Beatriz Aurora calls her drawings “painted stories”, and her subjects definitely have a lot to tell.
The Chilean artist had to exile to Spain during the 70s. She knew she couldn’t go back to Chile, but there were other places in Latin America that could use her art, so from Spain she travelled to Nicaragua, then to El Salvador and finally settled in Mexico.
In the 90s, and when some stated we had reached the ‘end of history’ and the ‘end of ideologies’, others decided that a different kind of society was possible. From 1994 the Zapatistas had been building a self-sufficient community based on equality, respect for nature and love. Beatriz quickly joined them, and soon she became the brush and color of the EZLN*.
Her stories tell about the men and women of Chiapas (the birth place of the movement), mostly of mayan descent. They are simple, cheerful and positive, like the Zapatistas like to describe themselves, and usually include messages written in a beautiful semi-childish calligraphy: ‘We can produce without destroying the world’, or ‘Come dance with us’.
When asked if she is calls herself a revolutionary, Beatriz answers: “Anyone who loves nature has to be a revolutionary, has to be against multinationals that destroy our world“. Beatriz Aurora gave the Zapatistas a colorful voice, one that is only theirs. A beautiful reminder that freedom, independence and dignity are still something worth fighting for.
* Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional, or Zapatista Army of National Liberation