Mexico, 2013: Introduction

August 2013 – Cornelia Grabner’s trip to Mexico.

Mexico is a cultural crossroads: Spanish is spoken as well as 68 indigenous languages; the mestizo culture exists side-by-side with indigenous cultures. Immigrants from all over Europe arrived in Mexico since the conquest, and Mexico granted political asylum to many refugees from the fascist dictatorships in Europe since the 1940s, as well as to many refugees from the dictatorship in the Southern Cone in the 1970s and 1980s. Among them were many writers, for example the Spanish poets León Felipe and Luis Cernuda, and the German novelist Anna Seghers, to name only very few examples.

The cultural and political past and present is marked by the violence of conquest and colonialism, by the passionate struggle for freedom with dignity and justice, and by the repression of these struggles. Mexican writers and those who have made Mexico their permanent or temporary home, often practice ‘committed writing’ from within social movements or from an autonomous, politically engaged position. In this blog we will meet some writers who explore the relationship between writing and freedom in the particular context of contemporary Mexico.