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After one year of confinement due to covid-19 pandemic, members of the artistic community and university students responded to the call of the Coordination of Cultural Diffusion UNAM to reflect on the performing arts through the written essay, which was translated into digital publication.
The lielectronic bro The need for a break. Dialogues on the current state of the performing arts and music in Mexico, free to access since February 5, brings together a dozen essays selected from almost fifty evaluated by a jury, led by Rafael Mondragon, a researcher at the Hermeneutics Seminar of the Philological Research Institute, who highlights that with the call, the fear of creators to write was broken and now they seek to expand those reflections with discussion forums from the trials that start online this Monday, February 15.
“There is a very big gap between the world of creators and the academic world, that of people who write; I perceive a fear of writing. And just because of this separation creators are afraid to put their reflections in writing and also that these are poorly received, in that context it is very important that there has been this call for an essay, to try to put these reflections in writing and in shape, rigorously, committing to writing, to thinking, « he says in interview.
Mondragón states that among the selected essays, several of which are testimonials and whose authors include the same students as well-known people in the field of performing arts such as David Olguín and Alberto Villarreal, there are reflections on the enormous inequality not only for the access to the culture of the population, but also in the cultural infrastructure in the country and among creators.
One of the essays, he says, focuses on inequality between the creators themselves.
“A glimpse of peripheral dance in Mexico City, which seems to me to be one of the most valuable, addresses the inequality that exists between those who can access scholarship and stimulus programs when the majority of the performers in this country, less visible that those who have stimuli, are those who are helping art to be accessible, for example through the houses of culture, in workshops, in the squares, in the open air ”, explains the author of Vida que resurge en las shores. Experiences from the Women, Art and Politics Workshop in Ecatepec (2020) (with Manuel Amador), A radical art of reading. Constellations of Latin American Philology (2019) and The school as a space of utopia.
He adds that in the thematic diversity of the 12 essays the same major issues are addressed in the area of justice, or violence against women in the field of theater Y racism in the performing arts.
As part of the online activities program during the contingency by the covid-19, and jointly, the Directorates of Theater, Dance, Music and the Ingmar Bergman Chair in Cinema and Theater launched the national call: « The need for a pause ». Essays on the current state of the performing arts and music in Mexico, 49 essays were received on various topics such as: cultural practices, sustainability, inclusion, audiences, artistic training, among others. The jury was made up of: Marcela Sánchez Mota, Manuel Rocha Iturbide and Rafael Mondragón, who selected 12 trials based on criteria such as: relevance, pertinence and depth.
Mondragón points out that the call is contextualized in UNAM actions, closed in its academic and cultural facilities for a year now when the pandemic was decreed on March 11, 2020, as the elaboration of the National Survey on Habits and Cultural Consumption 2020.
The selected essays are: Cartography of Contemporary Performing Arts in Mexico: Politics of Emancipated Spaces, by Verónica Alvarado Hernández Rojas; Grace / Abjection / Aporia / Appearance. Or the vindication of the forced distance in the theater before the incessant challenge of overcoming anguish, by Alejandro Flores Valencia; Theatrical infrastructure and social inequality: the need to promote theater in the country’s poor and marginalized communities, by David Juárez Castillo; Music on stage, subversion from the tradition in Bajo Tierra, El pescador y la petenera, Malpaís and El asesino entre nosotros, by Arizbel Morel Díaz.
As well Hitting Bottom: Performing Arts in the Times of Q4by David Olguín; A glimpse of peripheral dance in Mexico City, by Marcela Ponce Valadez; A hurricane is a kaleidoscope of man in time: reflections on the days with which we have corresponded to dialogue, by Salomé Ricalde Arnda; State of shock, by Tania Chirino; Exceptional music. Proposals and reflections on creative music and ritual, by Rogelio Sosa.
Towards a theatrical utopia: Mexican youth facing the return of the gods, by Ángel Antonio Trejo; The theater as an infinite pause, by Sergio Adrián Tronco; e And why isn’t he sent to a theater to save his life? –On the art of founding theaters as autonomous territories–, by Alberto Villarreal.
Mondragón highlights how in these reflections the authors speak of anguish, anger, insecurity in the face of the panorama implied by the crisis in the performing arts due to the pandemic.
“The majority of composers, performers, artists lost their source of work, all their future works were postponed or canceled; there are no festivals, concerts. And the fact that it is a health crisis implies a very strong health risk for the artistic community, because the work material of the dancers, the actors, are their bodies ”, explains the researcher, who also considers that the crisis in the performing arts is a crisis of civilization, of the way of working, of being with others.
And he points out that now the organizers seek to expand those reflections exposed in the essays with online forums, free and open to the general public, which will be held on February 15, 26 and 17, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in which the authors of the essays will talk at four tables with specialists such as Evoé Sotelo, Juan Meliá, José Wolffer, Mariana Gándara, Rafael Mondragón, Jerónimo García Naranjo, Haydé Lachino, Luis Mario Moncada, Y Raquel Araujo Wood.
The transmission of the forums will be through: www.youtube.com/CatedraIngmarBergmanUNAM and www.facebook.com/UNAMDanza
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