Culture, the light at the end of the tunnel

Culture is the key to tackle violence and to encourage the social and economic development of Mexico

Culture, the light at the end of the tunnel
Opening of the Book Fair at the Palace of the Mines in February 2018 – Photo: Alejandra Leyva/EL UNIVERSAL
English 13/05/2018 08:47 Mexico City Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL Actualizada 08:47

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Culture is a field that, for decades, Mexican administrations have neglected and for which they lack a clear vision or project with specific goals.

Despite culture is considered, in the broadest sense, the key to devising and implementing a true social and economic development in Mexico, and that in recent times it has also become vital in breaking with the cycle of violence that we're currently living in, it is not in the agendas of most presidential candidates. It is a subject which is either barely touched upon, restricted to tangential references on overall culture – without a direct approach regarding its importance or specific problems – or it is, quite frankly, absent.

What would be each of the candidate's strategy to bring culture to the most isolated and marginalized areas of the country, should they to win the election? How would they provide more cultural services to the population, a right we're all entitled to? What would they innovate and what would they discard? Would they propose a new law or agency in this regard?

Moreover, how would they allocate the resources and efforts of cultural institutions – in demand today to pacify and rebuild the national social weave?

The proposals we've been given thus far by those responsible are, in some cases, very similar in regard to artistic education, use of technologies, the image of Mexico to the eyes of the world, support to artists, and, justly so, the vision of culture as a tool for national reconciliation.

Culture is not a lesser field. Considering that now, after the creation of the Ministry of Culture in December 2015, this department already has an annual budget of MXN$ 12.9 billion – more than other government departments, such as Toruism, Foreign Affairs, and Economy – according to the Expense Budget of the Federation, it's clear that from the front of culture many actions can, and should, be taken from all cultural elites, aimed towards the cultivation of the mind and spirit, sure, but also to reunite us and redefine us as the progressive, educated, and pacific society we aspire to be.

However, in order to achieve the much-desired pacification, as a starting point, whoever becomes the next President of Mexico will have to increase the budget of the Ministry of Culture. In this, positively, agree almost all presidential candidates.

Because Mexico still needs a true and ambitious cultural policy, let's demand concrete proposals in this regard to our presidential candidates.