Policy Press

A Beginner’s Guide to Building Better Worlds

Ideas and Inspiration from the Zapatistas

By Levi Gahman, Nasha Mohamed, Filiberto Penados, Johannah-Rae Reyes, Atiyah Mohamed and Shelda-Jane Smith

Published

May 31, 2022

Page count

188 pages

ISBN

978-1447362159

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

May 31, 2022

Page count

188 pages

ISBN

978-1447362135

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

May 31, 2022

Page count

188 pages

ISBN

978-1447362166

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Policy Press
A Beginner’s Guide to Building Better Worlds

This ambitious book offers radical alternatives to conventional ways of thinking about the planet’s most pressing challenges, ranging from alienation and exploitation to state violence and environmental injustice.

Bridging real-world examples of resistance and mutual aid in Zapatista territory with big-picture concepts like critical consciousness, social reproduction and decolonisation, the authors encourage readers to view themselves as co-creators of the societies they are a part of – and ‘be Zapatistas wherever they are'.

Written by a diverse team of first-generation authors, this book offers an emancipatory set of anti-colonial ideas related to both refusing liberal bystanding and collectively constructing better worlds and realities.

“This important and accessible text provides a solid education in Zapatista structures, organisation and discourse, while also developing readers' own critical faculties for building better worlds, their ability to work with others and the deeper meaning of social change.” Dylan Kerrigan, University of Leicester

"Hopeful, playful and also deeply serious, this work will persuade (or remind) you that there are ways of knowing that can let us become free together. It made me smile a lot." Gargi Bhattacharyya, University of East London

Levi Gahman is Reader at the University of Liverpool, affiliate with the University of the West Indies and former human rights observer. He focuses on anticolonial praxis, environmental defence and engaged movement research.

Shelda-Jane Smith is Lecturer at the University of Liverpool and has a focus on the social and political determinants of physical-mental health. She is also a community volunteer with the Merseyside Caribbean Centre.

Filiberto Penados is a Maya activist-scholar focusing on Indigenous future-making. He is President of the Julian Cho Society and adviser to the Toledo Alcaldes Association and Belize National Indigenous Council.

Nasha Farhannah Mohamed is a University of the West Indies graduate and independent researcher from Trinidad and Tobago focusing on foreign languages (Spanish, French, Arabic) and postcolonial literature.

Atiyah Afifah Mohamed is an independent researcher, Spanish teacher, Geography tutor and local volunteer in Trinidad and Tobago. Her community service work focuses on homelessness and the underprivileged.

Johannah-Rae Reyes is an intersectional feminist activist who has worked with CAISO, Womantra, Amnesty International and the Community of the Deaf. She has done advocacy and solidarity work in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Mexico.

1. Introduction: From Liberal Bystanding to Emancipatory Praxis

2. A World Where Many Worlds Fit

3. The Coloniser’s Model/Neoliberal State of the World

4. Modernity-Coloniality and Indigenous Realities

5. Dispossession, Extractivism, and Violence

6. Critical Consciousness and Praxis

7. Political Education and Radical Pedagogy

8. Gender Justice and Social Reproduction

9. Health, Food Sovereignty, Solidarity Economies

10. The Battle for the Soul of Education