The word beyond boudaries
On September 16, 1810, Miguel Hidalgo’s “grito de dolores” started off the Mexican Independency war; in 1910, Pancho Villa, Zapata, Serdan amongst others rose up simultaneously sparking off the Mexican Revolution; in 2000, the Partido revolucionario institucional lost the elections after 71 years in power, and the nation entered what has been defined as the “decade of chaos”.
For Mexico 2010 is the year of anniversaries, a year where to recall the key moments of its history, and to confront the primary hopes and ideals with its own present. Mexico’s present, which will always remain a mystery: land of deserts, jungles, metropolises, oceans, dust, lead, blood; a pre-Columbian, Americanised, Guadalupan, revolutionary, Zapatist, narco-trafficker, shamanic country. Complexity, hybridity and contradiction seem to be the colours of the Mexican flag.
In this special year, Babel festival invites some of Mexico’s most significant writers. The protagonists of “The word beyond borders” will be: Guillermo Arriaga, cult-writer, director of thee movie The Burning Plain, and script writer of acclaimed films such as Babel and Amores perros; Paco Ignacio Taibo II, author of gritty noirs and lucid analysis, creator of the stray detective Hector Belascoaran and biographer of figures such as Che Guevara and Pancho Villa; Juan Villoro, writer who, in a completely different cultural climate, follows up the civil and oracular heritage of writers such as Octavio Paz; Cristina Rivera Garza who, between novel and essay, Spanish and English, brothels and desert plains, masterly narrates Mexico at the turn of the 19th Century; Fabio Morabito, one of the best Spanish language poets today, narrator and translator of Montale’s collected poems; Mario Bellatin, who in his books, those toys “dark, radiant and bristling, like a Marcel Duchamp construction in words”, constantly rewrites the bond between reader and writer, the unutterable and the written word; Margo Glantz, writer, translator, scholar, a living legend in between two eras; a tribute to the Mexico of Roberto Bolaño, in our opinion one of the greatest authors in the Spanish language ever, carried out by his translator Ilide Carmignani and writers Juan Villoro and Maurizio Braucci; in the end, a glance on Mexico from Italy: Maurizio Braucci tells us about a trip that moves from Naples and crosses the whole of Mexico in search of those roots that intertwine with dead and with life.
Beyond word’s borders
For the section “Beyond word’s borders”, in this Mexican edition Babel proposes a transoceanic project developed especially for its public: a cooperation between Mexican electronic musician Los Amparito and Mexla, a Sardinian band of Mexican music: a translation of genres, epochs and traditions that circumnavigates Mexico, its music and languages. As always in collaboration with the Ticino cineclubs, the cineBabel retrospective offers a glance at the uplifting Mexican contemporary cinema. This section will be completed by the artBabel programs.
But this year Babel is also growing in space and in time, with the literary and cinema translation workshops of its Research Sector; with the ever-evolving program of its School Sector; with the new sections extraBabel and etnoBabel, reaching out to new Swiss cities and new disciplines; with the Babel book series by Edizioni Casagrande; and much more.