Coincidence and Curation Part II: The Liverpool Biennial, HUO and Agnès Varda

On Friday 13th July, I had the privilege of seeing Agnès Varda being interviewed by Hans Ulrich Obrist (HUO). The interview is now available online. They are both seasoned interviewer/interviewees and this was evident in the interaction. She is delightful, highly articulate, and gave fascinating responses to the questions. He was warm, careful, and attentive in his questions. In advance, I was curious as to how HUO, a big name in curatorship, would be with Varda, an artist and filmmaker of considerable reputation and skill. My concern was that he would be egotistical, whereas he was a generous interviewer, who facilitated Varda throughout. Later the same evening, I heard her interviewed on BBC4’s Front Row, where she proved herself a more difficult interviewee. In that case, the presenter, John Wilson, is soliciting  more news-ish questions, such as Varda’s attitude to the MeToo campaign. Through no fault of Wilson’s, because of the format and the need for brevity, it was a choppier piece. At FACT, HUO was soliciting a more wide-ranging conversation and could allow her space to respond, prompting her for clarification and following up, where needed. Watch the video for Varda, but also to get a sense of HUO’s skilled interviewing techniques.

Revolution and Rebellion in Mexican Film

I’m delighted to announce that my monograph, Revolution and Rebellion in Mexican Film is out. The final cover image is slightly altered from the alternatives posted here some months ago. Here it is:

To find out more about the book, click here: Read, share and enjoy.

Juana in a Million programme notes

I posted about the performance Juana in a Million here.  On the back of that I was thrilled when Vicky Araico Casas got in touch and asked me to write some programme notes for her tour around the UK.  Here is the programme, it has a comprehensive array of material:


and, here are my notes:

Go see this play.

WiSPS Write Day

I put up an account of the WiSPS Write Day on Storify.  It can be read here.

This World is My Place

I am co-editing ‘This World is My Place’: International Perspectives on Chicana/o Studies with Catherine Leen, NUI, Maynooth. The introduction is completed and we are awaiting the final versions of the contributors’ chapters.  I have just finished reading Catherine’s chapter and it is an insightful comparison between Irish and Chicana artists who use religious iconography in their art.  She includes reference to Wanted: Terrorist, La Virgen de Guadalupe by Ester Hernandez which I include here as a taster of the work that she will be talking about.

The title of the book is taken from a poem by  Bernadette García, who is demanding her place in academia as well as that of other writers outside of the traditional parameters of learned institutions.

This is an opener for a future plan to write something soon on the process of co-editing, which I really enjoy and have repeatedly undertaken.

Mexican home movies from the 1930s

Here’s a link to rare Mexican home movies: I came across the link on the Amateur Cinema Studies Network blog.


Melvyn Bragg and guests talk about the siege of Tenochtitlan (site of modern day Mexico City):