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The Centre for Mexican Studies invites you to a discussion about the relationship between culture and politics in Latin America and the Caribbean in the 21st century with Dr Helena López, Dr Paula Serafini, and Professors Deborah Martin and Fabienne Viala.

We are interested in the following questions: What does a politically engaged culture (literature, cinema, the arts) mean today? What role do the State and the cultural industries play? What is the relation between cultural actors in the region and the metropolitan centres? How are the themes, such as gender violence, environmental justice, extractivism, human rights, currently addressed by different cultural practices? In what sense is the term “activism” relevant?

About the speakers

Helena Lopez

Dr Helena López

Helena holds a PhD in Hispanic Philology (University of A Coruña). She has been a Fulbright visiting researcher at Brown University and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of London with a project on cultural memory. Her main research interests are located in the intersection between feminism and literature, with special attention to questions about memory and affect. She was a lecturer in Hispanic Studies, from 2003 to 2009, at the University of Bath. She currently works as a researcher at the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios de Género (CIEG), at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), where she was, from 2015 to 2019, academic convenor.

Paula Serafini

Dr Paula Serafini

Paula is a Lecturer in Creative and Cultural Industries at Queen Mary University of London. Her research is situated in the field of cultural politics, and her interests include extractivism, social movements, art activism, performance, cultural labour and policy, and socioecological transitions. She is the author of Performance Action: The Politics of Art Activism (Routledge, 2018) and Creating Worlds Otherwise: Art, Collective Action, and (Post)Extractivism (Vanderbilt University Press, 2022), and co-editor of artWORK: Art, Labour and Activism (Rowman and Littlefield International, 2017) and Arte y Ecología Política (IIGG-CLACSO, 2020).

Deborah Martin

Professor Deborah Martin

Deborah is a Professor of Latin American Film and Culture at University College London. She is the author of three books, The Child in Contemporary Latin American Cinema (2019), The Cinema of Lucrecia Martel (2016), and Painting, Literature and Film in Colombian Feminine Culture 1940-2005: Of Border Guards, Nomads and Women (2012), as well as numerous articles and book chapters on Latin American cinema. With Deborah Shaw (Portsmouth University) she is co-editor of the book Latin American Women’s Film-making: Production, Politics, Poetics (2017). Deborah Martin is currently working on connections between Latin American film and visual culture, and environmentalist activism.

Fabienne Viala

Professor Fabienne Viala

Fabienne holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle (France) since 2004. She relocated to the UK in 2009 and held several teaching and research positions at the University of Cambridge and King’s College London, in Latin American, Caribbean, and Comparative Literature programs. Fabienne’s expertise lies in Caribbean Cultural Studies, within a multilingual and cross-disciplinary comparative perspective. Influenced by decolonial theories and ecocritical studies, Fabienne’s recent research questions how the legacies of slavery in the Caribbean can be a fruitful axis to understand the current racial and environmental crisis conjointly, and how they lead to reproduce patterns of erosion ( extinction, discrimination, exhaustion) worldwide.

Event details

Waterloo Bridge Wing, Franklin Wilkins Building
Stamford Street, SE1 9NH