Tuesday, April 25, 2017

of Jews and Feminism

The Museum of memory and Tolerance (Museo de Memoria y Tolerancia) of Mexico City is a fantastic place to go to. Always. Their sobering permanent exhibits are really good, touching on the Holocaust, on many other genocides, on racism and discrimination... But it's their temporary exhibitions that keep us coming back over and over again.

This time? We went back for two special things. The first one consisted of some recovered manuscripts written by Luis de Carvajal, a Spanish Jew who moved to America in order to escape the Spanish Inquisition in Europe. These texts are from 1595, and 70 years ago were stolen from Mexico's National Archives. Now that they´ve been recovered, they're at this museum. 

These are considered the first texts written by a Jew on American soil, and consist of a diary, prayer instructions... They are really small in size, probably to make it easier to hide them. Alas, Luis de Carvajal was finally detained by the Inquisition for practicing "the Mosaic Law". He committed suicide.

Those books are part of the permanent collection now, so you have to cross most of the exhibits before you get to them. Right after the room they're in, there's this piece in commemoration of the children that died during the Holocaust. A simple, and moving, sculpture.

And then we moved to the temporary exhibition, on Feminicide. I'd say it's a must. Feminicide is a scourge, and it must be both exhibited, acknowledged, and combatted. This exhibition, through an incredibly thoughtful layout, takes you through sheer cold brutal facts, through archival narratives, through artistic installations. It educates, it denounces, it moves, it empowers... Kudos to the museum and the curators for this incredible meshing of information and art to deal with such a delicate and outraging subject... 

The exhibit is powerful, and so I decided on using just two images, since there's no way to do it real justice here. The first one is a corridor with hanging ropes impeding your progress, while you hear misogynistic sexist messages. The second one is a field of pink crosses, overflowing near the back and spilling over a side of the museum, representing all the women killed by gender violence. 

Sure, you usually need some activity to pick up your spirits after a visit to this museum. But if you're in Mexico City, you also cannot miss a visit.

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