Cultural Self-Sustainability Since 2000. Gaps of Power in the Cultural Politics of Mexico

Saturday, 4 July 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
CLM.3.05 (Clement House)
Pablo Angel Lugo, Polytechnic University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain
The implementation of neoliberalism in Mexico was first led by president Carlos Salinas de Gortari. In the cultural field, he established the Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (National Fund for Culture and the Arts) as a way to control the artistic production in the country. Its creation generated a gap between areas in the Arts and artists supported by the Mexican government, and the Arts and artists who worked in the periphery. The distribution of grants from the fund, received severe criticism from different organizations around the Mexican Republic.

Some of the harshest critics were groups and collectives with trajectories of more than twenty years such as El Alicia, El circo volador (The flying circus), some etching workshops like Utopía Gráfica (Graphic Utopia), La Ceiba Gráfica (The Graphic Ceiba), Limonada Taller (Lemonade Workshop), Taller Gráfica Actual (Current Graphic Workshop), collectives as Somosmexas, Coperativa Cráter Invertido (cooperative inverted crater), Grupo de Artistas Mutualistas (Mutualists Artists Group) Artistas Aliados (Allied Artists) among others. All these spaces work with their own resources and with their own ideas about social development. They are part of the tradition of political engagement of Mexican graphic artists since the years of the Mexican Revolution. These initiatives are, in many regiosn of Mexico, the only arts activity recognised by their communities. Their production is vast, and is generally consumed locally. In this paper I will explore both the open and hidden connections between these groups and the the political activities of anarchism in Mexico.