From Wall to Wall


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What is freedom in the 21st-century? Free to roam
Free on the web      Free to be Free on the web Free to be

From Wall to Wall

From Wall to Wall is a yearly forum presented by Guadalajara’s International Book Fair as an avenue for debating the main questions arising from the global historic moment we live in from a vantage point that goes beyond scholarly disciplines.

The forum’s name alludes to the long-term vision from which its reflections arise: one that postulates the fall of the Berlin Wall and the –apparently superseded– notion of culminating the erection of a wall between the United States and Mexico as its chronological milestones.


In 2021, From Wall to Wall shall endeavour to pose pertinent questions in order to formulate a contemporary vision of freedom, a notion nowadays facing challenges from many standpoints, from the migratory phenomena taking place in numerous regions across the world through the debate on its limits on social media to the identitary and political claims espoused by many groups around the planet.

In the course of four sessions, we shall explore four lines of thought:

1) the very definition of freedom in the 21st-century
and its coincidences and differences with the notion of democracy;

2) freedom –and particularly freedom of movement– as a concept
that problematizes and transforms the practice of citizenship;

3) the regulation of the digital sphere, and the actors called upon
to define (or not) its reach and its enforcement;

4) freedom of thought and speech and its limits, in view of the need for a new social contract aiming to redress structural inequalities, which is nowadays part of a global social and cultural agenda.

In view of the sanitary emergency still challenging our planet, this year From Wall to Wall shall feature two in-person sessions in FIL Guadalajara as well as two remote sessions. All sessions shall be available to view on this website, as on all websites and social media outlets for both FIL Guadalajara and LatinUs, the media partner with which it is our privilege to collaborate for the second ongoing year.


DATE November 29 thru 30, 2021

VENUES FIL Guadalajara and LatinUs websites and social media (What is freedom in the 21st-century? and Free on the web)
Expo Guadalajara and FIL Guadalajara and LatinUs websites and social media (Free to roam and Free to be)

SPEAKERS 17 speakers


View programme by day

View programme by day

  • Day 1 - November 29, 2021
  • Day 2 - November 30, 2021


Nicolás Alvarado Writer and media professional

Day 1 | 4 p.m. What is freedom in the 21st-century? What is freedom in the 21st-century?
The head organizer for From Wall to Wall and an advisor to the Presidency of FIL Guadalajara, he has authored the essays Con M de México and La Ley de Lavoisier, and co-authored México 2010, hipotecando el futuro, Ellas por ellos and El prejuicio y la palabra, among many other books. He is a contributor to El Heraldo de México newspaper.

Catalina Botero Lawyer

Day 2 | 4 p.m. Free on the web Free on the web
A human rights advocate, she has served as special rapporteur for Freedom of Expression to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She is part of the academic committee of the Centre for Freedom of Speech and Information Access at the University of Palermo and a member of both the Digital Rights Advisory Council of Chile and Facebook’s Oversight Board.

Salvador Camarena Journalist

Day 2 | 4 p.m. Free on the web Free on the web
A Media graduate from Guadalajara’s ITESO university, he has served as editor for Reforma, Diario Monitor and El Centro newspapers as well as Chilango magazine, New York co-respondent for El Universal newspaper, and head of journalistic research for Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad think tank. He teaches journalism at Mexico City’s Universidad Iberoamericana and is a columnist for El Financiero newspaper.

Jorge Carrión Writer

Day 2 | 4 p.m. Free on the web Free on the web
Holding a Ph.D in Humanities from the Pompeu Fabra university, he co-chairs the Creative Writing Masters’ Degree at its Barcelona School of Management. He has contributed to The New York Times’ Spanish edition, as well as ABC and Clarín newspapers and Letras Libres magazine. In 2020, he entered the podcasting realm with Solaris, a series of essays on post modernity. He has authored numerous books, one of the most recent of which is the essay Lo viral.

Alan Dershowitz Lawyer and author

Day 1 | 4 p.m. What is freedom in the 21st-century? What is freedom in the 21st-century?
An advocate of the First Amendment, of civil liberties and specially of freedom of speech, he has participated in the legal defence of such high-profile clients as Myke Tyson, O. J, Simpson, Julian Assange, Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump. The Case Against Impeaching Trump and Cancel Culture, The Latest Attack on Free Speech and Due Process are among his most recent books.

Annelien de Dijn Historian

Day 1 | 4 p.m. What is freedom in the 21st-century? What is freedom in the 21st-century?
A professor of Political and Intellectual History at the Netherland’s University of Utrecht, she is the author of Freedom: An Unruly History, an intellectual history of political liberty from Herodotus to the present, in which she posits the contemporary notion of freedom as fundamentally opposed to the conception of democracy as majority rule.

Chandran Kukathas Historian and political scientist

Day 1 | 4 p.m. What is freedom in the 21st-century? What is freedom in the 21st-century?
Born in Malaysia, his journey as a scholar has taken place in Australia, the United Kingdom and, at present, Singapore. He has served as head of the Government Department of the London School of Economics. His latest book, Immigration and Freedom, posits immigration control as a phenomenon hindering diversity and cultural wealth, resulting in the surveillance not only of immigrants but of native citizens and limiting citizen agency to the benefit of State control.

Emilio Lezama Writer and political commentator

Day 2 | 8 p.m. Free to be Free to be
Holding a B.A. in Political Science from Mexico’s UNAM, a certificate from the International Programme of Paris’ Sciences Po and masters’ degrees in Public Policy from Université Paris II and in Global Communications from George Washington University, he is a contributor to El Universal newspaper and the author of a novel. His writing has appeared in El País, The New York Times, Le Nouvel Observateur, Folha de São Paulo and Libération.

Alejandro Madrazo Lawyer

Day 2 | 8 p.m. Free to be Free to be
He studied Law at Mexico’s National Autonomous University (UNAM) and Technological Autonomous Institute (ITAM) and holds a Ph.D. in Law from Yale University. He has served as professor at Mexico City’s UNAM and CIDE as well as at Georgetown University. He founded and headed the Drug Policy Programme at Mexico City’s Centre for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE). He has authored various works on freedom of speech and justice administration.

Ana María Olabuenaga Writer and media professional

Day 2 | 4 p.m. Free on the web Free on the web
A Media graduate from Mexico City’s Universidad Iberoamericana, she founded and served as CEO of the Olabuenaga Chemistri advertising agency. She has authored the book Linchamientos digitales and is a contributor to both Milenio newspaper and Opinión 51 website.

Ana Paula Ordorica Journalist

Day 1 | 6 p.m. Free to roam Free to roam
Holding a BA in International Relations from Mexico City’s ITAM and a Master’s Degree in History from Mexico City’s Universidad Iberoamericana, she is a news anchor for Mexican broadcaster Televisa and a contributor to El Universal newspaper. She has contributed to Nexos and Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica magazines. She anchors the podcast Broojula and is the author of 2012: Los Punteros. Dos conversaciones and the editor of UNO+UNO: 32 Líderes Sumando por México.

Alejo Schapire Journalist

Day 2 | 8 p.m. Free to be Free to be
An Argentinian expert on culture and foreign policy, he has been based in France since 1995. He has contributed to Página/12’s newspaper Radar Libros supplement as to the cultural supplements of La Nación and Perfil’s newspapers. Since 2002 he works for French public radio, where he addresses international current events. He is the author of La traición progresista, a brief essay in which he explains why progressive-minded individuals, such as himself, have parted ways with the Left.

Ilya Somin Lawyer

Day 1 | 6 p.m. Free to roam Free to roam
Soviet-born, he is a professor at George Mason University. Political ignorance as a threat to democratic life, the rejection of State intervention in the lives of individuals and the condemnation of expropriation feature among his topics of research. His book Free to Move posits both foreign and domestic migration as an act of defence of political liberties.

Maruán Soto Antaki Writer

Day 1 | 6 p.m. Free to roam Free to roam
A novelist and essayist, he has lived in Nicaragua, Spain, Libya, Syria and Mexico. He is a contributor on the Middle East, culture, politics, philosophy, religion and immigration to Nexos magazine, Milenio newspaper, Televisa broadcaster and W Radio in Mexico City, as well as Actualidad Radio and EVTV in Miami. He is the author of Casa Damasco, Clandestino and Fátima, among other novels. He is a fervent advocate of the right to migrate.

Mónica Tapia Activist

Day 2 | 8 p.m. Free to be Free to be
A co-founder of Aúna, a platform fostering new political representations headed by female leaderships in order to achieve better results in terms of welfare, justice and environmental protection, she is a graduate from El Colegio de México, Oxford University and the London School of Economics. She has and co-founded several non-governmental networks, coalitions and organizations. She is the author of several writings on sustainable cities, State-society relations and public policy.

Antonio Villaraigosa Politician

Day 1 | 6 p.m. Free to roam Free to roam
In 2005 he became the first Hispanic mayor of Los Angeles since 1872, a position that granted visibility to a political career featuring more than three decades working with unions and organizations devoted to the defence of civil rights. He has been considered one of the 25 most influential Latinos by Time magazine.

Naief Yehya Writer

Day 2 | 8 p.m. Free to be Free to be
An Industrial Engineering graduate from Mexico City’s UNAM, he has written both fiction and essays. Pornografía. Sexo mediatizado y pánico moral, Pornografía. Obsesión sexual y tecnológica and Pornocultura. El espectro de la violencia sexualizada en los medios feature among his works. Mundo Dron is his latest book.


Day 1

Session 1
What is freedom in the 21st-century?

Session 2
Free to roam

Day 2

Session 1
Free on the web

Session 2
Free to be




2020. The new post viral (dis)order

For its fourth edition, organized in conjunction with the Technological Institute of Monterrey’s School of Humanities and the Monterrey International Book Fair, From Wall to Wall devoted its sessions to the new viral (dis)order, in view of the pandemic and the resulting economic, social and cultural crisis, a set of experiences that have upset all our forms of being and doing. Arising from the context of the pandemic, all its sessions were held remotely.




For its third edition, organized on the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall from which its name arises, From Wall to Wall devoted its attention to the forms of civic mobilization derived from that same historic horizon, that is to the new avenues for creating and occupying public space that have kept on arising since November 9th, 1989, when German youth took to the streets of Berlin brandishing mallets and picks in order to reach Brandenburg Gate, tear down a wall and reoccupy a square.



2018. Democracy at a Crossroads

For its second edition, presented in partnership with Mexico City’s Centre for Economic Research and Development (CIDE), From Wall to Wall tackled the crisis facing liberal democracies, manifesting itself in the proliferation and growing radicalization of authoritarian and/or populist régimes arising from democratic elections in European as well as American and Asian nations.



2017. The Siege Upon Civilization

In its first edition, presented in partnership with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), From Wall to Wall delved upon the risks that the growth of political movements that promote segregation and exclusion represent for the civilizing process.