November 25, 2009

Oaxaca, 2007

Oaxaca in 2007 was a pretty complicated experience. That's an understatement. I was little more than a bystander who was passing through, really. I was on the sidelines, and able to leave whenever I wanted. That's called "positionality" or something fancy like that. That means that I had the resources and power to cross borders at will, unlike many people in Oaxaca. I had no idea what to think of everything that was happening that summer--from the repressive acts of URO to the posters of Stalin that APPO put up in the zocalo. Stalin! Meanwhile, as URO tried to stifle dissent, and APPO claimed to be speaking for "the people," many surrounding communities suffered the dreaded fate of being caught somewhere in between. The tourism market went into a free-fall, and the craft producing communities that depended on tourists were seriously strained. The graffiti, murals, and stencils that were plastered all over the walls of Oaxaca city told plenty of stories, but they didn't encompass the entire ordeal by any means.

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