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A Mexico of Love and Learnings

Updated: Apr 6, 2020

This text is about affect.

This text is about the opportunity (unique in life!) to experience ten days of an inspiring Mexico, of loving and strong people who teach me how to recreate the possible senses and meanings for revolution.

At this moment, beginning to narrate what we experienced, I am overcome by the best emotions and already miss the looks and words we exchanged with our Mexican partners and their networks.

So, the adventure was motivated by having been approved with the roundtable, “Memory, curatorship and politics: cultural expressions and the occupation of public spaces through art” at the 2nd Iberoamerican Congress of Urban History: Historical processes that explain the Iberoamerican city, which took place on November 25th to 29, 2019 at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City.

At the roundtable, coordinated by Marta, our academic lead in the Brazilian work package, we presented works: Andréa and I; Jimmy; Pável; Aldo and Deyanira; and Gabriela Pires. We all reflected on our work in the context of GlobalGRACE, while Gabriela, a professor in the architecture prozgram at PUC-MG, looked at some representations of women in the arts and at the work of Mexican women painters, “As sete cabritas”.

Photo Credit: Servio Castellanos

The roundtable was beautiful and all of the dialogues and learnings that it mobilized made me proud to be part of a project like GlobalGRACE and have the chance to make my work available to exchange experiences with other places in the world and especially with what Voces Mesoamericanas has been developing in Chiapas.

My companions on the Brazil-Mexico journey were Andréa and Marta and we chose to arrive five days before the day of our presentation at the Congress to have the chance to get to know Chiapas and the work that has been done by the Mexican team of GlobalGRACE there.

Photo Credit: Isabela Souza

We visited the organization's headquarters and took the time to talk about our work in each of the countries. We were invited to accompany a theater class (based on methods of Teatro do Oprimido, by Augusto Boal) for children from the Chiloljá community, in the municipality of Cancun.

Photo Credit: Laura Mendonza

The little Tseltales Mayans taught me a lot during those hours that we shared. It is always surprising the ability of children to open themselves to artistic experiences and I really believe in the potential that art has to mobilize reflections and changes. This is true for me and I believe that what I live in my work here in Brazil and what I lived that morning in Chiloljá, even without speaking a word in Tseltal, strengthened me in this certainty.

Photo Credit: Pável Valenzuela Arámburo

Another highlight of the trip was the possibility to visit the Centro de Resistencia Autónomo y Rebeldia Zapatista Caracol Jacinto Canek and the opportunity to see the ways in which Zapatism continues to organize and resist, building other possible experiences of life in society.

In the luggage back, in addition to already missing the place, it brought many, many desires to continue exchanging with Mexico and our work partners there. Together, I believe that we produce a more affectionate Latin America, with bridges and listening. It will always be an honor to learn, exchange and be inspired with Mexico.

Written by Isabela Souza (


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