Billiken Centenary, 2019

Billiken and 100 Grandes Mujeres Latinoamericanas at the Argentine Congress

In a continuation of their work together, Lauren Rea and Euhen Matarozzo (Billiken’s director) spoke at an event at the Argentine National Congress (the legislative branch of government) celebrating the Billiken centenary. Together they presented their illustrated children’s book 100 Grandes Mujeres Latinoamericanas which is part of the repositioning of the Billiken brand as it prepares to take on the next hundred years. 

To commemorate the Billiken centenary, the Honourable Chamber of Deputies in Argentina declared Billiken of national interest for its contribution to Argentine cultural life. National Minister of Education, Alejandro Finocchiaro, and Minister of Education for the City of Buenos Aires, Soledad Acuña, paid homage to Billiken’s trajectory before Member of the Chamber of Deputies Graciela Ocaña presented the official declaration of cultural interest to Federico Poletto, CEO of Editorial Atlántida, Billiken’s publisher. 

Lauren Rea and Euhen Matarozzo

Federico Poletto underlined the values upon which Billiken was founded before Euhen Matarozzo spoke about the multi-platform future of the Billiken brand. Beyond the print magazine, there is now a Billiken YouTube channel and the family festival, Billifest. Euhen also introduced Lauren Rea, highlighting how her historical research into the magazine has framed discussions around Billiken’s future. Lauren’s speech focussed on her joint project with Euhen, 100 Grandes Mujeres Latinoamericanas, the first stage of which is an illustrated children’s book paying homage to one hundred leading women, past and present. The book seeks to redress the balance of historical gender representation in Billiken which Lauren has analysed as part of her AHRC-funded research project.

Regina Solis and Lauren Rea

Lauren and Euhen led an international team of creative industries professionals to create 100 Grandes Mujeres Latinoamericanas which was co-authored by Lauren, Ariela Kreimer, from Argentina, and University of Sheffield MA student Regina Solis, from Guatemala, who also attended the book launch event. The book showcases the diversity of experiences of Latin America’s leading women, their struggles and their triumphs, and brings together artists, scientists, sportswomen, politicians and leaders from the fourth century to the present day. Four of the Great Women featured in the book—Argentine artist Mirta Toledo, Ecuadorian social entrepreneur Maritza Lanas, Uruguayan dramatist Estela Golovchenko and Ecuadorian social worker Gabriela Yánez—were present at the launch and were interviewed by Lauren and Euhen about their careers, inspirations, and life experiences. 

As the event closed, attendees were invited to view the exhibition on the first 100 years of Billiken magazine, curated by Lauren, on display in the Congress building. 

From left to right: Euhen Matarozzo, Estela Golovchenko, Gabriela Yánez, Maritza Lanas, Mirta Toledo and Lauren Rea
100 years of Billiken exhibition

100 Grandes Mujeres Latinoamericanas

Coordinators: Lauren Rea and Euhen Matarozzo
Authors: Lauren Rea, Regina Solis, Ariela Kreimer
Illustrators: Aymará Mont, Sarah Jones, Javier Basile, Emily Cuthbert, Ella Strickland de Souza
Design: Lisa Brande; Editing: Lea Loupias