Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez
Ph.D. in Anthropology from CIESAS-CDMX. She is a Professor-Researcher at the Faculty of Languages of the Autonomous University Benito Juárez of Oaxaca (UABJO, Mexico). Her research interests include cultural policies, linguistic rights, indigenous language revitalization, semiotic landscape, among others.
(Re)territorialization throughout the linguistic landscape in indigenous communities in Chiapas, Mexico
The linguistic landscape (LL) is one of the most important elements of visual culture for any social group to delimit and signal the territory they inhabit. In the case of indigenous peoples, LL is a strategy that motivates the transmission of cultural knowledge through the languages they use. However, in recent years, its development has closely coincided with the initiatives of communities or resistance groups that have been part of deterritorialization processes and, consequently, are strengthening the agency of their members by implementing linguistic revitalization processes. This presentation aims to reflect on the construction process of LL in Chujes and k’anjob’ales indigenous communities in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. Drawing from Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s concept of territoriality, which involves processes of deterritorialization-reterritorialization, the proposal is to analyze how, despite the process of deterritorialization or relocation that the members of these communities experienced in the 1980s, the LL is used as an essential element to reterritorialize the space they now inhabit. While in most cases, the produced landscape includes sociocultural or ecological elements that synthesize the visual culture that is reproduced in their new territorial construction, specifically, the LL analyzed here shows the tensions and negotiations that stakeholders engage in their every daily process of cultural reproduction in indigenous languages.