Zapantera Negra: An Artistic Encounter Between Black Panthers and Zapatistas
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About the Author
Emory Douglas is former Revolutionary Artist and Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party, from February 1967 until its discontinuation in the early 1980s. Douglas' art and design concepts were always seen on the front and back pages of The Black Panther newspaper, reflecting the politics of the Black Panther Party and the concerns of the community. Joining forces with Black Panther cofounders Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton, Douglas was foundational in shaping the Party's visual and cultural power and sustaining one of its most ambitious and successful endeavors.
Marc James Léger is an independent scholar based in Montreal. His essays in art criticism and cultural theory have appeared in Afterimage, Art Journal, C Magazine, Etc, FUSE, Inter, Parachute, Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, Journal of Canadian Studies, Canadian Journal of Film Studies, RACAR, Third Text, and Creative Industries Journal. Léger has exhibited artwork in Canada, the US, and the UK.
David Tomas is an artist, anthropologist, and writer. His production in the visual arts has its roots in a post-1970s critique of conceptual art's disciplinary infrastructure. He is the author of several books, including Escape Velocity: Alternative Instruction Prototype for Playing the Knowledge Game (2012) and Vertov, Snow, Farocki: Machine Vision and the Posthuman(2013). Tomas is Professor in Visual Arts at the Université du Québec à Montréal.
Alex Khasnabish, author of Zapatistas: Rebellion from the Grassroots to the Global and Zapatismo Beyond Borders: New Imaginations of Political Possibility"
Zapantera Negra is a book of encounters--between Zapatismo and the Black Panther Party, art and politics, revolution and everyday life, and the histories and horizons of radical social justice struggles. Leger and Tomas deftly curate this engaging and important work, exploring urgent and enduring questions relating to radical politics, the fabric of daily life, and art as a medium for social justice and social change. Orbiting around a series of provocative and lively dialogues, this book embodies the spirit and politics of encuentro.
--Alex Khasnabish, author of Zapatistas: Rebellion from the Grassroots to the Global and Zapatismo Beyond Borders: New Imaginations of Political Possibility
Zapantera Negra is an incredible endeavor, the depth of which is not often found in social practice: a direct and embodied connection between a key actor in a major social movement in U.S. history (The Black Panthers) and the people of Chiapas, carrying the legacy and expressions of an equally revolutionary process in Mexico (The Zapatistas), some thirty years apart. The subtlety and complexity of this project, and its implications for a globally engaged arts-based activism is truly impressive.
--Suzanne Lacy, artist and author of Leaving Art and Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art
In a place where the United Nations used to be, somewhere in the Mexican southeast, Zapantera Negra kindles the Black Panther spirit from a caracol in a river that runs through history--a river that runs below ground for years, for entire centuries, and then rages to the surface or trickles up through the earth's rhizomes and roots. This art is urgent and inventive, an art of uniting peoples, an art of struggle born out of a moment in time, years, even centuries in the making. Que viva la Zapantera Negra!
--Jeff Conant, author of A Poetics of Resistance: The Revolutionary Public Relations of the Zapatista Insurgency