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Dr Omar Aguilar Sánchez
Izaira López Sánchez

The pictorial manuscripts of Mesoamerica that survived colonial conquest are invaluable written sources of cultural memory. For creating a decolonial approach and understanding their cultural continuity in contemporary Mexico, a holistic study of past and present historical-cultural heritage and interpretation of archaeological, historical, linguistic, and anthropological data is vital. This talk thus presents the scope of this theoretical-methodological position, and the relationship between the codices and the living heritage of Indigenous communities: particularly the Tonindeye Codex, currently kept in the British Museum and the Mixtec Ñuu Savi (People of the Rain). 

Omar Aguilar Sánchez and Izaira López Sánchez are two Mixtec scholars and cultural practitioners, specialising in Mixtec language, writing, and Mesoamerican codices. They are long-term collaborators with the Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research (SDCELAR) at the British Museum in a research project and forthcoming volume, Mesoamerican Narratives at the British Museum: Ancient Writing, Contemporary Voices.


Introductory remarks by Magdalena Araus Sieber and Diego Atehortúa (British Museum)
Presentation by Omar Aguilar Sánchez and Izaira López Sánchez, followed by discussion
Screening of the documentary Ñii Ñu’u: Pieles Sagradas (45 min), followed by Q&A

The event will have Spanish-English consecutive interpretation. The documentary film is in Spanish with auto-generated English subtitles.

Omar Aguilar Sánchez is from Santo Tomás Ocotepec, Oaxaca, Mexico. He has a PhD from Leiden University, the Netherlands and is an archeologist graduated from the Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia. His research focuses on the study and understanding of the historical and cultural legacy of the people of Ñuu Savi (People of the Rain or Mixtec People), with a special focus on the Mixtec pictorial manuscripts. He is co-founder of the “Colectivo Nchivi Ñuu Savi” (People of the Community of the Rain) and director of the digital project “Mixtec Codices”. 

Izaira López Sánchez is from Santo Tomás Ocotepec, Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, Mexico. She is a Mixtec native speaker and has a background in foreign affairs from the Universidad del Mar campus in Huatulco, Oaxaca. Her main interests are cultural dissemination, translation, and literary creation based on Mixtec thought. She has collaborated on the short-film Miradas y Voces de los Pueblos Originarios, a project between UNESCO and the University of Seville, Spain. She is the founder of the project Tu’un Vii (Beautiful Words), where she creates Mixtec language content on social media to generate greater consciousness about the importance of Indigenous languages.   

All are welcome to attend this free seminar. Advance registration not required.

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