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Accepted Paper:

From the ballot to the barrio: finding hope in community in Oaxaca, Mexico  
Ivan Arenas (Seattle University)

Paper long abstract:

In 2006, the response to government repression of a teacher's strike was a popular revolt that took over Oaxaca, Mexico, for six months. Though the popular movement no longer controls the city, through the emerging spatial practices and competing aesthetics of the city visible in marches, assemblies, and graffiti, protest groups reconfigured the politics of Oaxaca's public spaces and produced embodied models of social transformation. In doing so, activists, artists, and ordinary Oaxacans often referenced the Mexican Revolution's figures and promises as a critique of the failed reforms and promises of representative democracy. This paper examines how, rather than look to the ballot box, Oaxacans often voice an explicit desire to sever all government connections from their lives. In turn, I examine how Oaxacans are finding hope in the future through practices and discourses that hinge on their active participation and a turn to community as an organizing principle.

Panel W025
Rethinking shattered fields: power and belonging in sites of crisis
  Session 1