Christine Eber and Bill Jungels will share some of their insights about responses to top-down economic development from their work in the highlands of Chiapas, with a focus on the township of San Pedro Chenalhó. Christine will focus on Maya weaving cooperatives as a means women have been using to gain greater economic autonomy and lift up their families and communities. Bill will focus on the struggle against government plans to build a “Sustainable Rural City” in Chenalhó as an example of successful resistance following the Zapatista uprising.
Christine is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at New Mexico State University and author of the recently released novel, When a Woman Rises, based on her ethnographic research in Chenalhó. She is co-founder of Weaving for Justice, a volunteer network of accompaniment for women’s weaving co-ops in Chiapas which sells their work in the US through fair trade markets. www.weaving-for-justice.org
Bill Jungels is a documentary filmmaker focussing on Mexican social justice struggles seen from the base. He is Professor Emeritus at SUNY Fredonia. His latest documentary (co-produced with Christine Eber) is Maya Faces in a Smoking Mirror, about forms of Maya identity and resistance among young Maya women and men living in Chiapas. The film can be seen in Denver at the Xicanidie film festival. www.mayafaces.com