6 Días en Mexico

Día 5 - 4pm

Last day of the conference. Last night was cancelled because of the protests so all the talks have been moved to Friday in one marathon session. Luckily for me I am on early. Will be good to get it done and then relax for the rest of the evening. I am a little worried about the amount of text I have on my presentation. It’s a bit of a no no to try and make your audience read slides however I am talking about the gendered use of language so it is somewhat necessary. With most of the audience having English as a second language I'm also concerned that people won't really get the gist. Irony and subtly are somewhat difficult to translate. Hopefully the video and images will help.

I interviewed two students this morning - Jorge and Gabriel - about the protests. They both study journalism and were very erudite and interesting. It was somewhat depressing to hear them speak not only of a total lack of hope in politics but also in their own futures. In many ways they echoed concerns for so many young people around the world about how governments and corporations are serving their own interests and not providing a framework for future generations to thrive. It was interesting to hear them talk in such scathing terms about journalism and the media. I tried to talk to them about the possibility of independent media and what it could offer but surprisingly they said they didn’t really know how to use social media and new platforms. I just hope their future is better than the one they envisage.

One thing that is immediately obvious about Mexico is the bizarre organisation of traffic. The city is as scary as Athens when it comes to mad drivers and I’ve already witnessed two actual accidents and countless other near misses. However, there is a completely insane system where the traffic police, and there are a lot of the them, directing traffic using extravagent arm gestures and whistle blasts but this is completely at odds with the traffic lights system which they seem to totally ignore. So it all makes for a kind of live action Death Race 2000 as a pedestrian you have absolutely no idea what is going on and have to hope you don't have a particularly high points value. In order to negotiate this I take my cues from other people as they cross that I’ve not selected someone with an overt deathwish.

Tinkering about with my presentation again now. Not sure how tonight is going to go but I feel prepared at least. Been a long week waiting to go on so will be nice to relax and enjoy the evening afterwards.