Writer and activist in Mexico.  Born Poland, 1932 -




           Elena Poniatowska was born in Poland to an intellectual/writer family who moved to Paris and then Mexico City when she was still quite young. 


Below, in a photograph by Ricardo Salazar, 1958.




           As a young woman she was involved in the student movements of the 1960’s.  Below, right, with Susan Sontag.



            Though not wealthy, she grew up among well-known figures and recognized authors.  Below, with Octavio Paz.



            She was especially moved by the terrible student massacre in Tlatelolco, Mexico City, at the time of the Olympic Games in 1968.  This massacre was always denied by the Mexican government, with the full backing of the United States who were covering up their own atrocities at Kent State and elsewhere.


            It was forbidden to write of the massacre at Tlatelolco, but Poniatowska began collecting oral histories of persons and families who were there.  Later she published a break-through book, The Silence Is Dangerous, in which she allowed the voices of students to speak for themselves.


            She has remained active in many causes and has been a strong voice against the repressive regimes of the ruling party of Mexico.



Below, with Carlos Monsiváis.



Below with Andrés López Obrador, Alejandra Encinas, and Rosario Ibarra.











In 2005, she visited our AIDS organization in Oaxaca and called Seńor Condón “a model for all of Mexico.”





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Below, with her good friend and co-activist, Jesusa Rodríguez.




Below, Jesusa Rodríguez at the presentation of Elena's most recent book.




Below, Jesusa traveled with Elena to Cuba where she received a journalism award, with Felipe Roque, foriegn minister of Cuba, and Abel Prieto, Cuban minister of Culture, 2007.




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In August of this year, Elena was invited to Venezuela to appear with Hugo Chávez on his Sunday television program, Aló Presidente, where he read passages from Elena's book, The Train Goes First, and presented her with the International Award for Novels Rómulo Gallegos.




In October, 2007, Elena was asked to give the opening remarks at the inauguration of the Tlatelolco Cultural Center on the location of the student massacre of 1968, below.  (NOTE: you can read excerpts from her address in the Encyclopedia entry on TLATELOLCO.)




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            January 31, 2008.  Now, the society pages are about the last place one expects to come across Elena Poniatowska, but this year she decided to visit our Puerto Escondido's big pre-Carnaval celebrations (!), and got a nice bit of coverage in the "Coctel Costeńa" pages of the local NOTICIAS, below.  Lookin' good, Elena!










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