August 10, 2015
To the international arts community:
"Hermana mía te encuentro en el viento"
(Sister, in the wind I find you)
We are deeply shocked, hurt and angry about the torture and murder of Yesenia, Alejandra, Mile, Nadia and Rubén, in an apartment in the central area of Mexico City, this last July 31, 2015. This is not an isolated case, and it illustrates the escalation of violence across the country. The mathematics of terror under which we live add more victims everyday to the already thousands; people are murdered (close to 160,000 since 2007), disappeared (between 26,000 a 40,000), raped and abused in all kinds of horrifying ways without consequence.
There is a pact of impunity signed by those who hold our government hostage of their interests. Neoliberalism has come to its purest form of cruelty in a situation like this. Bodies only matter as assets. The outrage we feel is very strong, and the strategies to face the facts are yet unknown.
One of the victims, Nadia Dominique Vera Pérez was well known to many of us, she was our colleague because of her work as a producer and cultural promoter. She produced the Cuatro X Cuatro International Dance Festival in the city of Xalapa, Veracruz, crucial for the promotion and development of Mexican dance. Among other things, she also produced Oftálmica Film Festival in the same city, and was recently organizing the Mexican tour of Spanish musician Albert Plá.
As an anthropologist, Nadia strongly believed in the arts potential for social transformation, and acted accordingly. Nadia practiced as well a strenuous political activity on behalf of human rights and freedom of expression, against the injustices of an oppressing government, and in solidarity with the victims, the dead and the disappeared of our country.
More than once, Nadia expressed her fear: she felt watched, marked. More than once she was threatened because of her political activism inside the state of Veracruz. We find it very important to spread knowledge of her work and life, to talk about her, to highlight her identity, farther than just her picture or the idea of her broken body. To at least name her... to think her and to emphasize the seriousness of these unacceptable facts we feel so close to.
Rubén Espinoza was murdered too. He was a photojournalist, specialized in social movements but also in artistic expressions. Nadia’s friend, photographer of the Cuatro X Cuatro Festival, threatened with death by the government of Veracruz.
It is just as important to mention Yesenia Quiroz Alfaro, Mile Virginia Martín and Alejandra Olivia Negrete. Although unfortunately we know very little about them, and so far we can only name them, we must not forget they were human beings; precious lives with friends, families, plans, personalities and histories.
We need your help and your collaboration. We need the entire world to talk about this, because it just cannot keep going on. We live in a Mexico in which more than 90% of crimes are left unpunished, in which state violence is exercised more cynically every time, in which the notion of justice itself seems to be inaccessible. Our country is falling apart, violence gets worse, and we are subject to a greater danger every day. Nadia was a fundamental element for art in Mexico, for dance, and as members of an international community that intends to be reflexive, sensitive and critical, we believe that we are in this together.
No matter if we met her or not, if we had similar aesthetic interests or not, if we are mexican or not, a member of our community has been tortured and murdered in a failed state.
Nadia’s death concerns the art community all over the world. It concerns us all. International pressure is one of the few effective protection mechanisms. We ask you to speak out with us, and since many of you perform, speak, write, screen, show... we ask you to take a moment during your presentations to talk about the five.
We think that it is important to talk about this in spaces open to direct affective exchange. For those who are gone, but also for those of us who stay.
Never again. Ni Nadia Ni Nadie. (Neither Nadia nor anybody else).
Members of the Mexican art community
Video con mensaje de Nadia Vera sobre Javier Duarte AQUÍ