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Power 100

Most influential people in 2021 in the contemporary artworld

86

Yásnaya Elena Aguilar Gil

Thinker - Articulates how the obliteration of Indigenous languages and knowledge is a violence perpetuated globally

86 in 2021

  • 202186
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
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  • 2005
  • 2004
Photo: Martin Herrera

Gil’s influence has been growing since the publication of ‘Nunca más un México sin Nosotros’ (‘Never Again a Mexico Without Us: Indigenous Nations and Autonomy’), an essay in which the Mixe linguist, translator and language activist argued that ‘Mexico is not a single nation but a state in which many nations exist, oppressed’. Her day job is as a legal translator and contributor to both El País and monthly magazine Este País, her columns for the latter being released this year as a collection; combined with her increased online presence through talks during the pandemic, her profile has grown way beyond Mexico. Through these she articulates not just how Mexico has cannibalised the culture of those colonised nations, but how the obliteration of Indigenous languages and knowledge is a violence perpetuated globally: from Latin America to the Ainu people in Japan or the Sámi people of the Arctic north. This year she joined with actor Gael García Bernal to make a documentary series on climate change.

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