Rebel Dignity

Manuel Callahan


In this essay I expand on John Holloway’s assertion that the Zapatistas have made dignity a critical and essential moment of struggle. However, I also propose that in the Zapatistas’ hands we witness its transformation from a term of solidarity into a strategic concept. As a theoretical tool it must be reclaimed by excavating it from specific struggles, acknowledging its several components, and engaging its practical application as a map for struggle. By highlighting the theoretical coordinates that the Zapatistas have made evident in their political praxis, I endeavor to advance dignity as a convivial tool that promotes autonomy. Indeed, my efforts with dignity parallel the task Ana Dinerstein suggests for autonomy: “the art of organizing hope.”

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