The writer Mónica Lavín is considered to be one of the most interesting voices on the contemporary Mexican cultural scene. A prolific author of over 20 books, including novels, short story collections and four books of non-fiction. She has won a number of awards, including a Canadian Governor General’s Award and the Elena Poniatowska Ibero-American Novel Prize for her powerful and iconic novel Yo, la peor, about Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. She is a columnist for El Universal newspaper and presents programmes for channels Once and 22 that feature interviews with writers. In her most recent book, Últimos días de mis padres, the author deals with the death of her father, followed by the death of her mother. At this event, Lavín will offer a literary workshop at which the participants will create an exquisite corpse in order to cover the issue of narrative elements, and then do a short story writing challenge.
The zoologist, educator and communicator Andrés Cota Hiriart (Mexico) presents his very special Fieras familiares, inviting us to think about and celebrate biodiversity with a collection of personal essays in which he talks about his interactions and experiences with very different animals in different parts of the world. A collaborator with media outlets such as Vice, Letras Libres and Gatopardo, coordinator of the Sociedad de Científicos Anónimos, lecturer in Literature at the Escuela Superior de Cine film school and creator of the podcast Masaje Cerebral, he studied Biology at UNAM and did a Master’s in Communications at Imperial College, London. He is also the author of the novel Cabeza ajena (2017) and of the non-fiction publications Faunologías (2015) and El ajolote: Biología del anfibio más sobresaliente del mundo (2016). He will talk to Julieta Díaz Barrón.
Marta Peirano (Spain) is a journalist and researcher who specialises in the relations between power and technology. Her work is known for its critical and analytical insights, investigating the dangers of concentrated power structures and addictive digital dynamics, and has received international recognition. Her latest book is Contra el futuro, resistencia ciudadana contra el feudalismo climático. According to her, there are solutions to climate change within our reach and her book sets out some strategies for citizen action in order to counter the acceleration of climate feudalism and disaster capitalism; a new anti-apocalyptic approach that builds hope for the future. In conversation with Olivia Zerón.
Carlos Granés (Colombia) is an essayist, with a doctorate in Social Anthropology from the Complutense University of Madrid. He will talk to Juan Carlos Pérez about his new book, Delirio americano: Una historia cultural y política de América Latina (2021). In an arc that takes us from the death of José Martí to the death of Fidel Castro, Delirio americano analyses a great variety of the cultural, political and ideological currents that have contributed to the invention of modern Latin America, from modernism and the Americanist avant-garde to political and cultural guerrilla wars, in order to end up by examining the most immediate present and the unexpected form in which the politics and culture of Latin America have influenced the entire world. In conversation with Juan Carlos Pérez.
This experience is oriented towards those who are parents, accompany and take care of children, and to people who promote ways of living that focus on childhood. What are the rights of children and what can we do to respect them? How do we accompany girls, boys and children so that they can feel and be free? In an open conversation with Gina Jaramillo and Germán Paley, who promote the Collective Niñeces Presentes, we will discover how to make the world go around in favour of children. Far from stereotypes and social norms, this is a playful invitation to rethink everything we learned about childhood and this way favour new models of learning and living together so that children can be the main characters.
Libros UNAM presents an anthology, together with the authors Gabriela Jauregui and Brenda Lozano, who have edited the book, that introduces ten young women Mexican writers born between 1990 and 2000, whose work is proof of the contemporary richness of a very diverse Mexico, where creative freedom is accompanied by a will to experiment. With Paola Llamas Dinero and Nadia Ñuu Savi in conversation with the two editors.
Event co-organized with la UNAM
The poet Paul Muldoon has been writing and publishing poetry for over five decades. He has been Poetry Editor at The New Yorker, has won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the International Griffin Poetry Prize, among many other awards. He was Professor of Poetry at Oxford, President of the UK’s Poetry Society and is currently Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University. He has published over 30 poetry books, the most recent one published in Spanish being Elegías. He will talk to the Spanish translator of his work, Pura López Colomé.
Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available
Mexico is currently one of ten priority countries for the Kew Science botanical organization. The Kew Royal Botanic Gardens (United Kingdom) has focussed its efforts in tree planting, following the principles of reforestation set down in the Right Tree, Right Place guide. In 2021, Kew published 10 Golden Rules for Restoring Forests, which has been welcomed and praised around the world. This project has been supported by P&G’s Herbal Essences brand in order to help small farmers recover and reforest degraded areas with native trees, increasing biodiversity and conserving important and vulnerable ecosystems, such as tropical montane cloud forest and the pine and oak woods of Veracruz. At this event, our expert guests will talk about the power of trees and the importance of creating healthy relationships with nature. Patricia Dávila Aranda, Secretary of Institutional Development at UNAM, and Tiziana Ulian, a Senior Researcher and expert in sustainability at Kew, will talk to Cecilia Barría.
Elisa Guerra (Mexico), a researcher and educator, will talk to Gina Jaramillo (Mexico), the organizer of the international Free and Diverse Childhood and Adolescence events, about the urgent matter of education in Mexico and how to establish new systems that guarantee a quality, free, universal education for all. Elisa Guerra (Mexico) lectures in Education at Harvard University. In 2015 she was named Best Educator in Latin America and the Caribbean by the Inter-American Development Bank, and was shortlisted for the Global Teacher Prize –considered to be the Nobel of education– in 2015 and 2016. She is a member of UNESCO’s International Commission on the Futures of Education and co-author of the Reimagining Our Futures Together: A New Social Contract for Education report. She is also the author or co-author of over 25 text books, children’s tales and educational books. She has given lectures in English and Spanish in 18 countries around the world. Guerra is the founder of the Valle de Filadelfia Schools Network, which has a presence in five Latin American countries. In 2017, the television company Al Jazeera (Qatar) made a documentary about her, recognizing her proposal as one of the six most important educational innovations around the world.
Some of the simplest questions are also some of the most profound, taking us into both the history of human development and the very workings of nature. Why does it rain? Where does space begin? It is questions like these that form the starting point for Algo nuevo en los cielos, a book that leads us on a personal and scientific journey into the secrets of the atmosphere, while also covering the ascent of humankind into the skies, expanding our view of the universe. Its author, Antonio Martínez Ron (Spain), is a journalist, scientist and writer. He has worked as a scientific educator for different print, radio and television media outlets and has received major awards, such as the Ondas Prize and the Concha García Campoy Prize. This event will introduce us to meteorologists, pilots, poets and storm hunters to tell us the story of what Martínez Ron believes to be one of the most fascinating adventures that humans have ever undertaken. En conversation with Karla Vázquez Parra.
Two lives lived four centuries apart cross over in the latest novel by Lucía Lijtmaer (Argentina/Spain). Cauterio (2022) tells the story of two women who feel the need to flee: one from 17th-century London, where her ideals make her a threat, to the New World; another from Barcelona to Madrid, tormented by a recent breakup and her conviction that an apocalypse is coming. The critic and writer Lucía Lijtmaer offers two stories that shed light on and ask questions of gender roles in two very different eras; it also shows us a decadent world, one ready to be delivered to the flames: the fire will cauterize everything. In conversation with María José Vázquez de la Mora.
With the support of Acción Cultural Española (AC/E)
Despite the fact that Juan Rulfo is one of the most studied and commented on writers of recent decades, his work seems to be an endless source, always open to new interpretations and points of view. The academic, Doctor in Latin American Literature from the University of Pennsylvania and writer Francisco Carrillo (Spain) is the author of the book of essays Fuera de foco. Cinco derivas por la obra de Juan Rulfo, which give a new approach to the life and work of one of the most universal, iconic and influential Mexican writers. For those who think they know everything about Rulfo.
Caitlin Moran (United Kingdom) won a British Press Award for Best Columnist of the Year in 2010 and two more for Best Critic and Best Interviewer in 2011. She is the author of the award-winning book of non-fiction How To Be a Woman (2014), a testimony that has been considered essential reading for our times. She now presents More Than a Woman (2022), which takes up the concerns of the previous book from the perspective of a woman aged over forty and deals with the new issues that arise with age: sexuality, changes in one’s body, professional life, motherhood, domestic life, relations with teenagers and older people… Caitlin Moran has written a brave and intimate manifesto about the life experiences of a middle-aged woman in the 21st century. In conversation with Paulina Macías.
Event in English
The Nobel prize-winner Tawakkol Karman will talk about the importance of access to quality public education and information as essential tools for creating a free, critical public that can contribute to transforming the world. Tawakkol Karman (Yemen) is a human rights activist, journalist and politician. Known as “the mother of the revolution”, “the iron woman” and “the lady of the Arab spring”, Karman played a key role in the 2011 pro-democracy youth uprising in Yemen. She was awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, together with Ellen John Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee, in recognition of her leadership in the non-violent struggle and her work against authoritarianism, corruption and oppression. Karman is the first Arab woman and the second Muslim woman to win the Peace Prize and when she received the award she was the youngest ever winner, aged just 32. She will talk to Lorena Alcalá Cabrera.
Event in English
Gisela Leal published her first novel aged 24, making her the youngest author to be published by the famous Alfaguara house. El club de los abandonados (2011) was shortlisted for the Alfaguara Prize, and is a novel about excess and decadence in high society, expressed through the tragic and opulent lives of her characters. She later published El maravilloso y trágico arte de morir de amor (2015), a story that unfolds through a continuous conversation between a young women and a writer who, in cities such as New York, Mexico City and Barcelona, try to find company in their loneliness, telling each other how they have reached that point in their lives. Her third novel, Oda a la soledad y todo aquello que pudimos ser y no fuimos porque así somos (2017) tells the story of a family that enjoys fortune and social prestige in the eyes of others. However, one of the heirs seems to embody an error in the family system: he is a potential suicide who reveals the faults, absences and unbridgeable distances that exist among its members. Leal has also published stories in the magazines Eñe and P Magazine. On this occasion, she will talk about her work with her editor, Mayra González, and with the journalist Denise Maerker.
Just as the Internet has become an essential tool that structures so many aspects of contemporary life, so it also brings challenges, problems and threats, perhaps precisely because it has become so important in our lives. Technological sovereignty, cyber-surveillance, algorithm-based inequalities and even our dependence on the Web are topics that cannot be ignored. The thinker and author Yásnaya Elena Aguilar (Mexico), and the journalists Emma Graham-Harrison (United Kingdom) and Marta Peirano (Spain), will talk about these matters with Ana Pais.
With the support of the British Council
Jeremías Gamboa (Peru) is a journalist and academic and one of the most outstanding writers in his country and the Spanish-speaking world. His first novel, Contarlo todo, the story of a young woman of humble origins in contemporary Lina, was critically acclaimed. His most recent novel, Animales luminosos, is an intimate narrative that deals with some of the essential matters of our time, such as migration and cultural clashes. He will talk to the writer and journalist Irma Gallo.
There are questions that have been in the minds of humans since we emerged as enquiring beings: are the stars inhabited? Or are we alone in the universe? The guest who will discuss this matter with us is Carlos Briones (Spain), a doctor of science, a specialist in biochemistry and molecular biology and a researcher at the Council of Scientific Research’s Astrobiology Centre in Spain, an organization affiliated with NASA. Briones is the author of the book ¿Estamos solos? En busca de otras vidas en el cosmos, in which he takes up this question from an interdisciplinary viewpoint, looking at the history of how humans have reflected on extraterrestrial life not only from a scientific perspective, but also through art, literature, philosophy, music and science fiction. Briones is a dedicated Third Culture advocate, supporting the integration of the sciences, humanities and the arts. He will talk to Cecilia Barría.
With the support of Acción Cultural Española(AC/E)