Hubert Matiúwàa on The Global Market

Congratulations to Paul Worley for his translation of Hubert Matiúwàa’s “The Global Market in the Mountains of Guerrero” over at Asymptote where he serves as editor-at-large for Mexico. He’s also translated some of Matiúwàa’s remarkable poetry.  

Asymptote 2018 10 24 09 24 35

Matiúwàa’s intensely evocative piece represents an affective critique of globalization, but also demonstrates that traditional Mesoamerican communities have an equally complex and not entirely incommensurate rules of exchange that shape their engagement with the increasingly ubiquitous global market. Matiúwàa’s notion of “this time” as a tradition way of ascribing value to an object in trade has an uncanny resemblance to the practices used to value time in late capitalist societies. The appearance of Pepsi Cola and the inability of understanding its time value led to the introduction of currency to mediate between the value of this new object and the community. This undermined a practice of exchange grounded in the shared understanding and control over time and value and shifted this to centers outside of the community (as well as outside any form of time or source of social control). 

I don’t do this thought provoking piece justice. Go and read it yourself along with the rest of Asymptote’s October 2018 issue.

Paul also serves as poetry editor for North Dakota Quarterly and was the translator of the first volume in NDQ’s new supplement series which you can download for free here.

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