Nos Vemos en 2010, date unknown.
24 1/2 x 17 1/2 inches.
Cultural ephemera preserved at Interference Archive, Brooklyn, NY.
Revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata is portrayed as an archetypal superman in a cape, tights and heroic pose. Within the Zapatista movement, the EZLN gives Zapata a symbolic position as a mythic hero, his likeness appropriated to embody socialist goals. The red communist star at the center of his chest and surrounding him represent the stamp of Communism. While Zapata has the likeness of an American pop culture icon, he also looks like a luchador, a professional Mexican wrestler, making him appeal to both local and global popular audiences.
Strangely, though, Zapata is not wearing a mask; both luchadores and superheroes are characterized by masks used to both conceal and create their identities. Moreover, the Zapatistas use an iconic black mask to identify them as part of the movement, simultaneously granting them anonymity and unity. Perhaps Zapata is maskless because he is the mask of the movement. Although unable to accomplish his goals of land reform, Zapata has become a glorified martyr of this renewed peasant movement which started with the Mexican War of independence in 1810, the Mexican Revolution in 1910, and has now carried on into the 21st century. The poster alludes to an upcoming battle in 2010 suggesting that Zapata’s fight is not over. The exploitation and killing of indigenous peoples is still an ongoing problem, and even in contemporary times, the Zapatistas will not give up the fight.
-Natasha Siyumbwa ‘17
Levi, Heather. The World of Lucha Libre: Secrets, Revelations, and Mexican National Identity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008.