In Defense of 'Cognitive Territories': Translation and Typography in Santa Fe de la Laguna, Michoacán (Mexico)

Friday, Feb 12, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
comic strip pane

Sol Aréchiga Mantilla in conversation with T-Kay Sangwand; part of the Radical Publishing in CDMX speaker series

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.


Series events:

Jan. 21: This is a Book and Our Word is Our Weapon: The Politics of Experimental Publishing in Latin America

Mar. 12: Hacking the Quotidien With Mexico's RRD Collective: Creative Experimentation and Transnational Collaborations Around Print Technologies and Public Space

The Radical Publishing in CDMX speaker series highlights creative bibliographic research and practice originating in Mexico City and aims to highlight transnationalism in bibliographic studies and tie bibliographic history to the current sociopolitical context. These programs are structured around the language justice principle that everyone has the right to communicate and be heard in the language in which they feel most comfortable; each speaker will give their presentation in their first language (Spanish); simultaneous interpretation will be provided by Antena Los Angeles. As such, this series aims to reach a broader audience outside the US, particularly in Mexico and across Latin America. This series is organized by T-Kay Sangwand, Librarian for Digital Collection Development at UCLA and Rare Book School/Mellon Foundation Cultural Heritage Fellow (2020-2022) and co-sponsored by The Bibliographical Society of America.

Series flyer in English


Other Events on Friday, February 12th