The Government of Mexico presents the 2023 National Awards for Arts and Literature

The Government of Mexico presents the 2023 National Awards for Arts and Literature

Representing the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the Secretary of the Interior, Luisa María Alcalde Luján, together with the Federal Secretary of Culture, Alejandra Frausto Guerrero, today presented the 2023 National Awards for Arts and Literature, at the Palacio de Bellas Arts.

The award is the recognition granted by the Government of Mexico with the aim of promoting and disseminating the work of those who, through their creations, productions or teaching, research or dissemination work, contribute to enriching the country's cultural heritage.

In the Main Hall of the country's highest cultural venue, Beatriz Espejo Díaz received the National Awards for Arts and Literature, in Linguistics and Literature; Claudio de Jesús Valdés Kuri, in Fine Arts; José Manuel Valenzuela Arce, in History, Social Sciences and Philosophy, and Guillermo Velázquez Benavidez, in Arts and Popular Traditions.

The Secretary of the Interior recalled the work of those who were recognized this day and recognized in the various categories that this decoration encompasses.

“For our four winners today, there is a request and congratulations. The request is that they never cease to amaze us with the music of their work. From words, expression, science or singing, they show us what has been sought by President López Obrador, whom today I have the honor of representing: Giving a voice to those who did not have one,” he expressed.

In turn, the Secretary of Culture of the Government of Mexico, Alejandra Frausto Guerrero, said: “They are four creators with extraordinary ideals, principles, passion and determination. They have broken barriers and overcome obstacles throughout their career. This award is recognition of an entire career that now makes them Emeritus Creators of the Creation Support System, this system, formerly Fonca, that has constant support; At the moment we have 2,253 current beneficiaries and 66 of them are emeritus, permanent, while they are alive they will have support from the State that appreciates their artistic careers, month after month."

She added that, just as creators have transformed their lives and those of others through art, there are 443 Creative Seedbeds throughout the country, community artistic training groups where girls, boys and young people are transforming their reality.

“The panorama of creation in Mexico – she continued – far exceeds the scope of a system, we are a culturally sustained, artistically vast country, well represented in every corner of it. Without a doubt, you are an example of the melting pot of our diversity and with your work you celebrate it every day from free stages and classrooms. The best tribute is to listen to Guillermo Velázquez, read José Manuel Valenzuela and Beatriz Espejo, go to the theater to enjoy the works of Claudio Valdez Kuri.”

Beatriz Espejo, awarded in Linguistics and Literature, considered “that an important country like ours has the right to health and culture and in matters of culture we are at the head of many other countries. There is a phrase from Unamuno – she continued – that when they gave him a medal he said to the king 'thank you very much, Your Majesty, for this medal that I deserve.' I, on the other hand, am not so sure I deserve it. However, throughout my life I have had a great passion for literature. I have published prologues, articles, essays, translations; I have always done everything with great perseverance; "Perhaps that is the only reason why he deserves this medal."

Claudio de Jesús Valdés Kuri, Fine Arts Prize winner, explained that “to talk about the theatrical phenomenon is to enter the realm of the subtle; It is an essentially ephemeral art, we write in the air, but with the great power of whispering in the viewer's ear. Everything that happens to us, whether beautiful or awful, is happening for our greatest good. Theater is a powerful, unique and sacred tool, where the spectator can, through the other, contemplate his own being. I trust that the young people who come behind do not lose their breath and know that by putting this wonderful tool at the service of others, they are creating paths of consciousness for a kinder, more generous and fuller evolution.”

José Manuel Valenzuela Arce, winner of History, Social Sciences and Philosophy, reflected that “the situation of young people has acquired more than worrying challenges, especially in Latin America, where the channels of social mobility and the possibilities of building projects were limited. viable of life. The processes of precarization together with the degradation of the entities in charge of dispensing justice framed the worlds of youth, placing many of them in 'necrozones' that expand the incidence of juvenicide.

We require a critical, reflective and humanistic science that questions its responsibility in the transformation of reality and that prefigures the place we want as humanity.”

Guillermo Velázquez Benavidez, recognized in Popular Arts and Traditions, decided to honor tradition when receiving the Award, and in words decanted in verse he expressed: “I want to perch on the branch of my best words to give honors to the art that spills, without sequins of fame, nor dazzling clothing; but as humble accessible and collective water; In that spirit I receive the Award and the tribute. Musicians who, without school, have been in their hearts depositaries of a gift that rejoices and consoles, troubadours whose voice flies and makes the cordage vibrate, enriching the landscape with beautiful sounds and verses; I receive, on their behalf, the Award and the tribute. (…) Old erudite poets, without titles, or lineage, pillars of the scaffolding of the most creative Mexico, evoking receipt, the Prize and the tribute.”
Recognitions for his contribution to culture and the arts in Mexico

Beatriz Espejo Díaz was born on September 19, 1939 in Veracruz. She is a writer, narrator, essayist, researcher and academic. Due to her literary aptitudes and academic rigor, she obtained scholarships from the Mexican Center of Writers, the Literary Research Center of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the El Colegio de México. She is the author of an extensive narrative work made up of, among other titles, The Other Sister (1958), Muros de Azogue (1979), The Sinner's Song (1993), The Sorceress (1995), Haute Couture (1997), Everything What We Do as a Family (2001), Marilyn in Bed and Other Stories (2004), The Marble Angel (2008) and The Memory Palace (2018).

She is recognized as the founder of the magazine El Rehilete (1961-1971), which was distinguished by having an entirely female directory. She has received notable distinctions such as the National Journalism Award (1986), the University Award for Artistic Excellence and Dissemination of Culture (2008), the Fine Arts Gold Medal (2009) and the Jaime Sabines Medal (2011).
Claudio de Jesús Valdés Kuri, born in Mexico City in 1965, stage director and playwright, is one of the most recognized Latin American performing artists. His creations have been acclaimed in more than 200 cities on five continents. He has received outstanding awards and praise from national and international specialized critics. He occupies a place of extraordinary relevance within the country's theater community and has managed to renew and expand interest in theater among the most diverse sectors. He is a key figure that places Mexico as a benchmark of artistic excellence.

He founded Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes in 1997, a company in which he puts into practice his interdisciplinary vocation as a director, playwright, actor, musician and film director. From the first production, his original vision successfully burst onto the national scene. His productions and co-production proposals have placed Mexican theater and dramaturgy in the most renowned forums and festivals in the world. The desire to transmit knowledge and experience has motivated him to create ArtBoretum, a center for the development of performing arts and community gatherings, a proposal that unites art, ecology, community and human development.

José Manuel Valenzuela Arce was born on August 1, 1954 in Tecate, Baja California. He is an emeritus research professor at El Colegio de la Frontera Norte and an emeritus researcher at the National System of Researchers (SNI). He has a doctorate in Social Sciences with a specialty in Sociology from El Colegio de México and an honorary doctorate from the Autonomous University of Baja California (2013). He earned the Distinguished Visiting Professor in Mexican American Studies from the University of Arizona (2007) and the John Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (2005) for productive scholarship or demonstrated creative ability in the arts. He won the Rockefeller Foundation/Federal University of Rio de Janeiro scholarship for research residency in that Brazilian city (1994-1995).

He has published 50 books, including 22 as sole author and in 28 he has been coordinator; He has also written 94 chapters in various editions and 50 articles in academic journals. His most recent titles are: The Dance of the Extinct. Juvenicide, violence and hitman powers in Latin America (2022); Cuchuma. The sacred mountain of Tecate (2022); Heteronymies in the social sciences (2020); The great Mexico. Mexican cultures beyond borders (2020); Divergent voices. Youth, resistance and narcoculture (2020); Paths of human exodus. The Central American migrant caravans (coord.) (2019).

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