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The Times of our language

2020- In Progress.


This is the first publication of its kind that summarizes a concrete explanation of the linguistic structure of the ngiba of Santa Inés Ahuatempan. All volumes of this collection are made from, by, and for the Ngiba community.

These volumes, and the collection in general, are the product of three-year research that the artist Ulises Matamoros Ascención has done in collaboration with ngiba speakers of Santa Inés Ahuatempan, through meetings and assemblies held in "Chasen Thajni: everyone’s House", a community space made up of members of the Ngiba community. To gather this knowledge would be impossible if it did not arise from within the same community and from the restlessness of the rescue of the language. 

"Chasen Thajni: everyone´s House" was built thanks to the sixth edition of the BBVA-MACG program. The research, meetings, and community discussion assemblies that have made these volumes possible were subsidized by the sponsorship program for artistic research of the Jumex Contemporary Art Foundation 2020, and by PECDA 2019.

All the information contained here comes from various notebooks and audio and video recordings that the artist collected at community meetings held in "Chasen Thajni: everyone´s House". This information was reviewed, compared, discussed, and corrected also in community sessions. Finally, an ethnologist was invited to advise the content of each edition. 

As an auxiliary tool, the collection "The Times of Our Language" has an open-access digital platform, where interested parties can consult various audio and video materials that complement the topics covered in each printed volume. 

​These first two volumes try to gather in printed format, and of democratic access, our maternal voice; our original knowledge, lost or silenced under sediments of memory, violence, and exclusion. It is also, for the first time, trying to make an image, at least fragmentary, of our worldview and of what has left of it: thanks to the memory, the voice, and the soul of our elders, so that the young generations may see, hear and read in these tales, those voices that despite so many centuries of silence, continue to resist.

In itself, the work done collectively, and the information gathered so far, is an achievement of great dimensions; the editing and subsequent publication in larger editions have, in the first instance, a direct impact on the community, as it facilitates the understanding of the structure of this tonal language. The scope, in terms of cultural heritage, is very important that we barely manage to glimpse them.


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