This week, guest Yoalli Rodriguez brings us to the Chacahua-Pastora Lagoons in Oaxaca, Mexico, to investigate deep connections with land, ongoing colonial violence, and the grief that comes alongside loving a place. The Chacahua-Pastora Lagoons have long been vital spaces for Black and Indigenous communities, but continued colonial strategies have altered and quartered off the landscape in favor of nationalist and capitalist interests.
The conversation dives deep into an understanding of Mestizo geographies and the politics of refusal in the face of oppressive power. Despite the institutional acts of violence that limit sensual and sensorial relationships with the land, people continue to make spaces of their own and lay claims to land that go against colonial rule. With this context, Yoalli and Ayana come to a heartening conversation about the importance of ecological grief, rage, and sadness.
Yoallis work pays deep attention to the everyday lives of those who live around the lagoons, and she notes the care, love, and community that make grief and resistance possible. Here, hope and grief go hand in hand as strategies of resistance and fugitivity. Perhaps slow life and slow feeling can be a counter to the slow violence that has so marred life on earth.
Meztli Yoalli Rodrguez Aguilera is an educator, vinyl selector, and writer born and raised in Mexico but currently based in the U.S. They are currently an Assistant Professor in Anthropology & Sociology and Latin American and Latinx Studies at Lake Forest College, Illinois. They are interested in subjects of anti-colonial, anti-racist feminist struggles, political ecology, and State violence.