Closing Address of the 2012 Encuentro

Closing Address of the 2012 Encuentro

Closing Address of the 2012 NO-Encuentro
March 17-25, 2012

Dear friends and colleagues:

Now that the NO-Encuentro of 2012 has drawn to a close we want to thank you all for your good humor, patience, and participation in what has been a fantastic event to mark the Encuentro canceled by the Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana (UCSJ). Over the last week, we have heard from hundreds of you—some by email, some on Facebook, others on Twitter. We have shared our indignation, our creativity, and our laughter.  Our NO-Encuentro included some fabulous performances which, like those of previous Encuentros, will be archived on our website. Canadian duo gave us the moving video of the NO-Encuentro highlights. The fabi-lous Fabi Fernández of Fulana’s Tercer Impacto covered the event and interviewed Sor Presa, who delighted us with her antics. Argentine artist Diana Raznovich sent us a marvelous cartoon, and Agneshka Ay Qué Cruz from Puerto Rico responded in verse to the dubious rhetorical claims of her mothers superiors.  Professor Ariel Speedwagon, an EMERGENYC alumn, delivered a keynote meditation on the word “NO,” and the amazing Bronx-based ensemble UNIVERSES performed from the sanctum sanctorum of Hemi NY. The satirical announcement of the Águila Azteca award came to us courtesy of “identity correction” experts, The Yes Men, and we cannot reveal the provenance of our marvelous mock UCSJ website (whose motto quoted La Congelada de Uva's book, Saber EScoger). Key to all of this, of course, was your enthusiastic participation. Your comments and emails made us all reflect on the all too real issue of censorship, the importance of academic freedom, and the insidious repercussions that governmental pressure can have on artistic and academic expression. In short, many artists challenged us to imagine performance and politics in the virtual realm of the NO-Encuentro.

We also want to of course thank the UCSJ, our non-host of this wonderful non-Event. The Claustro completely played along, writing letters to the editor of La Jornada, personalized emails to individual Hemi members, sending letters from their lawyers, and even changing their website URL and design! Their creativity was on display in their particular interpretation of events and facts, and in the artistic flourishes that accompanied all forms of address.  Without their remarkable gift for making the worst of a good thing, none of this would have been possible.

We invite you to visit the permanent NO-Encuentro 2012 web page (under construction) as well as the Hemispheric Institute’s Facebook page to see the week’s events and follow the audience commentary.

Again, thank you all for participating and please join me in thanking all of those who made the NO-Encuentro possible.

We look forward to seeing you at the next Encuentro of the Hemispheric Institute.

Very best regards,

Diana Taylor and the Hemi team