Inoa Batista

Date of Award


First Advisor

Asma Abbas

Second Advisor

Katie Boswell


Since the onset of modern colonialism, the colonized world has sought to undo systems of domination imposed by Europe, and this has involved reapproaching “culture”—a colonial construct itself—in ways that reclaim, in other words, “decolonize” daily life practices. This project sets out to understand decolonial cultures and sensibilities in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico by way of addressing everyday experience and mapping of space. To this end, this project converses with decolonial theory and aesthetics, drawing on contemporary life and life-making activities in the city, from art to economics, work to politics to leisure, and the decolonial trends therein. A visual depiction, using ArcGIS online software to map various elements and locations of this aesthesis in Oaxaca, accompanies the written portion of this project. By virtue of being constantly updated, this representation serves as its living manifestation. In turning to this map as a decolonial tool itself, the project summons the role of maps in colonization. Together, the project’s narrative—critical, historical, autobiographical, ethnographic, and visual— highlights decolonial tendencies that pervade the city and are evidenced in local cultural practices that are informed by, and aspire to, a “pluriversality” as essential to Oaxaca’s decolonial journey, with lessons for those under attack by colonialisms that take old and new forms.

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