An Evening with Barucha Calamity Peller

June 17, 2009 - 7:00 PM to 7:00 PM

In conjunction with our current exhibit — THE POWER OF REVOLT, Grassroots Rebellion in Oaxaca, Mexico — ArtRage presents an evening with Barucha Calamity Peller who is flying in from San Francisco to join us in a photo screening and discussion titled Feminism and Women’s Participation in The Oaxaca Uprising.

In 2006, a widely defended popular uprising swept the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, one of the poorest regions in the country. Often compared in scale and importance to the historic Paris Commune, the Oaxaca uprising lasted for nearly 6 months in which thousands of barricades were constructed in the capital, dozens of media outlets were occupied, and the people of Oaxaca replaced the local government with the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO). Brutal repression of the uprising resulted in dozens of deaths, disappearances, and rapes by the hands of paramilitary and federal police.

One of the most striking elements of the uprising was the participation of women, many of whom identify themselves as “housewives,” whose relentless direct action defined and maintained the uprising. Women constructed and maintained most of the barricades, and led large scale lasting occupations of television and radio stations. Their historic actions were not only the backbone of the uprising, but their voices and participation challenged hierarchy from the state to the household, deeply shaking the foundations of tradition gender oppression.

Peller’s presentation will discuss in detail women’s role in the uprising, as well as an analysis of the problems women faced in terms of gender based repression from the state to the movement itself. She will discuss how women in the Oaxaca uprising articulated a need for a new kind of approach to feminism and gender as necessary for the survival of any future resistance movements. The presentation will include a short video and a slideshow from the uprising.

Barucha Calamity Peller is a writer and photographer based in San Francisco. For years she has worked within and reported on Mexican social movements. Her photographs and analysis have been widely distributed through alternative media outlets such as CounterPunch and the Independent Media Center. Peller reported from Lebanon during the 2006 Israeli-Lebanon war just before entering Oaxaca. She is known for getting herself into very dangerous situations and then escaping with photographs that depict both old women and young anarcho-punks fighting for peace and justice in the streets. Peller asserts that 2006 uprising in Oaxaca could not have been reported from the safety of a hotel room, but only from the barricades themselves.

[Read her articles on]

This event is free but please, donate what you can.