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School of Modern Languages and Cultures: Hispanic Studies

Staff in the Department of Hispanic Studies

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Publication details for Professor Andrea Noble

2010 (co-edited with Young, Richard & Holmes, Amanda) 'Zapatistas in Mexico City and the Performance of Ethnic Citizenship', in (ed.), Cultures of the City: Mediating Identities in Urban Latino/o America, University of Pittsburgh Press, pp. 183-198
  • Publication type: Chapter in book
  • ISSN/ISBN: 978-0-8229-6120-8

Author(s) from Durham


This chapter focuses on a selection of photographs of members of the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN) taken in Mexico City in March 1999, during the Zapatistas’ campaign to promote the “Consulta Nacional por los Derechos de los Pueblos Indios y por el Fin de la Guerra de Exterminio” (National Consultation for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the End of the War of Extermination). Scheduled to take place on 21 March, the Consulta, was a form of national referendum which asked Mexican citizens to cast their vote on four basic questions related to the rights and place of indigenous peoples in the space of the modern nation. The chapter traces the Zapatistas’ itinerary through the capital city, exploring the photographs’ strategic performative force in the wider context of the struggles for democracy and what Mexican anthropologist Guillermo de la Peña (1999) has termed “ethnic citizenship”. At the same time, brings into play the notion of the photograph as a metonymic object, to raise some broader theoretical issues regarding the relationship between photography, space and time.