In Política lingüística y lenguas minoritarias, José M. Tortosa explains how language can be used as a political instrument that reflects class relationships and speakers' positioning within an imperialist chain of power as well as the basic components and interactions of the cultures involved. As Tortosa explains, in a diglossic situation, in which two languages coexist within a society, one of the languages is generally considered superior to the other, resulting in a type of structural linguistic hierarchy. He explains that the way that language is spoken in the society becomes a sign that communicates not only the content of the message but also the status of the individual within the social structure, including his or her cultural capital and educational level. In this way, language often becomes a political instrument used to construct national identity and to fight against cultural domination. Language thus contains a reflection of society...
Whistling and Language Transfiguration: Zapotec Tones as Contemporary Art and Strategy for Resistance
Gala Porras-Kim was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and works primarily with sound and drawing. She received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and a BA and MA in Latin American Studies from UCLA. Recent solo exhibitions include For Prospective Rock/Artifact Projection (2015) and The Mute Object and Ancient Stories of Today (2013), both at Commonwealth & Council. She will be featured in upcoming exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She was recently included in exhibitions at Ex Teresa Arte Actual, the Bindery Projects, and the 18th Street Art Center. She is a 2013 California Community Foundation fellow, a 2015 Creative Capital recipient, and a recipient of the 2015 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award.
Gala Porras-Kim; Whistling and Language Transfiguration: Zapotec Tones as Contemporary Art and Strategy for Resistance. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 May 2016; 96 (2): 233–237. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-3484102
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