Celebrating Latin America in Bristol, Dept. of Hispanic, Portugese & Latin American Studies, University of Bristol

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Celebrating “Latin America in Bristol”

This work is the result of a three-month celebration of Latin American culture in Bristol, organised by the University of Bristol, it began on 14th February 2013, quickly followed by a full week of artistic events open to the public (see ‘Semana Cultural’ link below), and continued until the end of May 2013. This pilot scheme was created and funded by the ‘Arts and Humanities Research Council’ and termed as a ‘Cultural Engagement Fund’ in the hope of opening up further avenues of interest once the initial 3-month period was completed. The position was awarded to postdoctoral researchers; the AHRC’s objectives were to support valuable collaborations between universities and local cultural organizations.

In Bristol’s case, this award contributed toward strengthening and developing the University’s broader strategy for supporting the engagement of its arts and humanities with the local creative sector. The number of Latin Americans in Bristol has grown in recent years and the researchers saw a need to respond by launching an initiative that promoted knowledge and understanding of the diversity of Latin American culture within the city. The history of travel routes between Bristol and Latin America is an underlying theme of the project which further supports the university’s ‘Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies’ general academic interests, for example, in the making of the modern world and British-Latin American relations.

In addition, the researchers enriched collections of Latin American travel writing, literature and history for Bristol’s cultural centres, exhibiting the findings of the project through an event at the ‘Watershed’ arts centre, and as part of a national Latin American Culture month held later in the year.

This website captures what was achieved with the inclusion of film, photography, written descriptions of cultural events, personal and group testimonies, radio podcasts, a literature magazine, links of further interest, and a football tournament raising money for the social needs of a Nicaraguan community.

The project is supported by the University of Bristol, the Arts & Humanities Research Council’s ‘Cultural Engagement Fund’, Stanfords Travel and Maps and Bristol City Council.

TSF, Winter surfin'

Rupert Medd, enjoying sun and rest after kitesurfing at Europe’s most southerly point, Tarifa, 2013
This AHRC position was awarded to Dr Rupert Medd who completed a PhD on ‘Travel writing and the Peruvian environment’ in March 2013 from the University of Bristol, Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies. During his 4 months, Rupert organized cultural events at the University and venues throughout Bristol, such as ‘Stanfords travel and maps’ shop and the ‘Watershed Arts Centre’. He built up considerable links to the Latin American communities within Bristol, detailing their journeys and diverse activities; he created a radio-style podcast called ‘Radio Continente’, giving Latin Americans the chance to recount their unique stories according to their own rhythms. This website is his personal initiative and details his work/findings as well as featuring his photography and music. He hopes that his efforts whilst working on this AHRC ‘Cultural Engagement Pilot Scheme’ will generate further interest and research, confirming that Latin American people offer the city of Bristol much to celebrate. Equally, that this website’s content will spark interest among prospective students considering an undergraduate course in Latin American Studies at the University of Bristol, showing that Latin American cultural aspects make learning a rich, fun and inspiring experience.

Many thanks to Dr Matthew Brown, Professor Robert Bickers and the AHRC; also Cuffy ‘El Guapo’ and Eugenia Ledesma for their solid musical performances and interest, Caroline Bowler at Stanfords Travel Bookshop, Watershed staff, Nick Bartram at the Multimedia Centre, Amy Tanner for film editing, Dave for website development, ‘Radio Ambulante’ in NYC and to all the inspiring people who got involved.

To read more on this AHRC ‘Cultural Engagement’ scheme, visit: www.ahrc.ac.uk


8 thoughts on “About

  1. Margery, a backyard, Virginia, USA

    The website looks fabulous! I especially like the photo of Matthew in goal. I also checked out the video and it must be gratifying to see how your efforts of the past few months have paid off.

  2. Nusta Ximena, Lima, Peru

    I am going to read and read with time the website, it’s maravilloso!!!!


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