About the blog: 

I´ve been writing on this space, on and off, for over eight years. In it you’ll find  a compendium of my articles, personal essays and other publications. 

The space also serves as a public journal where I explore more intimate obsessions. Media, literature, migration, global cities, public space, critical theory, geopolitics: these are lenses through which I try to make sense of an increasingly complex and uncertain world.

About me:

I was born in Mexico City three months before the mythic earthquake of 85. In one single day the neighborhood in which my family grew up was destroyed. But the building where I spent the first few years of my life still stands: the black stains in the  orange facade is a testament to the passing of time.

My great grandparents escaped from the poverty, disease and antisemitism that was spreading through  Poland in the 1920s and took a a leap of faith to travelled across the Atlantic and start a new life. They lived in Mexican vecindarios for decades, constantly negotiating their identities with the indigenous, mestizos, criollos and minorities  of the Aztec metropolis. Their kids grew up, they studied, and became influential in the country’s public life. 

Some of Mexico City’s most popular and iconic buildings today – like the National Auditorium or the Central de Abastos  –  have been designed by my grandfather. His pen has has shaped city life. Every once in a while I feel the need to pause and peel through the layers of memories that have become engrained in the urban millieu.

My other grandfather was a mathematical wizard. According to the family legend, he got a full scholarship for Graduate School at MIT when he was still a teenager. His father didn’t let him go, arguing that the experience would be too overwhelming for a pubescent child. Instead, he studied economics and became an influential marxist analyst in Mexico’s Central Bank.

My family topicalized the liberal values of Eastern European Jewish culture in a country that has been traumatized by centuries of colonial exploitation. Over the past few years I have felt the need to re-engage with this history of migration and diaspora. I am extremely worried about the darker trends emerging in the world today:  I feel the need for a critical and intimate engagement with the space around me.


More: Alan Grabinsky