Violence and Affect in Female Poetic Activism in Contemporary Mexico


Time frame

September 2018 – August 2023

Project description

Contemporary Mexican cultural production is strongly influenced by the extreme violence that has engulfed the country in recent years. A literary phenomenon that emerged within this context is the production of political poetry written by women that combines commemoration with mobilization. This form of poetic activism recounts violent episodes of Mexico’s recent past by appropriating testimonies by victims. In addition, these poems are remediated in the public sphere, during protest marches and performances that seek to denounce violent acts committed by the state and/or criminal groups and demand justice and peace. This project studies how the work of three female poets generates and transmits affect in order to mediate memories of violence and engage an audience, and how these poems have been adapted by other artists and/or activist.


Poetry, Activism, Mexico, Violence, Affect


Mekenkamp. “El modo melodramático en el activismo poético: un análisis de “Los muertos” de María Rivera y sus afterlives”, Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies. (Accepted for publication)

Mekenkamp & S. Forchieri (organizers). Coloquio: poesía y activismo. Radboud Universiteit, Universiteit Utrecht, Universiteit Leiden, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. April 30, 2021.

Mekenkamp. “Poesía y violencia – una conversación con la poeta mexicana María Rivera.” El Nieuwe Acá. Un fanzine de literatura menor, February 9, 2020.


Marloes Mekenkamp,