Grounding this conversation within Teotitlan del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico, guest Samuel Bautista Lazo, brings listeners into an insightful conversation on the value of craftwork that connects us to the past and plants seeds for the future. Here, Samuel outlines the weaving traditions of the Benzaa people, offering insight into a trade and lifeway shaped intimately by ancestry and the land. Through his family's weaving business, Samuel emphasizes the importance of creating connection and meaning with the objects we need to sustain life. In an age of mass alienation and mass consumption, intimately knowing our relationship to the objects that sustain, to the skilled labor that creates, and to the land that provides is a radical act. How might we cultivate such connections within our lives?
Dr. Samuel Bautista Lazo is a Benzaa (Zapotec) weaver from Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico. In 2013, he obtained his PhD in Engineering from the University of Liverpool in the UK, doing research in the topic of Sustainable Manufacturing. After obtaining his PhD in the UK, Samuel decided to go back home and connect back with his community and family weaving heritage. Being back home struck a chord in his life and made him realize that his community was already practicing an ancient form of Sustainable Manufacturing that is still alive in the many craft traditions of the Central Valley's of Oaxaca and the eight regions in his state. From this place, Samuel has rooted even more within his community and family weaving business and from there and through the language of the ancient textiles he spends a great deal of time teaching, educating and planting the seeds for creating a future that heals the relationship of humans with the web of life.