A report from The Yucatán Times.
The Event Will Take Place From April 29 To May 2 As Part Of The Yucatán International Reading Fair.
Mérida, Yucatán (April 16, 2021).- From Thursday, April 29 to Sunday, May 2, the first edition of the Caribbean Journalism Festival: Encounters in the Country of Water will take place.
The event will be inaugurated in the framework of the Yucatán International Reading Fair (Filey) in a virtual way, and brings together, among others, Jacobo García, Sabrina Duque, Felipe Restrepo Pombo, and Mónica Baró.
The tables that the Festival will include are: El Caribe de Gabo; Decolonialism in the Caribbean; The clouds of the Caribbean: violence; The purple sea: feminisms; Journalism of diversity in Cuba; and, Air, water, earth, fire. Nature.
The purpose of creating this Festival is to recognize the Caribbean as a united region, something that has historically happened but since the arrival of aeronautics, the region has been fragmented, said Paul Antoine Matos, its co-founder.
Bringing The Caribbean Closer
Sandra Gayou, also co-founder, said that this project has the intention of “weaving networks throughout the Caribbean, creating a space for meeting and exchanging experiences in the ways of doing journalism in the region and in Latin America.”
He highlighted the importance of plurality at the festival, as necessary issues such as feminism, sexual diversity and de-colonialism will be discussed.
Yucatan In The Caribbean
Until the middle of the last century, the Yucatan Peninsula was less part of Mexico than the Caribbean, said Enrique Martín Briceño, director of Filey.
“Various Yucatecan cultural expressions – music, cuisine, Yucatecan Spanish – have an unmistakably Caribbean personality.”
Matos recalled that the proximity of the ports and the ease of navigation allowed places like Mérida to share elements such as baseball, trova, and guayaberas (just to mention a few), with cities like Havana or Cartagena.
This is based on the idea of Gabriel García Márquez, who said that “in this continent of Latin America there is a country that is not made of land, but of water, which is the Caribbean.”
Garcia Marquez always recognized the importance of journalism and the Caribbean in his narrative work, both fiction and non-fiction, so we took him as an example to start this project, said Matos.
Region With Stories
“We believe that the Caribbean is a region with stories that ask nothing of fantasy. In the Caribbean we have our own languages and our own way of telling stories, which often seem unreal or otherworldly, ”he said.
This festival has the purpose of speaking, from journalism and the stories that journalism tells, about a region that is linked by its geographies, natural phenomena, its past and present, its mystique and its stories, he added.
The journalist Riamny Méndez (Dominican Republic), who will be at the table “El mar morado” (The purple sea): feminismos, said that “the Caribbean has provided many and varied forms of resistance against oppression. We are heirs of the opposition that has built resistance for a better life ”.
“There are young reporters who are questioning power and doing a good job, that is, there is hope and resistance in journalism as well, despite the regrets,” he said about Caribbean journalism, especially in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico.
Among the invited people, journalists such as Jacobo García, part of the winning team of the Gabo 2020 Award in Coverage for the Frontera Sur project (El País and El Faro); Sabrina Duque, winner of the 2018 Michael Jacobs Travel Journalism Fellowship and author of VolcáNica; Mónica Baró, winner of the 2019 Gabo Prize in Text; and Felipe Restrepo Pombo, former director of Gatopardo and one of the best young authors of the decade in Latin America for the Hay Festival.