Pacto por la cultura: The power and possibility of cultural activism in Ciudad Juárez

Kerry A Doyle, University of Texas at El Paso


This paper is a qualitative study of Movimiento Pacto por la Cultura1, a group of cultural activists that operate in the hyper-violent reality of 21st century Ciudad Juárez. This work looks at Pacto as a case study to explore the possibilities of culture as a tool of activism in a particular time and place, exploring in the ways in which economic development policies, deficiencies in infrastructure, and rising violence both effect and can be affected by cultural processes. Through analysis of the group's original documents and qualitative interviews with organizational members, the paper documents both the successes of the organization in using culture to respond to the complex reality of Ciudad Juárez and the difficulties faced in sustaining positive action in the face of increasing violence, militarization and political instability. 1Throughout the paper the organization Movimiento Pacto por la Cultura (Movement for a Cultural Pact) will be interchangeably referred to as Movimiento Pacto por la Cultura, Pacto por la Cultura and Pacto, reflecting the ways in which the group refers to itself.

Subject Area

Cultural anthropology|Latin American Studies|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Doyle, Kerry A, "Pacto por la cultura: The power and possibility of cultural activism in Ciudad Juárez" (2011). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10152949.