The numbers surrounding Mexico, U.S. border relations and the “war on drugs” are staggering: 120,000 murders, 25,000 disappearances and 15 to 20 million emigrants.
A panel of international journalists, authors and artists who have spent their lives working in the region will explore what the numbers mean during a special presentation on Wednesday, April 24, at California State University, Northridge. The discussion is scheduled to take place from 7 to 9 p.m. in Room 113 of Nordhoff Hall on the southwest corner of the campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge.
“The current disaster in Mexico has serious implications for many of our students at CSUN and the greater population in the Los Angeles area,” said journalism professor Kent Kirkton, director of CSUN’s Institute for Arts and Media, one of the sponsors of the discussion. “The panelists are uniquely positioned to shed light on what is happening there and on the role of U.S. policy and practices in the disaster. It is critically important that the academic community begin to think seriously about these issues.”
Among those taking part in the discussion are Charles Bowden, Alice Leora Briggs, Julian Cardona and Sam Quinones.
Journalist and author Bowden’s current work focuses on Juárez, Mexico, and the border region. He is the author of “Murder City,” “Down by the River,” “A Shadow in the City,” “Dreamland” and “Juárez: The Laboratory of Our Future,” as well as a dozen other books. He also co-edited “El Sicario: The Autobiography of a Mexican Assassin” with Molly Molloy. Bowden is a recipient of the PEN Freedom of Information Award and a regular contributor to Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Esquire and Aperture.
Briggs is an artist, illustrator, curator and educator who has exhibited widely and whose work is in the permanent collections of 23 major museums and libraries. She is currently exhibiting “Bipolar” at Mesa Contemporary Arts in Arizona and at the University of New Mexico Art Museum. Briggs is the co-author of “Dreamland,” an illustrated manuscript, with Bowden. She has many awards, fellowships and appointments as artist-in-residence, including a Fulbright Scholar Award to work in the Slovak Republic.
Cardona, a native of Juárez, began his photojournalism career at El Diario, the leading daily newspaper in Juárez. He has since spent many years documenting the impact of globalization. He is the co-author of “Exodus/Exodo” and “Juárez: The Laboratory of Our Future.” He is the recipient of two Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellowships. Cardona is also a reporter for Reuters News Agency.
Journalist and best-selling author Quinones has written two books on Mexico, “True Tales From Another Mexico: The Lynch Mob, the Popsicle Kings, Chalino, and the Bronx” and “Antonio’s Gun and Delfino’s Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration.” He is the recipient of the Maria Moors Cabot prize for a career of excellence in covering Mexico given by the Columbia School of Journalism.