February 28, 2003

Subebaja: A Border Cultural Magazine

By: Pablo De Sainz

In October of 2000, the Tijuana poet and journalist Juan Carlos Reyna sent me an e-mail inviting me to contribute an article to a new cultural magazine called Subebaja. Back then, Reyna told me that it would be a modern magazine, that would reflect the cultural and literary environment in Tijuana, without any intellectual tendencies. Each number, he told me, would be dedicated to a special topic: the first issue would focus on narcoculture.

I immediately sent him a text, glad a new forum for the arts was being opened for Baja California writers.

But, as is often the case with this type of projects, due to financial problems the magazine didn’t see the light. Until the Spring of 2002, two years after Reyna’s initial invitation.

The first issue of Subebaja didn’t have a particular topic, but a variety of subjects. And it didn’t include Reyna’s collaborations either.

So far, the Subebaja magazine has published two issues, one in the Spring and in the Summer, in 2002.

Subebaja is part of a larger body of underground Mexican magazines that don’t have the support of large conglomerates and publishing houses like Televisa.

The magazine is full of pictures and it has an appealing design: large drawings, digital images and cartoon collages. Everything combines to turn Subebaja into a proof of all the graphic talent that exists in Tijuana.

The magazine’s editor is Mr. Ejival, cultural critic, DJ, radio host, and an expert in electronic music. It also has a team of exceptional contributors, including young border writers.

The topics covered in the magazine are, above all, related to the arts and culture. To examine Subebaja, let’s take a peak at the last issue, which came out last Summer.

The first article is a profile of Gerardo Yépiz, the neo-graffiti artist better known as Acamonchi. This profile written by the Mexicali poet, Carlos Gutierrez Vidal, also includes several pages full of Acamonchi’s art, Mexican popular culture icons: the former TV host, Raul Velazco; the so-called Don of the so-called Tijuana Cartel, Ramon Arellano Felix, and the famous PRI presidential candidate, Luis Donaldo Colosio.

Another brief article is a very poetic one by poet Roberto Castillo Udiarte. In this article, Castillo describes the life and work of one of Tijuana’s most acclaimed writers: Luis Humberto Crosthwaite, aka el Crosguait.

Rafa Saavedra takes care of giving the magazine its musical touch with his articles about Spanish Pop. The rest of the articles covers topics such as Yvonne Venegas’ photography, modern Mexican pop, Argentinean independent cinema, and cultura naca.

This way, Subebaja becomes in one of the very few cultural magazines in Tijuana. But the last issue came out in the Summer of 2002, a few months ago already.

Let’s hope this project doesn’t come to an end and hopefully it’ll continue being a forum for the arts at the border.

Check out Subebaja’s website at www.Subebaja.com.

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