Mexican artists make a call to combat hate speech towards migrants at FIL

Photo: Quadratin

Empathy and criticism of official speeches from institutions are elements that contribute to erasing the stigmas and hate speeches that have surrounded migrants, agreed artists this Saturday at a round table discussion at the International Book Fair (FIL) in Guadalajara.

Mexican writer Antonio Ortuño, author of the novel “La fila india”, which deals with Central American migration, pointed out that literature does not offer solutions to this type of problems that afflict the world, but it can ask questions and point out the reality.

The author revealed that in writing the book he tried to show “the emptiness and hypocrisy” of institutional discourses whose publicity “disguises frightening realities” and pretends they do not exist.

She advocated that those who make art should rescue the stories of who the migrants are and where they come from to generate a better protection of this phenomenon that afflicts not only Latin America but also Europe and Africa.

Chilean photographer Ginnette Riquelme, who has dedicated part of her work to portraying migrants, said that the image that the media portrays of those who leave their country is still of people “suffering, harassed, mistreated”.

“Although migration is hard, we have to show that image in which that person has a story behind, show what they do or what they are looking for, what they want to do and how they see themselves by staying in a country like Mexico,” he said.

Filmmaker Samuel Kishi, director of the award-winning film “Los Lobos”, considered that empathy is fundamental to portray migration from any angle, as they have a responsibility when trying to tell this type of story.

The head of the mission of the International Organization for Migration, Dana Graber Ladek, affirmed that Mexico is one of the country’s most willing to improve the conditions in which migrants cross the country, but the treatment of migrants also has to do with how society perceives them.

He recalled that this organization under the United Nations created the Global Media and Migration Academy to combat prejudice and curb hate speech towards migrants and to which journalists, media professionals and organizations that serve this sector of the population can have access.

The FIL concludes on December 4 with a packed program that includes 620 book presentations, three thousand literary, academic, and scientific activities, and the attendance of 600 authors from 45 countries.