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.
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.
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.
100 Grandes Mujeres Latinoamericanas is published by Editorial Atlántida in Argentina.
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
The Billiken Centenary Project and 100 Great Latin American Women
As part of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science, Dr Lauren Rea curated an exhibition on her research into the history of Argentina’s Billiken children’s magazine and her creative co-produced work with the magazine’s publisher.
The exhibition, held in Sheffield’s Winter Gardens from 2nd to 9th November, juxtaposed historical, gendered images from Billiken magazine against inspiring images from the 100 Grandes Mujeres Latinoamericanas illustrated children’s book. After nearly 100 years of extolling the exploits of Great Men, with this book, Billiken is celebrating its centenary by paying homage to 100 Great Latin American Women. Together with Euhen Matarozzo, director of Biliken, Lauren led an international team of creative industries professionals to produce the book which showcases the diversity of experience of Latin America’s leading women. 100 Grandes Mujeres Latinoamericanas is co-authored by Lauren Rea, Ariela Kreimer (Argentina) and Regina Solis, (Guatemala) who is currently studying at the University of Sheffield for the Erasmus MUNDUS MA Crossways in Cultural Narratives.
On Saturday 2nd November, Lauren, in conjunction with artist Laura Page and Ignite Imaginations, ran an art workshop in which children were invited to create their own inspiring image of a Great Woman, famous or not, and from anywhere in the world. Around 40 children created customised paper dolls to form a wall of Great Women to add to the exhibition. Footballers proved a popular choice, and Florence Nightingale, Amelia Earhart and Frida Kahlo shared space with the children’s mothers, grandmothers and teachers.