Radical Publishing in CDMX Speaker Series

Fri 2/12 • 12PM - 1PM PST

In Defense of Cognitive Territories: Translation and Typography as Tools for Self Determination in Santa Fe de la Laguna, Michoacan (Mexico)

As Mixe linguist and activist Yasnaya Aguilar Gil states, “A language is not just a linguistic system but also a cognitive territory where indigenous languages have been historically in conflict with the...state...As such, [we can’t] think of fighting for the vitality of our languages without fighting for the autonomy of our lands” (“La lengua no es cultura,” 2020). With autonomy and self-determination as its underlying principles, linguist and translator Sol Arechiga Mantilla founded hormiguero publishing which works with non-hegemonic languages, particularly indigenous languages in Mexico, as well as the tools of translation and typography that facilitate their publication and study. Drawing upon her experience facilitating Spanish-Purepecha translation workshops in Santa Fe de la Laguna, Michoacan, Arechiga Mantilla discusses how the development of specialized typography for indigenous languages is essential for preserving not only the languages themselves, but also the epistemologies and world visions that they embody and that are intimately tied to both their ancestral lands and present day territories.

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