lunes, 2 de noviembre de 2009

Cultura, 15 years later

By Patricio Lóizaga

Cultura was published for the first time at the beginning of 1984, soon after our country recovered its status of democracy. I can remember how impressed I was to tune in the radio and hear Magdalena Ruíz Guiñazú reading the complete interview with Marco Denevi published in our first issue. Fifteen years have gone by and an evaluation is not easy. The first thing that comes to mind as the most significant data between the past and today is the creation of the Asociación de Revistas Culturales de la Argentina (ARCA) that took place this year. Cultura has been its founder together with Diario de poesía, Todo es historia, Punto de vista and El amante. This entity draws its inspiration from the Spanish experience and its based on the idea that civil society contributes, via the State, to independent cultural publications in a scenario of a trend towards economic and informational concentration which generates concern. The instrument consists in a mechanism of acquisition by the State of subscriptions which are assigned to public libraries. Over these 15 years we have published an average of four editions annually while overcoming several difficulties, two hyperinflations included. We still find it difficult to obtain advertising support and therefore we are very grateful to the sponsors that have been with us all these years. Several iniciatives which are worth mentioning have materialized around the magazine: the Painting Award organized in 1988 (the First Prize of Honour went to Guillermo Kuitca and the First Prize to Eduardo Médici); the Revista Cultura Scholarships, which were possible due to the generous iniciative of a participant in the seminars on Borges, also organized in and by the magazine; prizes for narrative went to Eduardo Berti, for Essay to Marcelo Birmajer and for Painting to Paula Socolovsky; the courses to introduction to thinkers that we started precariously together with María Rosa Lojo and Fermín Fèvre, on René Girard and Jean-François Lyotard which gave origin to the Diccionario de pensadores contemporaneos; and finally the sponsorship to the International Meeting of Poets organized by the Jorge Luis Borges International Foundation in 1997 in different locations in Buenos Aires, such as Evaristo Carriego’s home and the Xul Solar Museum. It is our intention to dedicate this special issue to the celebration of the Borges Centennial Anniversary.
This issue includes a catalogue of photographs which will be exhibited at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, the Círculo de Bellas Artes of Madrid and the New York University. Film producer Vanesa Ragone is recording in a film the itinerary of this Tribute to Borges in Buenos Aires, New York, Madrid and Geneva, with testimonies provided by Beatriz Sarlo, Sylvia Molloy, Fermín Fèvre, Horacio Salas and Israel Lotersztain, thanks to an iniciative of the National Culture Secretariat. This telefilm will be shown for the first time at the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center in New York University, directed by professor James Fernández, and shall be broadcast by television in Argentina as from March 1999.

From Cultura 64/65 (bilingual edition), 1999

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