by Carole Schor
The October Literary Sala is proud to present three women sharing their pride in Mexico through art and film: Elissa Rashkin, Linda Whyman and Lorie Topinka. Join us for what will be an extraordinary evening of Mexican film and art from a woman’s perspective at the San Miguel Literary Sala on October 12 at 5:00 PM at the Hotel La Aldea. Admission is $50 pesos for members and $100 pesos for non-members, including a wine and snack reception.
Linda Whyman and Lorie Topinka, two of San Miguel’s best watercolor artists, have spent the past two years traveling along the Rio Laja with paintbrushes in hand, painting the 300-year-old colonial chapels that dot the contryside. Their book, The Capillas of San Miguel de Allende, A Legacy of Faith, is a beautiful testimony to the region, offering some historical background and local color for each of the individual monuments, and contains maps of the area so that other sketchers, history buffs, and visitors to San Miguel can follow in their footsteps and experience these fascinating locations.
Linda taught art from kindergarten to Master’s degree programs and was the Arts in Education Director in New York State, bringing arts-related programs from New York City to upstate schools. Lorie was a science educator and administrator in her previous life, now retired in San Miguel. “Take a day’s drive in any direction from San Miguel,” she says, “and you are sure to see old aqueducts, dams, and other remnants of haciendas like huge grain storage buildings, corrals, churches and capillas, bullrings, even some living quarters, and miles and miles of stonewalls.”
Elissa Rashkin is a research professor in Cultural and Communication Studies at the Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Veracruz. She is coming to San Miguel especially for this presentation. Elissa will be talking about her biography of the U.S. feminist Juliet Barrett Rublee. Rublee is the producer of possibly the first fiction feature film made by a U.S. crew in Mexico, the1932 melodrama Flame of Mexico, whose themes include land, education, oil, and the Mexican Revolution. Flame of Mexico takes an ominously prescient activist stance toward international politics. It critiques economic exploitation and argues for U.S. support of Mexican sovereignty in a time of conflict.
Juliet Barrett Rublee was also involved in the struggle for women’s suffrage in the U.S. and the early birth control movement alongside Margaret Sanger and Mexican feminists in the Yucatán, and she was an interpretive dancer in the style of her friend Isadora Duncan.
Elissa Rashkin has written two books in English, Women Filmmakers in Mexico and The Stridentist Movement in Mexico: The Avant-Garde and Cultural Change in the 1920s, in which she documents the ways the feminist movement, the university centers of film studies, public policies around the cinema and the transformation of the intellectual sector influenced the participation of women within Mexican cinema.
Tickets and packages to the San Miguel Writers’ Conference can be purchased at the Literary Sala.