Lesvy Osorio was killed next to a telephone booth on the UNAM campus, long considered a sanctuary by students and the intellectual community. (Nidia Bautista)
Posted by Nidia Bautista – MA Candidate in Global Journalism and CLACS at NYU. This post was written in August, 2017, based on summer research funded by the Tinker Grant.
Mexico has become a dangerous place for everyone. This summer, during the time I spent investigating feminicide in Edomex, has been terrible for human rights and crime in the country. Ten journalists have been killed this year and Mexico is fast becoming the deadliest country for journalists in the world. Candido Rios, a crime reporter, is the latest journalist killed this month in Veracruz. He was murdered despite being placed under government protection. Mexico’s murder rate has also reached a record high this year. The government has recorded more than 12,100 homicides, with 2,234 murders in June alone. It was the deadliest month in twenty years.
The violence is also ravaging Mexico City, ranked New York Times number one city to visit in 2016. Just this month, patrons of a trendy theater and restaurant called Cine Tonala in the Roma Sur neighborhood were robbed by armed gunman. I used to live in the neighborhood and would often visit Cine Tonala and like many others, up until this summer, I didn’t think this kind of violence would happen in the capital. Previously, it has been easier to relegate this sort of violence to the peripheries. I have spent this summer monitoring and compiling a long list of stories and cases of extreme violence against women in one such periphery. The stories are appalling.
High school students participate in performace protest in Hank Gonzales, Edomex (Nidia Bautista)
Posted by Nidia Bautista – MA Candidate in Global Journalism and CLACS at NYU
Feminicide is defined as the extreme violence against women due to their gender, marked by impunity that violates their human rights and results in death. It’s a word that names the violence inflicted on women who were strangled, raped, tortured, mutilated, and killed. I’ve been researching how and why this is happening in Ecatepec, Edomex. The more I research and interview the issue, the more I notice that women, in addition to living in a context of continual violence, are doing the work to denounce and end this violence.
I have interviewed women family members of victims of feminicide, survivors of violence, and women human rights defenders. I have also interviewed feminist academics that focus on the issue. I have taken a course on Feminicide in Mexico sponsored at Mexico City’s Museum of Memory and Tolerance. I have attended another similar conference at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). While I have found and spoken to a few men that work to denounce the violence, the majority of my sources are women. What is striking, and admittingly overwhelming, is that fighting feminicide has become women’s work.
Posted by Leonard Cortana, PhD student in Cinema Studies, Tisch School of the Arts.
14 August 2017 – Opening Ceremony for the UFF Graduate Students in Cinema Studies in Niteroi. The professors came one after the other with the same message summarised in this blog post’s title. Once again, the country is experiencing a major moment of political and economic crisis and the Arts are in danger. In the conversations I could hear in the corridors, some students worried that their departments would close down; others had no clue whether they would receive their doctoral stipends next month and some libraries reported that they would not authorise students to check out books anymore…
Opening ceremony of the UFF Graduate Studies in Cinema – followed by a Master Class given by Ismael Xavier on Allegory and Theatricality in Glauber Rocha’s films
I arrived in Rio de Janeiro primarily to do archival research on the development of Brazilian youth films / coming-of-age narratives since the 1990s. However, very quickly, the current context would provide me with a new layer, maybe even more interesting, to reflect on Brazilian cinema as a form of resistance. In my very first day in the archives, the archivist Fabio Vellozo, who would become my guide for the next four weeks, explained to me that the MAM Cinema and Visual Arts Archives hosted many meetings that gathered together cinema activists during the dictatorship. Since then, the Archives have assumed the mission to preserve the cinemas that have best represented the diversity of Brazil. And this task requires a lot of work from the staff working in the Institution. Unlike many scholars that spend only a few days at one archive location and proceed to work at different sites, I remained there for my entire stay, giving me the chance to actually taste everyday life in the place.
Posted by Amanda Sommer Lotspike – MA Candidate at CLACS
This is Part II in a series of essays on the social life of the yareta, based on fieldwork supported by the Tinker Grant. Find Part I here.
Y llegan así, sin nada de nada, absoluto silencio
entre la página de un libro y el poema muerto
el vino del sueño quebrado en sus palabras
el sueño del vino embriagado en la esperanza
With these words, Miguel Urrelo Valdivia opens “Días,” a poem from his latest chapbook Jallp’ay, Tierra mía. Published with support from the National Corporation for Indigenous Development of Chile, Jallp’ay is Urrelo’s fifth book of poems and short stories. Among those are Cuentos de los Abuelos I, a compilation of oral histories passed down in the Alto Loa of San Pedro, Atacama, and II, a selection of new stories, which in Urrelo’s own words “are created by me, but emulate stories that were transmitted orally.”
Jallp’ay is Urrelo’s first bilingual Quechua-Spanish collection of poetry, an effort to reclaim Quechua as a pillar of nortino cultural identity. Raised in the small mining town of Amincha, Urrelo moved to the city of Calama with his mother and siblings at age ten following the passing of his father. “Calama welcomed us the way that all cities welcome indigenous migrants,” he told me as we sat, paused in the city square one morning, “with discrimination, with ignorance, with that [type of] scorn directed at indigenous communities.”
Posted by Alejandra Vela- PhD Student at Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures, NYU
Uno de los elementos más importantes de mi viaje a México era no sólo encontrar las revistas femeninas que conformarán mi principal archivo para la tesis, sino analizar los espacios de sociabilidad en los que éstas se encuentran y conservan. Como parte de mi búsqueda, y también en un esfuerzo por ampliar mi investigación más allá del centralismo de la Ciudad de México, viajé a Puebla de los Ángeles.
Capital del estado que lleva el mismo nombre, la ciudad se encuentra a dos horas en autobús. Famosa por la cantidad de iglesias que tiene (y por ser el lugar en donde se inventó el mole), la principal razón del viaje era visitar su barrio de antigüedades, “Los sapos”, y tratar de encontrar revistas que no fuera posible hallar en la Ciudad de México. Una vez instalada, y después de un breve paseo por el centro, me dirigí a las tiendas de antigüedades.
Al entrar en la tienda “El retablo” me recibieron dos mujeres. Una de ellas estaba limpiando el piso y la otra se encontraba leyendo una novela cuyo título sólo pude ver que contenía la palabra melancolía. La primera, mucho más joven, fue en realidad la que me dio la bienvenida y me dijo en qué parte de la tienda podría encontrar revistas y periódicos. Conforme me adentraba en los salones rebosados de sillas, mesas, lámparas, sentía los pasos de la mujer joven detrás de mí. Empezó entonces a decirme que muchas de esas cosas eran en realidad originalmente de la señora, haciendo referencia a la lectora que encontré en la entrada de la tienda. Me señaló un vestido vintage y me dijo en un susurro “ese por ejemplo, era de la señora”. Sorprendida por el dato, le pregunté de forma respetuosa que cuántos años tenía la señora, “pues ella siempre responde que 82, pero yo sé que tiene 91”.
De izquierda a derecha: Yesenia, Alvaro Alcantara, Leopoldo Gaitan, Gabriela Pulido Llano integrantes de la Asociación Mexicana de Estudios del Caribe
Posted by Yesenia Fernández – PhD Student at Media Culture and Communication at NYU- Steinhardt
Mi primera semana en México ha sido dura. No vine preparada para la lluvia y el frío con que la Ciudad me recibió, una especie de Londres en plena Latinoamérica. Todos me explicaron que era la temporada de lluvias y por suerte me prestaron ropa para abrigarme mejor. A pesar del mal tiempo me sentí bienvenida por los amigos de esa diáspora cubana cada vez más dispersa y también por la fabulosa comunidad académica mexicana.
Mi conexión con México comenzó años atrás investigando sobre la internacionalización del baile cubano. Era una reminiscencia constante para mis entrevistados hablar de las Rumberas del Cine de Oro Mexicano. Para mi fortuna la investigadora Gabriela Pulido Llano había publicado recientemente su libro “Mulatas y negros del teatro mexicano” sobre la influencia de esos tropos raciales en la escena del entretenimiento en México. Fue ella quien me convidó al Congreso de la Asociación de Estudios Caribeños en México, desde la cual cultivé los contactos preliminares a los archivos del cine en el país.
La AMEC es en verdad una familia académica de gente que investiga, disfruta y conoce apasionadamente los circuitos culturales del Caribe. Y aunque las universidades durante mi estancia están cerradas, pues, logré encontrar muchos de estos investigadores en pausas de café, comidas caseras y reuniones improvisadas. Leopoldo Gaitan fungió por décadas como director del Centro de Documentación de la Cineteca Nacional. Colateralmente ha trabajado sobre la música cubana y el tema negro en la cinematografía mexicana. El cine es en él segunda naturaleza, conoce la cronología y sus rincones, sus desvíos y sorpresas. Es el guía ideal para esta busqueda despues de nuestro primer encuentro me siento confiada de entrar a los archivos.
Posted by Alejandra Vela- PhD Student at Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures, NYU
Mexican Miracle was the name given to the years that extend from 1940 to 1970 in Mexican recent history. Years of development, industry and a strong economy, Mexico was in a moment of unprecedented growth. Within this growth and restructuring of the country, the role of women was gradually modified: she went from being the selfless mother, housewife, concentrated in domestic work, to, as early as the early seventies, the working woman, the informed student, reader of feminist texts that came from France, the United States, or Spain. In the middle of this story there are many key moments. In the late forties the University City was inaugurated, which would allow a greater number of students (among them many women) to get in the country’s “máxima casa de estudios”; in 1955, Mexican women exercised the right to vote for the first time, and in the 1960s the contraceptive pill began to be commercialized. The journals, specifically addressed to women, published throughout these decades constitute a great barometer for measuring these changes.
Precisely because these are limited editorial and textual spaces (a literary genre dedicated to a specific gender), they allow us to delve into the ways in which not only the publishers, but also the subjects who consumed these cultural products were negotiating their presence and permanence in the public domain. This was the scenario before which I decided to embark on the search for these magazines, rarely preserved by their fragility and tendency to disappear, but also largely ignored for being considered frivolous, banal, “cursis”, women’s things that have no literary or academic value.