Hilary Klein (2015) Compañeras: Zapatista Women’s Stories. New York: Seven Stories Press.
By Alicia Swords
Committee on U.S.-Latin American Relations (CUSLAR)
Originally published online at NACLA.
When poor, indigenous people and peasants took over land and municipal governments in Chiapas, Mexico on January 1, 1994 just as the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect, the uprising shook the world. Through individual interviews and collective interviews at women’s assemblies, Hilary Klein’s book, Compañeras, charts the changes in women’s roles, leadership, rights, and power in intimate relationships, families, and communities that the Zapatista movement brought.
The title Compañeras captures the core of Klein’s project, which both describes her subject, Zapatista women and their political relationships, as well as her approach of being a compañera herself by building relationships of trust and mutual support.