Cooking Against Capitalism: Oaxaca’s Traditional Kitchens

After an earthquake in late 2017 destroyed their outdoor kitchens, Tehuantepec locals opted to rebuild themselves rather than relying on state support.

Dispatches from Resistant Mexico is a series of short documentaries from southern Mexico, each depicting one of the thousands of pockets of resistance throughout Latin America that are in struggle against what the Zapatistas call “the capitalist hydra”.

These individuals and communities affirm a way life in opposition to capitalist economics and values. They fight the devastating neoliberal “development” and “mega-projects” that loot resources and land from indigenous communities and threaten forms of life that have survived despite 500 years of colonization.

The resistance shares many of the principles and goals of the Zapatistas: autonomy from the capitalist economy, communalist self-government rooted in indigenous collective traditions, an end to the subordination of women and a respectful, life-affirming, non-dominating relation to nature. Indigenous women are at the forefront of many of these ongoing struggles.

Cooking Against Capitalism: Oaxaca’s Traditional Kitchens — the third dispatch of the series — follows activists from the Indigenous Popular Assembly in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, who collaborate with the town to rebuild the ovens and kitchens where women bake the essential staples of the daily diet. Architects from Mexico City assist in recovering traditional construction methods that are better suited to the needs of the cooks, and less dependent on the capitalist market.

 

Director of the Video is : Caitlin Manning.

This video was first published on roarmag.org .

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3 thoughts on “Cooking Against Capitalism: Oaxaca’s Traditional Kitchens

  1. I think the definition of capitalism is wrong. The abundance that nature provides is a form of capitalism. The nuts that the squirrel collects for winter is a form of capitalism. When you by your own labour can produce something and even a surplus that you can save or give away or sell or control as you like, without the force and coercion of an authoritarian government, then you have capitalism. State funding is not capitalism, but socialism. State taxation to provide welfare is not capitalism, but socialism. Socialism always leads to misery, economic collapse and death. There is not a single pure capitalist society/ government or country today. It has been eliminated. Read history

  2. I grow weary of arguments over these overused, ideologically fraught terms “capitalism” and “socialism.” Both words evoke a connotative (emotive) charge–strongly for or against–but without any agreed-upon definition between the antagonists of what they are actually talking about. It would be better to drop these words altogether, and instead focus on more practical topics–like how these indigenous people are reclaiming their autonomy and cultivating their own, ecologically appropriate survival and community-building skills, rather than succumbing to addictive and soul-numbing, television-induced consumerism–which is what THEY mean by “capitalism” in this context. And for this I commend them–we should all, in our own way and within our own cultural contexts, do likewise, if we wish to save the planet, and emancipate ourselves from the mental slavery of 24/7 advertising. That is what Permaculture is all about,

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