SENDAS – the Convergence of Heart, Art, and the Resistances

Sendas, is a unique cultural space that we at Schools for Chiapas and ImagenArte have imagined into existence as a space of encounter, a space where resistances cross- pollinate and come together in order to strengthen one another in our journeys.

May 5th, 2023 

SENDAS – there is a vibrant hum of color and sound, voices in the collective store, the activity of preparations in the café kitchen. A crowd gathered on the rooftop listens to the animated Carlos Beas present his book, The Relevance of the Thinking of Ricardo Flores Magón, as the glow of the evening light falls on the Cerro de San Cristóbal and Huitepec. 

Following the presentation of the book, the editorial collective of Legerin magazine present themselves as a political journalistic project aligned with the democratic confederalism of the Kurdish Workers Party leader Abdullah Öcalan. The conversation blossoms into an open sharing of worries and obstacles, pitfalls and achievements in the movement — a display of vulnerability and experience, of curiosity and hope.

The attendees come from the Global South and North alike, they are engaged in alternative media, women’s collectives, social change. Many have come for the International Encounter El Sur Resiste and/or just arrived with the Caravan that spent the last 10 days traversing communities impacted by the devastation of the Mayan Train/Transisthmian Corridor Megaproject Complex. Moved by testimonies of these communities, and their first-hand experience of the devastation in the paths of these extractive projects, they are hungry to learn together and share about the struggles facing so many of us across the planet. Hungry for the wisdom of veterans of the movement and the synergistic flow of ideas with their fellow travelers. This is the point of SENDAS, to create that space and to make those connections. 

Downstairs in the courtyard, a crew of young indigenous hip-hop artists from Semillero 259 light up the crowd with break dancing and rapping about social transformation. Their mission is to create space for young people in marginalized neighborhoods to find positive and healthy expressions in art and agroecology. 

As the dusk fades, we gather in the courtyard for the unveiling of the mural of Dyg’Nojoch in the entranceway. It is a many-layered collage, just like the overlapping and intermingling of people and struggles —a Tsotsil woman and her children, a man in his milpa… Following its presentation by the artist the night gives way to more music and dancing…

A unique cultural center for the building of autonomies and resistances, Sendas hosts:

Weekly Wednesday Social Justice Cinema

Bi-weekly chats/conversations on the movement in Chiapas.

Photography and literature expositions and presentations

Organizing meetings and encounters

Goods from exclusively Zapatista collectives in resistance

If you are in San Cristóbal de las Casas, we urge you to visit us in Sendas!!!

#50 Adelina Flores, Colonia Guadalupe in the Center.

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