Body-maps: Alternative Cartographies to a Mestizo Geography in Mexico

Authors: Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez Aguilera*, University of Texas - Austin
Topics: Cartography, Latin America, Women
Keywords: Mexico, Body-Maps,Mapping, Women, Feminist Geography, Mestizaje, Latin America
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/11/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 22
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper examines a community participatory mapping methodology in relation to the ecocide of a lagoon that began to die from pollution and lack of oxygen after it was disconnected from the Pacific Ocean by a failed government eco-tourist project. In particular, I explore how Black and Indigenous women in two different communities create alternative cartographies through the methodology of body-maps. Through these embodied cartographies, women map the intimate relationship between the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons – which are at risk of dying- and their own racialized bodies. I argue that these body-maps are alternative cartographies to what I call a “Mestizo Geography”, which was foundational to the Mexican Nation-State. “Mestizo Geography” is the space where the State claims ownership over the land while imposing the homogeneity of the mestizo identity over the national territory. In this sense, I propose a decolonial lecture on how Black and Indigenous women, through their own mapping are reflecting the struggle for life and the defense of their land and water, while decolonizing geographical and spatial notions of territory and nation.

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