Montañita is a trans, Indigenous, Hispanic writer from the Andes mountains of the Mapuche territory in South America. His work reflects on the deep emotional and spiritual challenges of growing up in diaspora, being detribalized, and living in a colonized body.
He has always had a powerful and impactful voice, thriving in public speaking roles since he was a child. He has a decade of experience working with and teaching both children and adults, has delivered a variety of keynote presentations and talks, and built a national nonprofit organization from scratch to support grassroots organizers and artists of color.
He will be a featured expert and narrator in the upcoming documentary I Identify As Me by People of Color Productions.
Montañita started showing up in my feed in multiple ways, but what drew me in was his organization The Decolonize Unconference—a safe space for the global majority to (un)learn, heal, and connect. When 2020 had all the nonprofits reconfiguring to be online, The Unconference generously opened up its offerings to white people. I signed up immediately. Hearing Montañita, with his co-presenter, Fatima Mann, share experiences and ways to unlearn and challenge colonized ways of thinking leveled up how I saw the world.
From there I followed everything Montañita was doing, so when he posted his first song I hit play. I don't even think I was halfway through it (which is on this issue's mixtape) when I started emailing him to see if he'd be interested in an interview. I'm so grateful he said yes—I hope you are too. I think you will be.
Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to fix or improve something, we lose sight in the value—and even the liberation—that could come
from starting from scratch.
OF EARTH AND AIR