Stories

Michael DeLong

United States

  • City, State: San Francisco, CA
  • Geographic Location: North America
  • Age: 40


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Friday, July 11, 2008 5:03 PM

In 1923, the American Journalist Albert Rhys Williams noted a ubiquitous feature of the Russian urban landscape: the poster. "The visitor to Russia," he wrote, "is struck by the multitudes of posters--in factories and barracks, on walls and rail-way cars, on telegraph poles--everywhere."

Indeed, there were over 3.2 million posters distributed in 1920 alone by Gosizdat, the state publishing house and 7.5 million during the following three years. A Russian woman living in the 1920s and 1930s would have met images of herself--or how she was supposed to be--on almost every street corner. What purpose did this mass propaganda serve? What do these posters tell us about the changing role of the Soviet woman?

Comandanta Esther gained notoriety when she addressed the Mexican Congress on behalf of her fellow Zapatistas on March 28, 2001...

Friday, July 11, 2008 5:32 PM

Women hold a record number of powerful positions in Mexico's Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). One such high-ranking woman is Comandanta Esther, seen to the left in a mural painting. Like all those involved in the Zapatista struggle, she obscures her face with a mask.

The Zapatistas take their name from Emiliano Zapata, a leader of Mexico's 1910 revolution. Based in the southern, farming state of Chiapas, their cause is to control the land on which they live, and preserve their traditional, indigenous way of life.

On March 8, 2001, on International Women's Day, Comandanta Esther issued an invitation to women across Mexico to join in the struggle. The voices and experiences of Zapatista women are heard through the words of Comandanta Esther.


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