The Mexican writer Cristina Rivera Garza chose, among the thousands of objects that make up the collection of the Americas of the British Museum, the drawings of some tubers, some potatoes, traced on a special paper, and from a piece of which no one knows much “imagined a fantastic work”.
The Chilean narrator Lina Meruane selected from the collection a smiling mask that mockingly shows a red tongue and made an essay.
Thus, ten Latin American creators inspire their texts in different pieces of the aforementioned collection and invite readers, through the book to recount (Anagrama), to evoke from literature the lost heritage, which was taken from the subcontinent but has been conserved and continues to say something.
The idea is that Latin American authors talk about the museum, that they rethink what a museum is today and what is the relationship of the pieces with their origin, how they came to the site; that they reflect on culture, why for so many years there was no talk of the looting that took place in Latin America,” says Felipe Restrepo Pombo.
In an interview with Excelsior, The coordinator of the volume emphasizes that the narrators do not speak of compensating for the damage, “but of revaluing memory, of re-creating ties and strengthening them, of bringing British and Latin American cultures closer together.”
The writer adds that the historical narratives that concern Latin America usually have their origin in the colonial imaginary and that this initiative seeks to reverse these narratives, generating new discourses through the interpretations of existing objects in the collection.
We thought of authors who had a relationship with the world of art, who liked it, who reflected on it, and who had a very powerful work”, explains who will present the book on September 3, at 7:00 p.m., at the Hay Festival Querétaro, which will take place from the 1st to the 4th of the same month.
It is not sought to give definitive answers, the spirit is to speak from different perspectives; it is not a complaint, it only poses questions for the reader to decide”, he indicates.
Recounting also includes texts by Yásnaya Elena Aguilar Gil, Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, Juan Cárdenas, Carlos Fonseca, Dolores Reyes, Djamila Ribeiro, Velia Vidal and Joseph Zárate.
The British Museum’s collection contains approximately 62,000 objects, spanning 10,000 years of human history, according to the site’s website.
Recounting, convened by the British Museum’s Santo Domingo Center of Excellence for Research on Latin America, is one of the core projects of the Hay Festival, an encounter that, born in the Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye 34 years ago, He has been performing in Mexico for 12 years, the last seven in Querétaro.
In the 2022 edition, the Nigerian playwright, poet and political activist Wole Soyinka, winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature, and the Yemeni journalist Tawakkol Karman, Nobel Peace Prize winner, lead the lineup of 145 participants from 15 countries, who will star in the 94 activities of various disciplines, between conversations, book presentations, workshops and concerts, in different forums in the Queretaro capital.
Soyinka will talk about his latest book, Chronicles from the Country of the Happiest People on Earth, a funny and bitter satire on corruption, in the form of a mystery novel, which takes place in an imaginary Nigeria, but very similar to the real.
With a budget of 15 million pesos, 9 million pesos contributed by the municipality, and 6 million pesos by the state, the Hay Festival Querétaro seeks to recover the 35,000 attendees that, on average, it received in the editions held before the pandemic, commented the organizers.
Among the writers who will meet are the Irish poet Paul Muldoon, the Spanish writer Rosa Montero, the American Vivian Gornick, the French Jean-Baptiste del Amo, the British Caitlin Moran, the Mexican Margo Glantz and the musician and poet Jarvis Cocker, the visible face of the British pop band Pulp, among others.
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VII There is Festival Querétaro; recount and imagine