Mexican street paper Mi Valedor is publishing its first English-language edition, and presenting it at the Chalton Gallery in London this week.
Based in Mexico City, Mi Valedor (which translates as My Defender) has 35 active vendors and has impacted more than 400 people since it was launched in April 2015.
It publishes a bi-monthly conceptual magazine, and the next is a bilingual celebration of all things great about Britain.
“There is a lot of UK influence in Mexico City,” says Mi Valedor’s editor María Portilla. “We also wanted to make a tribute to the magazine that inspired us to start this project – The Big Issue.”
In her editor’s letter introducing the magazine, Portilla adds: “There are so many things I like about the United Kingdom: tea time, literature, Victorian wallpaper, the parks, the pints, the kilts, Celtic mysticism, the construction and urban laws, painters such as David Hockney and Leonora Carrington, the National Portrait Galleries, punk culture, eighties pop, the language and diverse accents, medieval words such as ‘landlord’.
“I have a special affection for the UK but… Why would I live there? We have it all over here: Mexicanised versions, of course, but cheaper and with sunshine!”
Among the articles are an appreciation of fish and chips, examination of Beatlemania, working out what went wrong with Morrissey, a profile of a vendor from Glasgow and a special UK-themed crossword.
The Chalton Gallery is a not-for-profit space dedicated to exhibiting contemporary art from the UK and Mexico. On Wednesday 12 June, Portilla and some of her team will be showcasing the special edition between 5-7pm.