Introduction to Mexico City: A Three-Part Course with Julio Pastor

Introduction to Mexico City: A Three-Part Course with Julio Pastor


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Join a local expert on this multi-part course through the animated Mexican capital. Each lecture is devoted to the archeological, artistic, and architectural highlights of this bustling megalopolis through the lens of a distinct neighborhood. We’ll emerge with a well-rounded understanding of many facets of life in Mexico, from history to food to politics, and the built environment.
We will start in the historic center where we’ll note how the different periods of Mexican history materialize into the urban landscape. We’ll learn about the history of the country through an artist-led guided study of the iconic murals of Diego Rivera. Afterward, we’ll head south to Xochimilco, where we’ll get a glimpse of what the Aztec city looked like prior to the Spanish conquest. After losing ourselves in the alleys of a local food market, we’ll move over to Coyoacán, the birthplace of the iconic artist Frida Kahlo. We’ll take a stroll through the streets of the trendy Roma and Condesa neighborhoods and look at the most emblematic examples of modernist architecture. Finally, we’ll cross over to Chapultepec, where we will discuss the revolutionary art of David Alfaro Siqueiros, and the pre-Columbian monolithic masterpieces kept at the Anthropology Museum.
Led by visual artist and Mexico City resident Julio Pastor, this course will look into the art and architecture of Mexico City, beyond the limits of these disciplines. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the cultural diversity of the city, and the importance of Mexican culture beyond the country’s borders.

Lecture 1: Centro Histórico
We’ll start our course by walking the streets of the Centro Histórico. We’ll step into the National Palace as we see walls adorned with Diego Rivera’s murals that depict Mexico’s colorful history. We’ll cross over to the Templo Mayor to visualize the Pre-Columbian past before moving on to discuss examples of colonial architecture such as the Cathedral and the Palacio de Minería. We’ll finish with a look at the most iconic buildings of the Independent Era: Bellas Artes, the Palacio Postal, and the Monument to the Revolution.

Lecture 2: Xochimilco
The neighborhood of Xochimilco offers us the opportunity to understand how the Aztecs created a lake city with canals instead of roads. We will also take advantage of our stop here to visit a local market and discuss food production and consumption in the past and present-day Mexico. We’ll carry on our visit by walking the neighborhood of Coyoacán, where we’ll visit the Casa Azul (birth and resting place of Frida Kahlo). From there, we’ll cross over to the neighborhood of San Ángel, where we’ll look into the functionalist architecture of another of the residences of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.

Lecture 3: Chapultepec, Roma and Condesa
Chapultepec is a park that has a substantial cultural offering. We’ll be looking into the most iconic pieces of the Anthropology Museum. We’ll cross over to the Castle of Chapultepec, where we will discuss the revolutionary art of David Alfaro Siqueiros. Afterward, we’ll move south of the park, where we’ll step into the iconic residence and studio of modernist architect Luis Barragán. Finally, we’ll continue our talk of Mexican architecture by looking into the wide range of styles that make up the urban landscape of Roma and Condesa neighborhoods, from Art Nouveau and Art Deco to Functionalism and other recent proposals.

Born and raised in Mexico City, Julio Pastor is a proud pedestrian of his native city. He completed a BA in Fine Arts at UNAM. In 2008, he moved to the Netherlands where he completed his MFA, specializing in the Urban Landscape. After seven years, he returned to Mexico and turned the focus of his art production to the city that he roams every day. His art production is thoroughly inspired on what he encounters during his everyday walks, but also by a great deal of reading on topics related to architecture and urbanism. When not working at his art practice, Julio can be found teaching undergraduate drawing courses in the architecture department at the Universidad Iberoamericana, or enjoying the city with his wife and two children.

How does it work?
This is a three-part course hosted on Zoom. Please check the schedule for the specific dates and times for each lecture.
How long are the lectures?
Each lecture is 90 minutes long with time for Q&A.
How much is the course?
$105 for three 90-minute lectures.
Is a recording available?
Yes, a recording will be emailed within 24 hours of each session's conclusion. 

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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