandfathers, men, fathers, son’s received the brutality of patriarchal capitalism in its hopefully last stages.
So yes, I am coming from another time, the time of the zone of non being. Where the lack of basic human rights leaves us exposed to a slow progress, full of obstacles called: injustice. But also full of sisters traveling towards transmodernity. The pluri-modernities in which we are all contemporary because we are. There I found the first enthusiastic collectors of the engravings of my father and had enough money to buy the art of the other local artists.
And where are we? In the dream, the daydream or the nightmare? when we come to Europe we are not contemporary enough because in the nightmare there is always a wall, a labyrinth for those who come from the dream of another world where there is an us. And the daydream I leave it to those who live in the nightmare and don’t even see the wall or the labyrinth. The Zapatista women and this encounter gave me all the hope I needed: I was in the dream and I wasn’t sleeping. They give us a place to sleep, organic food produced in their communities and a pedagogy that the whole planet needs urgently. Something I had never seen happening in Geneva. They gave us all of that but with one condition: to do an agreement with them to stay alive and fight without fear for our right to live. » From the paper « Drawing My Dreams, from State Terrorism in Chile to Exercising the Revolutionary Law of Women: A Talk with Images » presented in Trise Conference, Athens 2018