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Culhuacan, the other Crib of Zapatism Houses Exhibition
The relevance of the exhibition that remains open until December 4th 2010 in Ex Convento de Culhuacan Museum lays in the fact that Culhuacan is the region where Zapatistas began the scheme of land redistribution in Federal District. Photo: INAH.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- An Emiliano Zapata that loved the land and fought for it is the image presented at the exhibition Tierra y libertad: ecos del zapatismo en Culhuacan (Land and Freedom: Echoes of Zapatism in Culhuacan), integrated with different period objects of inhabitants of this region of Mexico City.

The relevance of the exhibition that remains open until December 4th 2010 in Ex Convento de Culhuacan Museum lays in the fact that Culhuacan is the region where Zapatistas began the scheme of land redistribution in Federal District.

“Zapata began redistributing land before Madero summoned the first Revolutionary movement, so in May 1910 he does it with the aim of corresponding to the people”, commented Ana Bedolla, one of the researchers and museographers of the cultural precinct.

The exhibition organized by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) is based on a study of historical sources that lead to a Culhuacan draft from 1923 related to haciendas (states) of the area, as well as texts from 1919 found at the National General Archive (AGN) regarding the redistribution at the place, as a result of Zapata’s struggle and to avoid an uprising in Iztapalapa.

Researcher Patricia Pavon, also museographer at the precinct, narrated how in 1920 Zapatistas expropriated the Hacienda de San Antonio Coapa, in Culhuacan to redistribute the land. The owner, Maria Escandon found out of the expropriation and decided to sell but it was useless.

Copies of these documents, as well as of Plan de Ayala are exhibited together with period objects such as a hat with a bullet hole; a rifle, a belt, coins and bills from 1914, year when Zapatistas, Villistas and Carrancistas gathered at Convencion de Aguascalientes, from where a provisional government integrated by the 3 forces was created.

Although bills were issued in the same year and have the same denomination, they are different, since each camp released their own.

Ana Bedolla pointed out that oral tradition narrates that Zapatistas camped at some point in the former Culhuacan Convent, seat of the museum, “being this reason why we promoted this exhibition, counting on with the collaboration of Culhuacan inhabitants that lent photographs and objects inherited from their grandparents”.

INAH National Photo Library lent images as well and some of the objects exhibited are part of the heap of the National Museum of History (MNH) “Castillo de Chapultepec”.

The aim of the exhibition is to redimension Zapatism as a political trend which largest contribution was the land defense. “It is not about Zapata not knowing what to do with land, or lacking a nation’s project. He knew well what he wanted but did not trusted politicians. This is why he broke up with Madero and Carranza, keeping loyal to Plan de Ayala”, declared Bedolla.

The exhibition is open in Ex Convento de Culhuacan Museum, 10 Morelos St. at Tlahuac Avenue, Culhuacan, from 9:00 to 18:00 hours.

California | "Land and Freedom: Echoes of Zapatism in Culhuacan" | Emiliano Zapata | National Institute of Anthropology and History |


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