Reading time: 15 minutes
Facing the systematic precarization of Mexico City’s art field, the researcher and artist Tamara Ibarra, the publisher Nicolás Pradilla y Diego del Valle Ríos, editor of Terremoto, question the possibility of an organized resistance as an art union.
Do you think a reconsideration of communitarian meaning is possible if we reduce individual working hours in order to accelerate collective organization with the goal of opening micropolitical spaces of assembly?
It is difficult for us to abandon the privileges of visibility and mobility that we enjoy even in our condition of instability and uncertainty.
Marcos González “Foreman” (coordinator), Adriana Cañedo, Taka Fernández, Morelos León Celis, Antonio Monroy, Balám Bartolomé, Alejandro Palomino, Alejandra España, Paola de Anda, Isaac Olvera, Bernardita Betelsen, Luis Hampshire, Anais Vasconcelos, Fernanda Brunette, Gonzalo García, and Macarena.
Frontera (sculpture space and workshop), Aztlán (itinerant silkscreen workshop), LAB Program (artist residency), and a print workshop.
This initiative is approached in the article What do we defend those who were born here?, by Tonatiuh López, also included in this issue.
On November 20, 2019, the social initiatives Community Art and Trade Workshop 2019 and Community Cultural Collectives of Mexico City 2019 published their Rules of Operation as a preamble to a proposal for the Independent Cultural Spaces of Mexico City Law that projected the legal regulation of the activities of collective, self-managed, and community art and culture spaces. Said regulation sought to accomplish two objectives: 1) Promote and strengthen citizen participation through community cultural projects, and 2) Strengthen organizational processes in community cultural collectives. More information is available at: <http://www.sideso.cdmx.gob.mx/documentos/2019/secretarias/cultura/secretariadecultura_
notaaclaratoriarops2_colectivosculturalescom.pdf>. [Accessed, December 10, 2019].
Located in Colonia Escandón in Mexico City, in what was an abandoned school run by Salesian nuns, Escuela de la Paz is a project developed by the architecture firm Estudio Tacubaya in collaboration with several groups from the artist community. It now houses Obrera Central, La Herrateca, La Hervidera, RRD, and artist studios.
Claudia Herrera Beltrán, “Se incorporó a la SEP la Prepa Popular Fresno” in La Jornada, August 16, 1997, <https://www.jornada.com.mx/1997/08/16/prepa.html>. [Accessed, January 7, 2020].
According to the Encuesta Nacional de Ocupación y Empleo [The National Survey on Occupation and Employment] (first trimester of 2019), 56.6 percent of the population of Mexico is informally employed. More information at: <inegi.org.mx/contenidos/saladeprensa/boletines/2019/enoe_ie/enoe_ie2019_08.pdf>. [Accessed, December 4, 2019].
Chapter 3000 was a fee contract system for workers of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura [The National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature]. During 2018 and 2019, workers who were contracted under this system were subjected to the violence of late payments and the uncertainty that they bring with them. This was the origin of a series of manifestations and protests demanding that the government fulfill its responsibility to its workers.
After the government changed in December 2018, the Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes [The National Fund for Culture and the Arts] convened work committees in different states in the Mexican Republic with the aim of opening a dialogue about the gaps, deficiencies, and limits of the regulatory framework that conditions participation, reception, and production through this public subsidy.
During the first year of Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s new government, different culture and art organizations protested demanding that the LXIV Legislature increase the culture budget for 2020 through the Presupuesto de Egresos de la Nación, as was recommended by United Nations Education, Science, and Culture Organization (UNESCO), set at 1 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Boomerang is an initiative made up of various Mexico City collectives (Cráter Invertido, Luz y Fuerza, R.A.T., Neter, Cine Expandido, and YEI) that convened meetings at the beginning of 2014 to bring together independent spaces and share doubts, problems, tools, and experiences.
A platform and archive run by Tamara Ibarra that analyzes, promotes, and evaluates the present moment of independent spaces in Mexico City.
The term “art workers” permits a horizontal recognition of the labor force sustained by the system: artists, curators, museographers and art handlers, archivists, administrative personnel, security and janitorial personnel, directors, critics, and writers, etc.
Verónica Gago, La razón neoliberal. Economías barrocas y pragmática popular, Buenos Aires: Tinta Limón, 2014, p. 17.
Nicolás Pradilla, Un modelo de organización colectiva para la subjetivación política. El manual del editor con huaraches y los seminarios de labor editorial en escuelas normales rurales en México, Ciudad de México: Taller de Ediciones Económicas, 2019.