Strategic translations : the zapatistas from silence to dignity

  • Bethany Anne Turner

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis demonstrates that the discursive strategies that characterise the political struggle of the Zapatista (EZLN) movement are produced in response to the political and economic realities of Mexico and the south-eastern state of Chiapas. The EZLN's intentionally ambiguous discourse of dignity epitomises these strategies. By deploying various incarnations of dignity to counter the Mexican Government's strategic political manoeuvres, the EZLN destabilises the political, economic and social hegemonies of the nation. This destabilisation creates a space for the EZLN to suggest the possibility of an alternative political logic to the Mexican populace. However, the marginalised social location and ethnic diversity of the movement's indigenous constituents impedes their ability to effect significant political change. This impediment is overcome when they coalesce around the politically advantageous subjectivity of indigenous Zapatistas and engage with the mestizo Subcomandante Marcos to produce the EZLN. The movement enacts a progressive coalitional politics that articulates radical political alternatives for Mexico through the strategic practice of translation. Thus, translation is posited as a powerful political practice for marginalised groups engaged in resistance struggles in the contemporary global conditions.
    Date of Award2004
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorAlaine CHANTER (Supervisor), Christina Slade (Supervisor) & Errol Martin (Supervisor)

    Cite this