Susa Oñate


“Unceasingly available to the irruption of the possible.”

~Walter Benjamin

Born and raised in Spain, at the age of 23 Susa moved to Canada, where she began teaching languages, translating and interpreting (often simultaneously).

From early on, her mother’s words “The world is so unfairly distributed!” impelled her to try and change things, in the spirit of Buckminster Fuller, “by building a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” From homesteading to involvement in farming coops and local exchange trading systems ensued.

She completed doctoral studies in Hispanic Studies at The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, while continuing her work as a freelance copy editor and translator. Informed by counterculture and in particular that of May ‘68, her unfinished thesis tries to articulate the socio-political role of protest song towards the end of Franco’s dictatorship and during Spain’s (so-called) Transition to (a supposed) democracy.

After 28 years abroad, she recently relocated to Spain’s rural Basque Country. Given the capacity of Guerrilla Translation to disseminate pivotal “new model” ideas, she joined the team in October 2013: “What we are trying to create with GT—an open, P2P cooperative—is the subversive power of our imagination at work towards social emancipation.”

Here are some of the books she has participated in:

  • 2014 Copy Editor of the official translation into Spanish: Charles EISENSTEIN, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition, Berkeley CA, Evolver Editions, 2011. Print. (469 pp.)
  • 2013 Copy Editor: Kim BEAUCHESNE, Visión periférica: Marginalidad y colonialidad en las crónicas de América Latina (siglos XVI-XVII y XX-XXI), Madrid/Frankfurt, Iberoamericana/Vervuert, 2013. Print. (266 pp.)
  • 2009 Copy Editor (with Chelo Álvarez-Stehle): Lynn STERN, Frozen Mystery/El misterio congelado: Lynn Stern Photographs (1978-2008), Tucson AZ, Center for Creative Photography (University of Arizona), 2009. Print. (160 pp.)
  • 2006 Co-Translator (Spanish > English): The Arts in Latin America, 1492-1820, Philadelphia PA: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2006. Print. (568 pp.)
  • 2002 Copy Editor (with Chelo Álvarez-Stehle): Museo de Arte de Filadelfia: Guía de las colecciones [Philadelphia Museum of Art: Guide to the Collections], Philadelphia PA: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2002. Print. (359 pp.)