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Elena Poniatowska exhibit precedes Cozumel’s 500-year bash

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Health issues may prevent Elena Poniatowska from attending an exhibit in her honor next week. Photo: Getty

A traveling exhibition honoring one of Mexico’s most prominent living writers arrives at Isla Cozumel next week.

“Elena Poniatowska: A Work of Rage and Love” is part of the pre-celebrations that precede the commemorative festival from May 1 to 12 to celebrate “Cozumel 500 years.”

The presentation is a collaboration between the municipal government of Isla Cozumel and the Cultural Center of Spain in Mexico.

Poniatowska, 85, is a prominent journalist and novelist living in Mexico City, and with family in Mérida. Her body of work reveals a particular concern with the rights of women and the disenfranchised. Since her earliest works in the mid-1950s, interviewing the common people of Mexico became her trademark, and her texts became increasingly political.

Poniatowska has penned more than three dozen books including “La Noche de Tlatelolco” (“The Night of Tlatelolco”), a groundbreaking oral history of the 1968 army massacre of student protesters in Mexico City.

An opening reception for the exhibit in Cozumel is scheduled for Thursday, March 8 at the Galería del Encuentro. The evening’s program consists of panel discussions and a photo exhibit from personal, newspaper and university archives.

The exhibition also includes reproductions of Poniatowska’s first-edition covers, as well as portraits of the writer by prominent photographers.

Mayor Perla Cecilia Tun Pech said it is a source of pride to host an exhibition organized by the Cultural Center of Spain in Mexico and produced by the University of Alcalá and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Spain.

In the opening event, guests will include the Cultural Counselor of the Embassy of Spain in Mexico and director of the Cultural Center of Spain in Mexico, Miguel Utray Delgado.

Organizers hope Poniatowska herself will make the trip from her home in Mexico City, or from her family homes in Mérida, but her health issues could postpone her appearance until the May festival.

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