Lecture | "Rediscovering the Sacred and the End of Hydra Capitalism," by Juan López Intzin

Thursday, April 14, 2016
6–8 pm

According to both Maya Tzeltal and Tzotzil indigenous thought, everything that exists is sacred and has Ch'ulel (spirit). Since the conquest and subsequent colonization, this way of thinking has been nearly decimated due to external influences such as capitalism. As we know, capitalism exploits human beings and nature, turning everything into a commodity. This force, along with hegemonic rational thought, has distanced Ch'ulel from nature. There are, however, current life practices that prove the Maya way of thinking is still present. Only by building a collective heart in order to recover the meaning of our humanity can we reconnect with the forgotten sacred. The fight for humanity is the fight against the monstrous hydra of capitalism.

— Juan López Intzin

* This lecture was in Spanish with simultaneous English translation.

Juan López Intzin is a Maya Tzeltal scholar who holds a bachelor's degree in Sociology from the Facultad de Ciencias Sociales-Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas, and a master's in Social Anthropology from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. He has collaborated with NGOs on mental health issues for those displaced by the 1997 Acteal massacre, and has also worked with organizations such as Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas on different initiatives of and for indigenous populations. He is a founding member of the Kol-lek-tivo Snajtaleltik, Bats'il-k'op, A.C. and the Chiapas Network of Artists, Community Communicators, and Anthropologists; and is also a member of the Interdisciplinary Network of Researchers of the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico.

Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10003

 This event was co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at New York University.