Diego Luna advocates for culture to rebuild the social fabric in Mexico
Mexican actor and producer Diego Luna said on Tuesday that bringing culture closer to citizenship is a way to strengthen identity and recompose the social fabric that has been broken in Mexico due to high rates of violence.
"Access to culture is what allows us to understand our wealth and understand ourselves in our context, and culture is also indispensable to recompose the social fabric. We are in a country where it is urgent for us to meet with others and culture is a tool to achieve that," he said.
In a dialogue on cultural policies at the International Book Fair (FIL) in Guadalajara (western Mexico), which runs until Dec. 8, the actor said that "true poverty lies in the cultural void.
The Mexican said the model of access to culture in Mexico must take into account the country's cultural diversity, "the ignorance and cultural indifference" of some Mexicans, and what it means to have a northern border with a first-world country.
He recalled that when he was a child he had access to low-cost shows, as well as to theater and street concerts, which formed him as a spectator, but also encouraged him to devote himself to art.
Luna appealed to citizen participation to open cultural spaces and maintain those that already exist, and compared the loss of places dedicated to the arts with the murders of journalists in Mexico, since in both cases important voices for democracy are lost in the country.
"When a journalist is murdered, not just one person is killed; a meeting point is killed, thousands of stories are told. The same thing happens with culture. Art reminds us that we are not alone and when space is closed, when an armchair becomes empty, many voices and many consciences die, and I do believe that this is an alarming case in this country," he concluded.
Between November 30 and December 8, FIL hosts in Guadalajara, capital of the western Mexican state of Jalisco, about 800 writers from 37 countries and more than 2,000 publishers, as well as a prominent delegation from India and about 800,000 visitors.