Visit the We Are the Face of Oaxaca website
"We Are the Face of Oaxaca is a magnificent book. A model of engaged scholarship and the best work yet by Lynn Stephen, it is an original analysis of the massive popular rebellion in Oaxaca, Mexico, during 2006–07. Given her deep, long-term ties to Oaxacans in both Mexico and the United States, Stephen is uniquely positioned to analyze the social movement and the significance of participants' testimonials in its production and reception."—Patricia Zavella, author of I'm Neither Here nor There: Mexicans' Quotidian Struggles with Migration and Poverty
"Given the new visibility of protest, Lynn Stephen's fascinating book offers a valuable opportunity to understand how protest movements work at the grass roots. This ethnography of the Oaxacan protest of 2006 focuses on testimony: the performed, embodied act of telling a story. Protesters’ courageous testimonies broadcast over the radio made a difference. The book and its website with recordings provide a wonderful opportunity to hear the testimonies of those with courage to speak."—Sally Engle Merry, author of Human Rights and Gender Violence: Translating International Law into Local Justice
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A massive uprising against the Mexican state of Oaxaca began with the emergence of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) in June 2006. A coalition of more than 300 organizations, APPO disrupted the functions of Oaxaca's government for six months. It began to develop an inclusive and participatory political vision for the state. Testimonials were broadcast on radio and television stations appropriated by APPO, shared at public demonstrations, debated in homes and in the streets, and disseminated around the world via the Internet.
The movement was met with violent repression. Participants were imprisoned, tortured, and even killed. Lynn Stephen emphasizes the crucial role of testimony in human rights work, indigenous cultural history, community and indigenous radio, and women's articulation of their rights to speak and be heard. She also explores transborder support for APPO, particularly among Oaxacan immigrants in Los Angeles. The book is supplemented by a website featuring video testimonials, pictures, documents, and a timeline of key events.