Samuel Bautista Lazo on coming back to the Corn during pandemic, destructive corporate intrusion on indigenous communities in Mexico

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By Kelly Moody : Herbalist, Philosopher, Photographer and Writer and Kelly Moody. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Episode #40 of the Ground Shots Podcast features a conversation with Samuel Bautista Lazo, who was a guest on Episode #1 of the podcast which aired several summers ago. Listen to the first conversation we had with Samuel here: Episode #1: Samuel Bautista Lazo on weaving in Oaxaca, colonialism, the importance of making things. Samuel is Benizaa (Zapotec) and lives Xiguie'a (Teotitlán del Valle), located in the Central Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico. Samuel, his family and community come from a long line of weavers and farmers who have been tending the same land for thousands of years. This region is considered one of the cradles of civilization. Samuel has a Ph.d. in Sustainable Manufacturing from the University of Liverpool.

I met Samuel at the Buckeye Gathering ancestral skills gathering a few years ago. On the first episode of the podcast, during an in-person interview, Samuel and I discuss weaving and natural dyes, some complexities around private land ownership in the community where he is from when the traditional way was communal tending of the land, why making things by hand is a way to combat the pressures of capitalism and more.

This time around, Samuel and I speak via Zoom due to COVID-19. We go deeper into some of the issues of continued settler colonialism and corporate intrusion on indigenous peoples and the biodiverse wild lands in Mexico, as well as focus on dynamics local to the state of Oaxaca and the native peoples who live there.

Since we recorded this conversation in early May, the world has erupted in revolution in support of Black Lives and in protest of police violence globally. Lest us also not forget the indigenous peoples of the lands we live, walk, protest and love on and the effects our capitalist lifestyles have on these communities as further reiterated by Samuel in this interview.

In this episode of the podcast, we talk about:

Samuel speaks to what life has been like during the pandemic in Teotitlán del Valle

Samuel reflects a little bit on our conversation from Lake Concow, California during the Buckeye Gathering several years ago (Listen here: Episode #1 of the podcast: Samuel Bautista Lazo on weaving in Oaxaca, colonialism, the importance of making things) and the fire that has come through since

Samuel's perspective on how the pandemic has caused the world to slow down and the land has an opportunity to cleanse and breathe

We talk about the destructive corporate energy projects trying to push forth in the state of Oaxaca and the country of Mexico, and the ways in which these projects are abusive towards the indigenous peoples of Mexico and environmentally devastating

Samuel speaks from his perspective as an indigenous person who studied industrial manufacturing (he has a Ph.d. !) about the bigger picture of needing to change our consumption and production patterns as a society, especially the U.S. which consumes more than most countries in the world

The recent murder of a biology student in Oaxaca (one of many that have occurred), due to his interest in the biodiversity of the region and his love of nature (links to articles about this in the Links section below)

Despite a current progressive president, the framework of Mexico's economy is still rooted in destructive resource extraction and development

The potentially devastating effects of Isthmus Rail Corridor Project and Mayan Train Project that are planned for the region

environmental racism

how capitalism can affect indigenous populations

Samuel speaks to how rain feeds land and spirit, and connection to self sufficiency

coming back to the Corn and the Milpa food systems

Milpa farming in relationship to wild-tending, feeding the wild animals, and definitions of agriculture, the recovery of native lands during the Mexican revolution

How colonization and western ideas of how land should be taken care of affects indigenous people's ability in Mexico to keep the land they have tended for thousands of years, because it requires them to constantly work it, even though traditionally the land was allowed to rest for long periods

how linear systems informed by capitalism that emphasize extraction, production and discarding don't leave room for cyclical land-based world views

Links:

Dixza Rugs and Organic Farm website

Samuel on instagram: @sam_dixza

Dixza Rugs and Organic Farm on instagram: @dixzarugsorganicfarm

DIxza Rugs and Organic Farm on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dixzarugs/

blog post for this episode: https://www.ofsedgeandsalt.com/podcastblog/samuellazo2

https://www.latimes.com/espanol/mexico/articulo/2020-05-11/condenan-asesinato-de-joven-ambientalista-mexicano-en-municipio-de-oaxaca “Condenan asesinato de joven ambientalista mexicano en municipio de Oaxaca.” (news article in Spanish about the assassination of young Mexican environmentalist Eugui Roy Martínez Pérez, whom we speak about in the podcast)

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2020/05/21-year-old-biology-student-murdered-in.html (News article in English about the 21 year old Eugui Roy Martínez Pérez, young biologist and naturalist killed, whom we speak about in the podcast)

https://justiceinmexico.org/environmental-activists-under-attack-in-mexico/ ‘Environmental Activists Under Attack in Mexico’ (article in English about several environmental activists and naturalists murdered in Mexico recently or in the last few years)

https://www.bnamericas.com/en/interviews/hold-friday-mexicos-tehuantepec-isthmus-rail-corridor-unveils-more-infra-projects (News article about the Tehuantepec Isthmus Rail Corridor project that Samuel speaks to in the conversation)

https://www.citylab.com/environment/2019/02/mexico-travel-mayan-train-yucatan-tourism-economic-development/583405/ (Mayan Train Project that Samuel speaks to in the podcast)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milpa The Milpa farming system

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Theme music: 'Sweat and Splinters' by Mother Marrow

Interstitial Music: ‘Grief in Exile’ by Mariee Sioux

Hosted by: Kelly Moody

Produced by: Kelly Moody and Opia Creative

64 episodes