Language Revitalization and Cultural Activism: The Afro-Bolivian Spanish Case

During the past two decades, some Afro-Hispanic languages have slowly entered the process of official recognition in Latin America (Dijkhoff & Pereira 2010; Lipski 2010). Recent publications on Afro-Bolivian Spanish (Lipski 2008, Sessarego 2011, 2014, 2021)have triggered an important process of language pride and revitalization among the members of the Afro-Bolivian community.Afro-Bolivians have recently taken a new look at their traditional language,which was previously regarded by many as a sort of embarrassing “broken Spanish”. The local attitudes toward this variety have greatly changed. Among other initiatives, Afro-Bolivians have created the Instituto de Lengua y Cultura Afroboliviano with the aim of promoting and revitalizing their language,which is now perceived as a symbol of cultural and ethnic pride. This paper critically reviews the process Afro-Bolivian Spanish is going through; it also discusses opportunities and threats that this variety may face, within the current political scenario, to acquire visibility, recognition and, potentially, a new role in society.

Date & time

Fri 14 Oct 2022, 9–10am


Online (via Zoom)


Sandro Sessarego, University of Texas-Austin


Manuel Delicado Cantero


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