Grieving Geographies, Mourning Waters: Race, Gender and Environmental Struggles in Oaxaca, Mexico
Speaker: Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez Aguilera, Lake Forest College, USA
Grieving Geographies are spaces of complex collective loss due to multiple interconnected forms of violence. Engaging with critical race theory, feminist geography and anthropology, and decolonial political ecology, this paper explores the intersections of gender, race, and the environment in the context and legacies of colonialism in Mexico and mestizaje ideology. Black and Indigenous women in the Coast of Oaxaca grieve for the lagoons that are dying in front of them due to governmental and neoliberal policies, but also for the loss of members of their communities due to violence. I argue that facing the slow death of their lagoons system, plus everyday forms of violence, Black and Indigenous women organise to defend life, livelihood, and the lagoons in their community. These women have created everyday practices of resistance and alternative economies based on care and solidarity. This paper argues that grief can become a fuel for hope and political mobilisation, in which at the centre is the defense of human-non-human life and an intertwined affective relationship.
Event date: 19 January 2023