The Centre for Medical Humanities and the Medical Anthropology Research Group present:

“Social impact of cultural access and creativity: Urban Cultural Policies in Mexico City” a seminar by Ana Rosas Mantecón, Anthropology Department, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana México and Visiting Fellow, Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Wednesday 18thMay, 4 – 6.00
Anthropology Seminar Room, Dawson Building, South Road, Science Site

Abstract: In the search of improving social interaction, reverting deterioration of public spaces, and fighting crime, different cities all over the world have appealed to cultural access and creativity as means to confront exclusion, violence, and debilitated social ties. In European cities, like Dublin, Belfast or London, and some Latin American ones such as México City, Medellin and Bogotá, cultural policies have proven efficient for restructuring social tissue, improving living standards, transforming values, and creating a bridge for dialogue between different sectors of society. This lecture analyzes three of Mexico City’s projects (one by the city government and the others rooted in civil society) that work with marginalized groups of people in urban, conflicted areas: ConArte (WithArt), Cultural Territories for Equality, and the Faros Network.

This seminar will be of interest not only to academic research staff, but also for students interested in developing research projects around the topics of inclusion, regeneration, development, culture and dialogue, and urban social anthropology.

All welcome!

For more information on this seminar, please contact Anni Raw

Ana Rosas Mantecón

 Ana Rosas Mantecón is anthropologist, full time teacher and researcher at Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana’s Anthropology Department since 1992. Her research has specialized in cultural consumption and artistic reception, studying cultural policies and audiences in museums, cinemas, television, video, dance saloons, rock concerts; cultural tourism and urban heritage. She has given conferences and seminars in Mexico, Argentine, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Spain, Portugal and Germany. She is part of Mexican and international research networks. Since 1989 she began working in the Program of Urban Culture, coordinated by Néstor García Canclini, conducting joint investigations on urban anthropology, cultural policies and audiences. She has also participated in the project México’s cultural challenges facing globalization, coordinated by Lourdes Arizpe, with studies on cultural tourism and cinema industry. She coordinated a Research Group on Cultural Consumption at Clacso (Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales), formed by specialists from six different Latin American countries. Since 2007 she has participated in the Brazilian-Portuguese Network of Urban Studies, coordinated by Carlos Fortuna and Rogerio Proença.

1 Comment

anni raw · April 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Just a bit of context for Ana’s visit, to bring it within the CMH fold a bit …
I went to a conference in Bristol last September entitled ‘Beauty will change the world’, and caught an inspiring presentation by Valentina Rojas, visiting from Mexico City, about a project called ‘Faro de Orient’. This was a grassroots initiative, in which artists had taken over a former flour factory in an accutely disadvantaged community on the outskirts of Mexico city, and turned it into a ‘cultural centre’, offering arts and crafts workshops, internet access, and community spaces free for local people. The result, as documented in a video by local film maker Vlady Diaz, was that some people in desperate circumstances had begun to take control of overwhelmingly negative elements of their lives, and were imagining and realising radically different futures for themselves, their children, siblings, neighbours – their community.
I was very inspired, both personally and for research purposes, and made contact with Valentina and then Vlady in Mexico City, from where we have had skype contact over the past months, discussing the working practices and motivations of these artists. Ana is an academic colleague of Valentina, and we now have contact too. I’m hoping to establish a link between CMH and the anthropology department at Ana’s university (UAM), where there is also other related research taking place. In the Autumn I will visit Mexico City with the help of a Santander mobility grant, but in the meantime we have this rare opportunity to hear directly frm Ana about her research, which includes a focus on the ‘Faro’ initiative.

With our international links in mind, I hope others will be as excited as I am by this opportunity to broaden our scope to include high level academic insight from Latin America, into cultural approaches to community health development. Hope to see you there!

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