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UIS political art series to show Zapatista

November 12, 2007

Contact: Richard Gilman-Opalsky, 217/206-8328, rgilm3@uis.edu

SPRINGFIELD -- The University of Illinois at Springfield series Political Art and the Public Sphere will conclude for the fall semester with a screening of the film Zapatista: A Big Noise Film at 6 p.m. Monday, November 26, in Brookens Auditorium, lower level of Brookens Library on the UIS campus. Both the film and the discussion session that follows are free and open to the public.

A few minutes after midnight on January 1, 1994, the day that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect, several thousand Mayan soldiers took over half the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, declaring a war against the global corporate power which they said rules Mexico. They called themselves the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN).

Zapatista is a look at the first four years of the uprising in Chiapas and tells the story of a peasant rebellion armed with sticks and words. It also tells the story of a transnational movement that has transformed Mexican and international political culture in critical ways.

Series facilitator Richard Gilman-Opalsky, assistant professor of political philosophy at UIS, notes, "The basic idea of PAPS is to consider how 'art' raises provocative social and political questions. Programs are selected in order to generate discussion about enduring questions in political philosophy.

"Public spheres are the places where people come together to communicate, to evaluate, and to circulate ideas and arguments," he added. "In the public sphere, people form a collective political opinion and will. Ultimately and ideally, the public sphere brings the interests and demands of the public to bear on those who hold power."

For more information about this program or the PAPS series, contact Gilman-Opalsky by phone at 206-8328 or by e-mail at rgilm3@uis.edu.



The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs: 21 bachelorís, 20 masterís, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.

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