2021: a year that leaves great absences in letters, music and plastic

This year that is ending is a time of notable absences in Mexican and international culture, such as the departure of Vicente Rojo, Mario Lavista, Almudena Grandes, Francisco Brines and an especially endearing one: the composer Franco Battiato. However, it was a year in which it was possible to return to face-to-face activities and the 2020 Chronicle Award ceremony was held.

The pen of the writer Anne Rice, one of the queens of gothic horror and author of the novel “Interview with the Vampire”, as well as the series of books “Vampire Chronicles” was turned off this 2021, like that of the American Noah Gordon , author internationally known for his novel “The doctor”, also transferred to the cinema.

Almudena Grandes, author of great works such as “Malena es nombre de tango”, “Los aires Difficult” or “Las Ages de Lulú” passed away in Spain. One of the Spanish narrators with the greatest international projection, as well as one of the literary voices most committed to feminism. The 2019 and 2020 Cervantes Awards, Joan Margarit and Francisco Brines, were other farewells to the literary world.

Italian musician and composer Franco Battiato, Japanese mangaka Takao Saito and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu died.

Among the people who left this world in our country, were the rector of the Ibero-American University, Saúl Cuautle Quechol, who died at the age of 55 due to a heart attack after several days hospitalized for Covid19; the jazz composer and drummer, Tino Contreras (Chihuahua, 1924- Mexico City, 2021), who was a great promoter of this genre and died at the age of 97.

And this December 29, the French-Swiss photographer Sabine Weiss, considered the last disciple of the French humanist school, died on Tuesday at her home in Paris at the age of 97.

Here is a brief account of Mexican personalities who have passed away.

The historian of the Institute of Anthropological Research of the UNAM and National Prize of Arts and Literature 2020, Alfredo López Austin, died at the age of 85. He was considered one of the most important scholars of the Mesoamerican worldview, as well as its iconography and the mythology of the religious tradition.

Spanish-born artist, designer and editor Vicente Rojo died at the age of 89. He was widely recognized for having been part of the Generation of Rupture. One of his best known works is “Country of volcanoes”, which is located in front of the Foreign Relations building in the Historic Center of Mexico City.

At the age of 78, the Mexican composer Mario Lavista (1943-2021), founder and director of Pauta magazine, as well as author of the book Texts around music, passed away.

Mexican comic book writer, novelist, and scriptwriter Francisco Gerardo Haghenbeck Correa, author of a comic series published by Image Comics and later in DC Comics’ Wildstorm, died at the age of 56.

At 55, the cartoonist Antonio Helguera died of a heart attack.

The soprano Violeta Dávalos Lara, who distinguished herself for her artistic career in opera, operetta and zarzuela projects, died at 52 years of age due to peritonitis.


The Nobel Prize for Literature went to Abdulrazak Gurnah, a UK-based Tanzanian novelist, who received the 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature “for his uncompromising and compassionate understanding of the effects of colonialism and the fate of refugees on the gulf between cultures and continents.”

While the 2021 Cervantes Prize, the most important of Spanish letters, went to the Uruguayan writer Cristina Peri Rossi (Montevideo, 1941), who went into exile from her country in 1972 and has lived in Barcelona for decades.

And the French writer Emmanuel Carrère won the 2021 Princess of Asturias Award for Literature. The jury said that the author “has built a highly personal work that generates a new space for expression that blurs the boundaries between reality and fiction. His books contribute to unmasking the human condition and relentlessly dissect reality. “

The Mexican poet Jorge Humberto Chávez won the 2021 Jaime-Sabines / GatienLapointe International Poetry Prize for his collection of poems Bar Papillon and the sad poem / Bar Papillon y le poème triste (translation by Françoise Roy) co-edited by Les Écrits des Forges (Trois-Rivières , Quebec) and Mantis Editores (Guadalajara, Mexico)

In the framework of the 35th edition of the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL), the FIL Prize for Literature in Romance Languages ​​was awarded to the Chilean writer Diamela Eltit, “for a career that transcends literary conventions to dialogue with visuality , criticism, feminism, psychoanalysis and contemporary post-humanist theories “.

Hiram Ruvalcaba, originally from Zapotlán El Grande, was the winner of the XVIII Agustín Yáñez National Short Story Award.

The First Ibero-American Short Story and Novel Contest Ventosa – Arrufat and the Elena Poniatowska Amor AC Foundation was also held, in which the writer Joaquín Guerrero Casasola won in the novel category for a “wonderful literary exercise that unites past and present” .

The winner of the 2021 José Rubén Romero Fine Arts Novel Prize was Hugo Roca Joglar, for his work I can see the future: there is a murder.

Tedi López Mills was the winner of the 2021 Inés Arredondo Fine Arts Prize for Literature for her career; Mexican writer Elsa Cross was the winner of the Rosario Castellanos Prize for Literary Merit; and the choreographer Rosa María Romero Olivera won the XXXIV José Limón 2021 National Prize for Contemporary Dance.


Due to the pandemic, this year the Editorial Committee of La Crónica de Hoy, chaired by Jorge Kahwagi Gastine, delivered the 2020 Crónica Prize in person. The winners were Dr. Susana Lizano Soberón, in Science and Technology; at the Academy, Dr. Javier Garciadiego Dantán; in Culture, Dr. Concepción Company Company, and in Public Communication, the Tecnológico de Monterrey, for their contributions to science, academia, culture and public communication.

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2021: a year that leaves great absences in letters, music and plastic