June 1, 2009

Video: Training Day

  Deborah Bonello reporting for My breath is tearing out of my lungs and my leg muscles are screaming for a reprieve. I just scaled a 60-degree hill coated in thorny brambles and poisonous plants whilst being pounded by rain. In the dark. I thought it couldn’t get any worse, but it did. Later […]

May 29, 2009

Mexican journalists put through their survival paces

  Journalists in Mexico can have a pretty hard time doing their jobs, especially those who cover Mexico’s narco-trafficking and organized crime problems. A couple of non-profits who work on press freedom and protection issues here in Mexico, the Rory Peck Trust and Article 19, got together and ran a course just outside Mexico City […]

May 28, 2009

Remembering ’85’s earthquake

We had an earthquake last Friday. It was the second in a month also blighted by a new strain of influenza and economic recession – but that’s what life’s currently like here in Mexico. I was in the office when the quake struck, eating lunch (Mexican time – just before 230pm) with Lupita, the office […]

May 20, 2009

Mexico City writer inspires Saldamando in California

    Japanese – Mexican American artist Shizu Saldamando was inspired by Mexico City-based writer (and former Los Angeles Times journalist) Daniel Hernandez during a recent trip to this sprawling metropolis. A photo the artist took of Hernandez and fashion designer Uriel Urban ended up as a painting on the walls of Space 47 as […]

May 15, 2009

Cartoon pokes fun at Subcomandante Marcos’ signature ski mask

Subcomandante Marcos, Mexico’s masked rebel figure who was one of the frontmen of the short-lived Zapatista uprising in the Mexican state of Chiapas in 1994, is famous for always wearing a black ski mask.   The aim of the mask, allegedly, was anonymity, and an expression of the principle that "todos somos Marcos" — which […]

May 15, 2009

Film chronicles woman’s search for identity after Mexico’s ‘dirty war’

  This week saw the cinema premiere here in Mexico of a film documenting the real-life story of Aleida Gallangos Vargas, the child of political activists who disappeared during the country’s "dirty war." "Trazando Aleida" (the translation is "Tracing Aleida") is a documentary by German filmmaker Christiane Burkhard about Gallangos’ search for her brother, from […]

May 11, 2009

Military’s drug museum shows narco tactics

Mexico’s "Museum of Drugs," buried up on the seventh floor of the Defence Ministry, isn’t open to the public. The installation was designed as an educational tool for military personnel who have been tasked with fighting Mexico’s narco-trafficantes and organized crime networks. It explains the methods that drug traffickers use to get their product around […]

May 8, 2009

Gabriel Orozco opens first solo show in three years in Mexico City

Gabriel Orozco, the Mexican contemporary artist, has opened his first solo show in three years in Mexico City. Crowds turned up last month to the unveiling at the Kurimanzutto art gallery despite the H1N1 flu alert alarming the city at the time. Orozco toured the Mexico states of Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro and San Luis Potosi […]

May 4, 2009

Taxi-driver conspiracy theory on swine flu outbreak

If you’ve spent any time in Mexico, especially Mexico City, then you’ll be acquainted with Mexicans’ love of conspiracy theory. As Ken Ellingwood wrote last year, "many Mexicans feel their leaders have lied so many times about so many things over the years that it’s hard to believe them, even when they might be telling […]

May 4, 2009

Video: Swine flu outbreak brings quiet to Mexico City

  — Deborah Bonello in Mexico City for La Plaza.

May 1, 2009

Video: Mexico City vendors feel the effects of swine flu

You can’t have failed to notice that Mexico is in the grip of a swine flu outbreak. Schools, museums and theaters are shut, people have been warned by the government not to kiss or shake hands when they say hello, and around half the people on the street are walking around wearing surgical face masks. […]

April 29, 2009

Hospitals are my new Mexico City hangout

Given the local and international media coverage of Mexico’s current flu outbreak, I was expecting to find lines of people, all of them coughing into their government-issued face masks, winding around the block. Not so.

April 28, 2009

Get a Grip British and International Media

Looking at British newspaper headlines courtesy of the Sky News website, you’d think that the world is in the throes of a Swine Flu epidemic as opposed to a pandemic. CNN International has become an All Swine Flu, All the Time channel judging by my periodic viewing here in Nairobi. Al Jazeera English (where in […]

April 27, 2009

Video: Mexico City vendors feel the effects of swine flu

Swine flu outbreak isn’t just taking its toll on people’s health. Local businesses are also starting to suffer as customers stay away. Watch the video for more.

April 27, 2009

Filming the knock-on effects of swine fly in Mexico City Sunday

I was out shooting all day in downtown Mexico City Sunday, trying to get a sense of how the swine flu outbreak is affecting local businesses.

April 26, 2009

Swine flu doesn’t deter art fans in Mexico City

If you’ve been paying attention to any news out of Mexico over the last 36 hours, you can’t have failed to notice that we are in the grip of an outbreak of swine flu. As the mediareported yesterday, as many as 60 people have been killed by the outbreak and schools, public offices, cinemas and museums have all been closed by the government as a precaution.

April 15, 2009

Latino acts prepare for Coachella

Growing up in a middle-class home in Mexico City’s genteel Coyoacán neighborhood, Camilo Lara watched MTV and listened to the Happy Mondays and the Charlatans "in my room, very loud." But whenever he drifted into his family’s communal living spaces or the kitchen, he’d get a shot of José José, classical music, cumbia (which the […]

April 6, 2009

Jesus as a migrant in pro-immigration street theater

Traffic on Mexico City’s Paseo de la Reforma was blocked briefly last Friday afternoon by an actor in the role of Jesus. Wearing a long white robe over jeans and sneakers and carrying a cross fashioned roughly out of wood, ”Jesus” took a tumble on a pedestrian crossing on the traffic artery in front of the U.S. […]

March 31, 2009

77 names added to wall of fallen journalists

The names of 62 journalists killed in 2008 and 15 killed in previous years have been added to a memorial wall at the Newseum in Washington D.C. that honours journalists killed doing the job of journalism. Iraq and Mexico were the deadliest places for journalists last year. 13 names from Iraq were added to the […]

March 30, 2009

Peter Gabriel asks for political will and muscle to end impunity over Ciudad Juarez’s dead women

Peter Gabriel, the musician and activist, implored Mexico President Felipe Calderon to show "real political will, muscle and budget" in investigating the hundreds of unsolved murders of young women in the border town of Ciudad Juarez in the state of Chihuahua Friday. Speaking to a packed press conference through a translator, and flanked by Mexican […]

March 27, 2009

‘Those Who Remain’ focuses on families left behind in Mexico by migrants

The homes and families that those migrants come from are usually just a jumping-off point for filmmakers, but Rulfo and Hagerman chose to stay at the point of departure to see how those who remain deal with their reduced numbers.

March 24, 2009

Guadalajara Film Festival: ‘El Enemigo’ examines the morality of revenge

"El Enemigo" (The Enemy) is one of the movies competing for the Guadalajara International Film Festival‘s  Best Ibero-American Fiction Feature Film this year. The feature film by Venezuelan director Luis Alberto Lamata is a harsh, realistic take on the relations between the poor and the law in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas. Most of the drama unfolds […]

March 17, 2009

Gael Garcia Bernal to be recognized for contributions to film



Gael Garcia Bernal, one of Mexico’s most bankable film stars and a favorite in Hollywood, is to be honored at the upcoming International Film Festival in Guadalajara for his contributions to cinema.

March 11, 2009

Photojournalism show explains 2008 in Mexico


Mexico City’s Museo de la Ciudad is playing host to a photojournalism exhibition — Expofotoperiodismo — that features nearly 50 photos from 2008. You can see some of the images featured in the show in the above slide show.

All images appear courtesy of the Museum de la Ciudad, and the show runs until April 19th.

— Written for La Plaza

March 6, 2009

Legal graffiti hits the walls of Mexico City

In a country with such a rich artistic heritage of mural-ism, graffiti is a popular past-time for many of Mexico´s youth.

Last week, Henry Chalfont – a photographer and filmmaker who has focused his career on documenting the form of street art — paid a visit to el Faro, a community arts center in the working class neighborhood of Iztapalapa, Mexico City. The event was organized by Graffitarte, a Mexico City-based arts group.

In a country with such a rich artistic heritage of mural-ism, graffiti is a popular past-time for many of Mexico´s youth.

Last week, Henry Chalfont – a photographer and filmmaker who has focused his career on documenting the form of street art — paid a visit to el Faro, a community arts center in the working class neighborhood of Iztapalapa, Mexico City. The event was organized by Graffitarte, a Mexico City-based arts group.

February 27, 2009

Cars inspire Mexican artist’s show with a green message

Mexico visual artist Betsabee Romero used cars to create installations for “A vuelta de rueda (driving slowly),” an outdoor exhibition in downtown Mexico City that has a decidedly green feel to it.


Romero’s installations in the Atrio de San Francisco, an open-air plaza in the heart of downtown Mexico City, include an old VW combi covered in green plants and a car coated with traditional Mexican tiles. Watch the artist explain the motives behinds her work in the video above. — Deborah Bonello in Mexico City Video by Deborah Bonello.

February 25, 2009

Photo exhibition rewards Mexican artists

Photo exhibition rewards Mexican artists

Albinos in Mexico and the “human tragedy” of Mexican society were focuses of the winning entries in one the country’s longest-running photography competitions, the results of which are now on display in Mexico City’s impressive Centro de Imagen.

February 24, 2009

Mexico’s media under scrutiny in documentary

Violence against journalists in Mexico is, sadly, nothing new and has been followed closely by the press and nonprofits alike for the last few years. But "Voces Silenciadas" (Silenced Voices), a documentary film that was part of the Ambulante film festival here, broadens the debate around the persecution of journalists to encompass the bigger issues […]

February 19, 2009

A Night in the Woods in Mexico City

By day, el Bosque de Chapultepec, Mexico City’s largest public park, is ruled by the public and tourists. Children with painted faces and balloons run around playing, while their parents lounge and teen couples make out on the grass. But come late afternoon, the park closes its gates to us commoners. Or at least I […]

February 2, 2009

Youth protest against bullfighting in Mexico City

Young animal rights activists took to the streets in central Mexico City on Sunday, chanting “Corridas de toros — vergüenza nacional (bullfights — a national shame).” They were protesting the hundreds of bullfights that take place here in Mexico. The march was attended by about 800 people, most of them in their late teens or […]