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The Dead Women of Juárez

Friday, 13 January 2012 14:56 Published in Literature

Since 1993 over four hundred women have been abducted and murdered in Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua (both are in in the state of Chihuahua, north Mexico). Many of the women are brutally beaten and raped before being killed and their bodies dumped in the desert or on a secluded street. Others simply disappear without trace.

The London Latin American Film Festival

Thursday, 17 November 2011 17:55 Published in Film

This year the London Latin American Film Festival celebrates twenty-five years of Havana’s International TV and Film School, presenting the highlights from the past quarter century of one of the most influential of Cuban cultural institutions, alongside the best of this year's films, which reflect the changing priorities of Cuba's young filmmakers.

 

Campaign for Mexican Writers

Thursday, 27 October 2011 18:29 Published in Literature

Mexico’s El Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) dates back to indigenous times. However, many of the celebrations associated with the festival, which takes place from 31 – 2 November, have evolved over time.

In the 1890s, Jose Guadalupe Posada began the tradition of depicting satirical images of politicians and celebrities as skeletons. 

Juan Pablo Villalobos

Sunday, 07 August 2011 18:43 Published in Literature

Juan Pablo Villalobos was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1973. He studied marketing and Spanish literature. He has done a great deal of market research and published travel stories, and literary and film criticism. He has researched such diverse topics as the influence of the avant-garde on the work of César Aira and the flexibility of pipelines for electrical installations.

Mexico’s floating gardens

Thursday, 12 May 2011 18:57 Published in Popular culture

Xochimilco was originally a lake, an offshoot of Lago de Texcoco, upon which Mexico City is so precariously situated today. It was home to some of the most fertile gardens in the region, known as chinampas – these were islands artificially constructed out of piles of silt and rotten vegetable matter.

 

Cholula’s pyramid and Papantla’s voladores

Sunday, 13 March 2011 20:28 Published in Popular culture

Near the colonial city of Puebla, and just 2 hours outside Mexico City, this sleepy town claims the largest pyramid in the world in total volume (it’s squat but with a base of 450x450m). Founded in 500 BC, the local guide also claims that it is “the oldest living city in America”.

Alebrijes – Paper monsters

Wednesday, 23 February 2011 23:53 Published in Popular culture

One of my most surreal moments in Mexico DF was witnessing a parade of giant papier-mache monsters, looking like a spin-off from the psychedelic 1960s, rolling towards us along one of the city’s busiest streets.  These wonderful cardboard sculptures are known as alebrijes and have been made in Mexico since the 1930s.

Wrestling as a form of theatre

Sunday, 13 February 2011 00:18 Published in Popular culture

On July 10 2009, I was startled to read in a British newspaper the surreal headline: “Wrestling midgets killed by fake hookers”. What surprised me (as much as their bizarre deaths and the non-PC appellation) was that in Mexico there existed a popular culture of midget wrestling that I knew nothing about.

Malinchismo

Sunday, 23 January 2011 21:03 Published in Popular culture

The Mexican nation was born out of the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortés’ violation of la Malinche, a native Indian who served as a translator during the conquest and mediated between the Spanish and her people.

 

The main thread throughout Icíar Bollaín’s film Even the Rain can be summed up by Czech writer Milan Kundera’s renowned quote “the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting”. 

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