In 2015, we celebrate 80 years of diplomatic relations between Mexico and Romania, an opportunity for the Embassy of Mexico to organise a series of cultural events at the National Library of Romania and high-profile Bucharest bookstores from 15th September to 31st October.
Whilst the first cultural contacts of the two countries date back to the 17th century, when corn, a plant originating in Mexico, was introduced to Romania, diversifying the food of the Romanian people, diplomatic relations were established on the 20th of July 1935. On the other hand, there is evidence of a letter sent in 1880, a long time before the date in question, by President Porfirio Diaz to King Carol I, congratulating him on obtaining national independence.
The Ambassador of Mexico in Romania, Agustín Gutiérrez Canet, states: ‘We would like to present to the Romanian public some of the less known cultural ties between Mexico and Romania and avoid celebrations void of substance’.
According to the Ambassador, ‘Romanians will be pleasantly surprised to admire the photographic portraits of Emil Cioran by Rogelio Cuéllar and will be amazed to listen to Francisco Prieto speak about Emil Cioran and Mircea Eliade’s influence in Mexico’.
The Mexican Embassy has the honour to present an unusual exhibition of black-and-white portraits of Emil Cioran (photo), done by the distinguished Mexican photographer Rogelio Cuéllar. The photographs have never been exhibited so far and will be presented to the Romanian public on world premiere.
Cioran was photographed in the privacy of his Paris home, in full intellectual activity, reading a book, writing a text or talking to his wife, Simone Boue. The photographer reached Cioran via Esther Seligson, the Spanish language translator of the Romanian philosopher at the end of October 1989 and arranged to meet up in his flat three months later. The exhibition at the National Library of Romania will be open from 15 September to 31 October.
Rogelio Cuéllar’s album, ‘El rostro de las letras’, a retrospective work bringing together the portraits of 155 world acclaimed writers, mostly Latin-American, will be introduced by the author and editor María Luisa Passarge, the Director of „La Cabra Ediciones.” The photographer Matei Buță will hold a debate on the album within the event that will take place on the 17th of September at the Carturesti Carusel bookstore (str. Lipscani 55), from 20:30.
In another main activity, the existing intellectual ties between Mexico and Romania will be highlighted by the well-known Mexican writer and academic Francisco Prieto, who will give three lectures on the influence of the work of the major Romanian philosophers Emil Cioran and Mircea Eliade on the Mexican cultural life. The first conference will be on the 15th of September, from 17:00, at the National Library of Romania.
Francisco Prieto will speak about the reaction generated by Cioran and Eliade’s ideas among the intellectual circles in Mexico, where they had both ardent supporters and equally inflamed foes, in a debate with Dan Mihailescu on the 17th of September, from 19:00, at the Humanitas Cismigiu bookstore (bulevardul Elisabeta 38).
Francisco Prieto’s third conference will take place on the 18th of September, from 19:00, at the Seneca Anticafé (str. Ion Mincu 1), with the participation of Professor Romulus Brâncoveanu, Dean of the Philosophy Faculty of the University of Bucharest, and Professor Viorel Cernica, specialist on the history of Romanian philosophy.
Another notable cultural event is the recital of the Mexican soprano who resides in Romania, Patricia Santos, who will perform Mexican and Romanian pieces accompanied by the pianist Lucian Dusa, on the 15th of September, from 17:00, at the National Library of Romania.
Patricia Santos is the winner of the 2010 edition of the „Ópera Prima. Las Voces del Bicentenario” TV contest in Mexico. Lucian Dusa has a vast concert experience and is a pianist with the Opera House of Cluj-Napoca.
The lithography exhibition ‘México visto por Europa’ (Mexico as seen by Europe), containing pieces belonging to the private collection of old engravings of Ambassador Agustín Gutiérrez Canet, will be inaugurated at the National Library of Romania on the 15th of September, at 17:00.
The Ambassador noted that the items showcased evince the special view of European artists who first depict Mexico as an exotic and tragic realm in the first engravings in Europe in the 15th century, shortly after the Spanish conquest, and then re-compose the image of a half-blooded, Westernalised and progressive nation in the 19th century. The exhibition will be open from 15 September to 31 October.