“For the good handling of the literary language, its irony, its rhythm and the construction of a character full of nuances that manage to carry out the purpose of the story”, Susana Gabriela Nuevo Silva won the I UNAM-España 2022 History Prize on Latin American migration to Spain, with its history “Papers”.
The competition, organized by the Center for Mexican Studies of the UNAM in Spain, in collaboration with the Magazine of the University of Mexico and the Directorate of Literature UNAM Mexico – seeks to demonstrate the relevance of the growing Latin American migration to the European country through the literary gaze. The call was launched as part of the second edition of the Centroamérica Cuenta Festival in Spainin 2022, and was aimed at all Latin American writers of any age who lived in Spain and who wanted to reflect the migratory experience in this country.
The award ceremony took place at the Instituto Cervantes, where the prize was also awarded to the finalist story titled “Shut the fuck up, Efren”signed by Rocio Saucedo Ceballos. The event was chaired by Luis Garcia Monterodirector of the Instituto Cervantes, as well as by the writers Sergio Ramirezpresident of the Centroamérica Cuenta Festival; Rosa Beltrancoordinator of Cultural Diffusion of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM); Jorge Volpidirector of the Center for Mexican Studies UNAM-Spain, as well as caroline eliaspresident of the Servicio Doméstico Activo (SEDOAC), representing the jury also composed of the writer Brenda Navarre and the journalist Nicholas Castilian.
For the qualification jury, “Papers” of Susana Gabriela Nuevo Silva, of Venezuelan origin and residing in Valencia, “is a story that captivates you from beginning to end. His narrative on the fact of migration is constructed from very different points of view. In addition, the jury determined that in “Shut the fuck up, Efren” from the Mexican based in Barcelona Rocio Saucedo Ceballos“there is a diverse look at the fact of migration and correctly describes emotions comparable to anyone living in a society imbued with necessary demands.”
During your participation, Luis Garcia Montero recognized the effort to achieve this award: “I am delighted that UNAM had the idea of launching this UNAM-Spain story contest.” He also highlighted the quality of the work and noted that the congratulations should not just go to the winning story, “but to the majority who participated because they have a very high level in their collaborations”. He also acknowledged that “migration is a good point of view to analyze all the most important debates about culture and contemporary coexistence”.
For its part, Sergio Ramirez revealed that migration is a subject that has fascinated him for a long time, when Luis Garcia Montero invited him to create a collective history. In addition, he highlighted the number of migrants who left Nicaragua: “170,000 Nicaraguans emigrated to the border with the United States in one year, 100,000 to the border with Costa Rica also in one year, but this are numbers. The human essence of migration is in individual stories, when you go down to touch the individual, what happened with each case, there is literature, there is history, there is life, and that’s why this competition is so important.” .
In his speech, Jorge Volpi thanked everyone involved in creating the award. He highlighted the joint effort with the Centroamérica Cuenta Festival and the different sectors of UNAM that have joined it, such as the Department of Literature and the Magazine of the University of Mexicoas well as Cultural ABCwhich is also associated with this initiative with the publication of the winning story: “It will have three outlets: in the magazine coverthere Magazine of the University of Mexico there Cultural ABCand will make it possible to read this story on both shores”, as well as a prize of 700 euros. Likewise, the finalist story receives an economic prize of 300 euros and its publication in cover.
For its part, Rosa Beltran He shared that his literary and emotional training was linked to exile and migration. He said that during his studies at UNAM, his first teachers were exiled Spanish writers, then “the whole series of teachers who were Latin American exiles, Chilean, Argentine and Uruguayan authors”. He also celebrated that “this union of literature and life experience through language attracts diverse people and institutions”.
caroline eliason behalf of the jury also composed of the Mexican writer Brenda Navarre there Nicholas Castilianjournalist at Radio Channel Serstressed that “the choice was not easy because there is a very good level of writers”, even if he assured that to select the winning work and the finalist “there was a lot of consensus”.
In its first edition, the Story Prize received a total of 135 works, and the age of participants ranged from 22 to 73 years old. In addition, there was a broad background from the authors’ home countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela. The place of residence of the participants was distributed in many points of the Spanish geography, such as Castellón, La Coruña, Alicante, Almería, Barcelona, Granada, Jaén, León, Madrid, Salamanca, Seville, San Sebastián, Tenerife, Teruel, Valencia, Valladolid, Vigo, Vitoria, Zaragoza, as well as the Balearic and Canary Islands, among others.
Central America Matters Festival
Centroamérica Cuenta is a literary festival that “promotes critical thinking about literature and the arts”, according to its organizers. It was founded in Managua in 2013 and currently takes place in two formats: a virtual one that lasts all year round, and another face-to-face and itinerant in cities in the region of Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. Its main objective is to contribute to the projection and dissemination of Ibero-American literature from Central America.
The festival program includes lectures, workshops, book presentations and dialogues to provide a space that brings together writers, musicians, filmmakers, journalists, booksellers, readers and social actors to discuss and reflect on diverse and inclusive topics, including: diaspora, identity, writing, memory, diversity, gender, human rights, freedom of expression, democracy, cinema, music, science, storytelling and journalism.
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