About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cuban Festival in SMA

A Mexican town known for its artists colonies and colonial architecture located in a region bristiling with conservative Catholicism decided to celebrate Cuban music this week in an old convent dedicated to a very strict order and now named after indigenous intellectual and liberal Ignacio Altamirano. I love Mexico.

El Sol del Bajio is reporting that San Miguel de Allende is holding its Six Annual Celebration of Cuban music in that town this week and next, and it is dedicating the celebration to Ibrahim Ferrer (of Buena Vista Social Club fame). This last year SMA was designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO, and I imagine that the colonial architecture was only part of the reason this fairly globe-friendly site was embraced.

I've never been to SMA, and I admit to never having had any interest in going there. I tend not to like "hot spots" very much, but recent communication from the father of one of my future colleagues had me looking at SMA today. That, and my students just wrapped up Margaret Chowning's fascinating book on the Concepcion convent that is now the town's arts center. Historians deal in continuity and change over time, and San Miguel de Allende sounds far more interesting than the pots-for-putterers pueblo I had assumed it to be. Maybe a visit in 2010 is in order.

Thanks to the ever popular if not so accurate wikipedia for the photo of SMA.

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