Press Release

Fundación FEMSA’s Outdoor Exhibition Tells Stories of Migrants in Nuevo León

FEMSA

  • The exhibition will be available at the DistritoTec Open Gallery, in Monterrey.
  • The photographic selection is part of FEMSA Foundation’s Puerto Abierto program.
  • The exhibition shows photographs taken by seven women who have worked with migrants in various research projects.

Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. January 20, 2021. – FEMSA Foundation presented ‘Los otros lados’ (‘The other sides’), an exhibition available at DistritoTec’s Open Gallery, which, among other topics, narrates the meaning different objects have for migrants, for their ability to link them to the places they have left behind. The images speak of their identities as individuals, their own stories and wishes.

“At FEMSA Foundation we are convinced of the power that art has to transform the environment. When people coexist with art, emotions and reflections are triggered, which can promote processes of change. The photographs in this exhibition offer a window that allows us to learn more about the life and stories of the migrants who pass through Nuevo León. By changing destinations, migrants often form relationships and homes along the way and are forced to return or seek other locations as a result of deportations or violence. On their journey, they come across some objects that they carry with them, which build an idea of a home to which they have belonged or left behind”, said Lorena Guillé-Laris, Director of FEMSA Foundation.

Migration is a phenomenon that has modified social and political dynamics and forms of belonging in the world. It is said that Mexico is a country of transit, destination and return for migrants, however, more and more are arriving and staying. Among the destination migrants there are refugees, who have left their countries for causes such as persecution and violence or as a consequence of natural disasters, since the migration process is derived, in most cases, from forced displacement. According to the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR), more than 40,000 people applied for refuge during 2020.

“We are excited to continue adding actions and allies that support the cultural and social development of the community. DistritoTec wants to be a platform for positive initiatives, such as Puerto Abierto, to find a place for that. We are building an innovation district in Monterrey that not only faces the urban challenges of the territory but also generates new opportunities for all people”, said Lorena Pulido, Manager of DistritoTec.

The photographic selection, which consists of 20 prints, shows contemporary migration as a process in which there is no single origin or single destination. It incorporates images that are part of long-term investigations, in which the artists Alejandra Rajal, Alma Lara, Ana Andrade, Griselda San Martín, Jacky Muniello, Nora I. Gómez and Olivia Vivanco created personal relationships with the people they represent. The images are accompanied by explanatory certificates that include phrases from the migrants and explain the phenomenon from the protagonists themselves.

“‘Los otros lados’ (‘The Other Sides’) brings us closer to the issue of migration from objects as containers of political, social and primarily emotional experiences. The selection of images that make it up brings us closer, in a felt and horizontal way, to atmospheres of change, mobilization, violence, attachments and memories, all of these as thick layers of the migratory phenomenon”, explained Marcel del Castillo, Co-Curator of the exhibition.

“One of the canonical characteristics of documentary photography is that there is an ‘objective’ distance between the subject and the photographer. In ‘Los otros lados’ (‘The Other Sides’) we look for projects that demarcate from this quality. We look for female photographers who feel migrant spaces as their own. This collection of images reveals intimate relationships, personal spaces and everyday life in remote places. It is fundamentally subjective”, said Sofía Garfias, Coordinator of Puerto Abierto program.

‘Los otros lados’ (‘The other sides’) is part of Puerto Abierto, FEMSA Foundation initiative that seeks to build bridges of collaboration between people who migrate, institutions that work with them, and the artistic sector of Monterrey’s metropolitan area. Through Puerto Abierto, last December mobile urban gardens were delivered to the homes of 100 migrants and refugees families living in Juárez, Nuevo León, with the aim of offering them food, economic and occupational support.

“Puerto Abierto develops actions to support migrants and refugees in Mexico in collaboration with artists and cultural and educational institutions. In this case, the exhibition is an effort to give visibility to migration and the experiences of migrants in our country. As long as we know their stories and points of view, we will be able to relate to them with empathy and in solidarity”, said Pablo Landa, coordinator of Puerto Abierto and Co-Curator of the exhibition.

Among the people to whom it is sought to offer support through the Puerto Abierto, in addition to the Mexicans deported from the United States who are also considered migrants, are mostly Hondurans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans of any age or sex. It also collaborates with civil society organizations, such as Casanicolás and Casa Monarca in Monterrey, both institutions that offer help to migrants.

‘Los otros lados’ (The other sides) exhibition will be available at DistritoTec’s Open Gallery, which is a platform to bring the arts to all people from the public space, thus exposing artistic expressions on short-term and highly important issues such as migration and human rights. It is located on Av. Fernando García Roel, outside the facilities of the Monterrey campus of Tecnologico de Monterrey, as of today.

With this exhibition, FEMSA Foundation seeks to contribute to the visibility of the stories of the migrants who have arrived to Monterrey. If you want to visit it, remember to keep in mind the protocols established by the Health authorities, such as the use of face masks and healthy distance.

About FEMSA

FEMSA is a leading company that creates economic and social value through companies and institutions and seeks to be the best employer and neighbor of the communities where it has a presence. It participates in retail trade through FEMSA Comercio, which includes the Proximity Division and of which OXXO, a chain of small format stores, is a part of. It also has a Health Division that includes pharmacies and related activities as well as a Fuel Division that operates the service stations chain, OXXO Gas. In the beverage industry it operates Coca-Cola FEMSA, public bottler of Coca-Cola products; in the beer sector, it is a shareholder of HEINEKEN, a company present in more than 70 countries. Additionally, through FEMSA’s Strategic Businesses Business Unit, it offers logistics services, point-of-sale refrigeration solutions and plastics solutions to FEMSA companies and external clients. FEMSA also participates in the cleaning products and consumables distribution industry in the United States. Through its Business Units, it employs approximately 320 thousand employees in 13 countries. FEMSA is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability MILA Pacific Alliance Index, the FTSE4Good Emerging Index and the Mexican Stock Exchange Sustainable IPC, among other indices that evaluate its performance in sustainability.

About FEMSA Foundation

In FEMSA Foundation our goal is to create positive impacts on people and communities through social investment projects for sustainability. We make a better future for all by working in three strategic areas: the promotion of efficient resource management for sustainable development, the promotion of the integral development of early childhood and the dissemination of Latin American art and culture. For more information, visit us at www.fundacionfemsa.org or follow us on Facebook (/FundacionFEMSA) and Twitter (@FundacionFEMSA).

About FEMSA Collection

For over 40 years, FEMSA Collection has sought to preserve, document, consolidate, promote, and disseminate modern and contemporary Latin American art. Established in 1977 as part of the company’s commitment to the integral development of its workers, families, and their communities, it is currently recognized as one of the most important corporate collections worldwide. Its collection, consisting of more than 1200 works, offers a tour that illustrates the evolution, plurality, and richness of artistic production in Latin America during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Through an active program of exhibitions, individual loans for works, publications and various academic and educational activities, FEMSA shares its Collection with the most diverse communities in Mexico and abroad, fulfilling its goal of promoting the dissemination of culture and the promotion of artistic appreciation. The FEMSA Collection is part of the FEMSA Foundation, which create positive impacts on people and communities through social investment projects for sustainability.

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Get in Touch

Hanako Taniguchi
Press Relations at FEMSA
+52 (55) 5249-6820
[email protected]

Oscar F. Martínez
Press Relations at FEMSA
+52 (81) 8318-1863
[email protected]