English PEN hosting a series of talks, Wahaca's Day of the Dead, 7 November
Wahaca's Day of the Dead Festival
Join us for
this year's Day of the Dead Festival
As part of our ongoing Mexico focus, English PEN is
joining forces with restaurant chain Wahaca at a major festival to mark
this year’s Day of the Dead
PEN is delighted
to be hosting a series of talks as part of Wahaca’s Day of the Dead, a
celebration of Mexican food and culture, at Tobacco Dock on 7 November.
As part of the festival, we are bringing an extraordinary range of
Mexican and British artists, journalists, musicians and writers together
to discuss their work, lives, and influences.
award-winning journalists Alfredo Corchado, Ioan Grillo, and Sandra
Rodriguez Nieto on their experiences of
reporting on Mexico’s drug cartels;former
President of PEN International Homero Aridjis in
conversation with fellow raconteur Simon
Schama; Booker Prize winner DBC
Pierre and satirist Martin
Rowson on our responses to death; musician Camilo
Lara and actor Diego
Luna on coming of age in Mexico; and Wahaca’s Thomasina
Miers in conversation with Mexico’s leading
Mexico has been
a focus for English PEN throughout 2015. We have taken action on behalf
of murdered Mexican journalists including José
Moisés Sánchez Cerezo and Rubén
Espinosa, and have hosted some of Mexico’s leading writers,
including Elena Poniatowska, Juan Villoro and PEN Pinter Prize winner
Lydia Cacho, here in London. We are honoured to be welcoming many more of
Mexico’s finest writers and artists to the UK for what promises to be a
fascinating and insightful series of talks.
We also hope to
highlight the risks our colleagues continue to face on the ground in
Mexico, where over 100 journalists have been murdered since 2000 and
many others disappeared. As Homero Aridjis explains:
Mexico is a
magical country where there are murder victims but no murderers,
especially when the victims are members of the press. But as the U.
N. High Commissioner for Human Rights noted on his recent visit to my
country, 98% of all crimes in Mexico remain unsolved.
There will be a
very special ofrenda in tribute to Mexico’s fallen journalists, while 10%
of all money spent on food and drink will be donated to the charity Periodistas
de a Pie , which works to protect journalists on the
Jo Glanville, Director of English PEN said:
English PEN is
delighted to be welcoming some of Mexico’s finest writers and artists to
the UK for what promises to be a fascinating and insightful series of
talks. Dia de los Muertos is a festival celebrated across Mexico to celebrate
both mortality and life. By joining forces with Wahaca at the Day of the
Dead festival, we hope to raise awareness of the work English PEN does to
support writers and those passionate about the written word, and to
highlight the dangers facing journalists in Mexico.
Wahaca co-founder Thomasina Miers said:
I am thrilled
by our line-up for Day of the Dead this year, a huge celebration of what
is great about Mexico, including its food, culture, film, art and
music. We are also hosting some fascinating talks with English PEN
looking into the deeper politics and culture of what it is like to be a
Mexican at the moment. This is a country and people whom we care
Writer DBC Pierre said:
As a writer
raised in a place that celebrates its dead, it’s perfect symmetry to
spend the occasion with the world’s oldest human rights group remembering
writers who died from telling the truth.
Author Ioan Grillo said:
As a Brit who
has reported on Mexico for 14 years, it warms me to see Londoners going
for tacos, tequila, turntables and talks to celebrate the beauty of, and
show solidarity with, a pais hermano.
The talks stage
is just one of many happenings over the 12-hour festival. Other
highlights include supper clubs hosted by Miers and Olvera; live music
from Mexrissey, Toy Selectah, Crystal Fighters and many more; Mexican
food and drink; a tattoo parlour; and a whole range of other delights.
this year’s Day of the Dead, Wahaca are encouraging people to take to
social media to remember their cultural icons who deserve to be
celebrated in death. By posting a photo and tagging #WahacaDOTD – entrants
will be in with a chance of winning a VIP experience at the festival,
plus £250 of Wahaca vouchers.