NYU's Kimmel Center Cancels Ayotzinapa Event (10/10/2015)
After weeks of negotiations, a documentary and film screening originally scheduled to take place on the weekend of the 1 year anniversary of the forced disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa Normal students at New York University's Kimmel Center appears to be cancelled.
La Cartita --- After weeks of negotiations, a documentary and film screening originally scheduled to take place on the weekend of the 1 year anniversary of the forced disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa Normal students at New York University's Kimmel Center appears to be cancelled indefinitely. According to artists participating in the Ayotzinapa art exhibition, a series of talks associated with the screening of 'Ayotzinapa: Crónica de un Crimen de Estado', along with a screening of the dance film 'They Tried to Bury Us' by the Semillas collective, did not take place as originally advertised below.
One of the scheduled participants in the September 27 event was the collective Somos Los Otros NY. The New York based collective organized a protest against Enrique Peña Nieto's participation in the General Assembly, and considered the cancellation "a missed opportunity for dialogue and community development with the NYC student community". On that same weekend, a delegation of the 43 disappeared's mothers arrived to New York and Philadelphia seeking a meeting with Pope Francis. Additionally, the Mexican consulate's general consul, Sandra Fuentes Berain, on September 29, launched a series of unsubstantiated accusations against Mexican activists while indirectly referencing Somos los Otros NY's protest actions.
While the cancellation comes at an inopportune time for Somos Los Otros NY, many artists find it contradictory - and possibly malintentioned - that the Kimmel Center still use the Ayotzinapa related art. Miguel Angel Mendoza, an artist featured at the Kimmel Center & the creator of 43 portraits on behalf of the 43 disappeared students (one portrait per student), regards the usage of Ayotzinapa related art without a conversation series as a superficial move to give the semblance of solidarity with the 43 without incurring criticism or controversy. *The art event's curator, Andrea Arroyo, did not respond to a request for more information regarding the conversation and art exhibition series.* (This article misattributes curation of all Ayotzinapa related art to Andrea Arroyo. See note below.)
The screening of 'The Hands That Feed', and conversation focusing on Mexican immigrant and labor organizing efforts in New York, was also cancelled by the Kimmel Center. This was so despite the Kimmel Center also featuring the portrait of Mahoma Lopez the lead protagonist of the film on the exhibition windows.
It should be noted that the surviving students of the Ayotzinapa Normal wish to reiterate their version of events against the cacophony of state sponsored media in Mexico & the United States. Surely, the cancellation of the event is a step away from that effort. For more information about what occurred on September 26, 2014, listen to the Ayotzinapa surviving student's own testimony here.