Mexico in Focus

Tuesday, December 7, 2010 8:00 PM

This article ran in the El Paso Times website in July, 2010
Mexico in Focus: Analisys on News Out of Mexico

Art against violence. A Worth Graphic Design Exhibit
By Lourdes Cardenas

A group of graphic designers have put together an exhibition called “Peace of Art. Design for change".

The exhibit, organized by designer Sandra Salas, brought together professional and student designers from UTEP and the University of Ciudad Juárez (UACJ) with the idea of creating awareness of the violent situation in Juárez.  The exhibit also aims to raise funds to help the victims of violence through the Frontera Women’s Foundation.

The exhibit features more than 90 posters and 52 drawings from children. The children were tasked with creating art that centered on the topic of peace. The unifying element of the posters was the idea of doing something to stop the violence. “Every poster proposes something,” said Saulo Favela, coordinator of the graphic design program from UACJ.

The idea of being more proactive than reactive is expressed in some posters with phrases such as: “Don’t just ask for peace. Do something to get it” and one that invites people to look at not just the numbers, but also at the pain left by violence.

Two people that I met at the opening reception had suffered personally the violence in Juárez. One of them was UTEP student, Alejandro Carmona, who also produced a poster entitled “Noble Truths.”

He said that he decided to participate in the exhibit for several reasons, among them, because he is from Juarez, and because he feels the need to express what he feels and thinks about the violence.

“I was assaulted in Cd. Juárez, I had a gun pressed at my back. I know what it feels like. After that I appreciate life more,” he said. “Visual art has the power to make people to look at certain situations…sometimes it can be more expressive than words and because of that, these types of exhibits are very important.”

“Peace of Art. Design for change” is an invitation to think about what we can do from our individual situation to change Juarez.  It is not going to stop violence, of course, but it can help us to look at the situation with a different perspective. It is well worth your while to visit it.

The exhibit will be on display until July 22 at 3233 N. Mesa St., Ste 204. After that, it will go to different Mexican universities, among them the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, the Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León and finally at the UACJ.

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