Art of Solidarity: Visual and Performative Politics in Cold War Latin America 1477316396, 9781477316399

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Art of Solidarity: Visual and Performative Politics in Cold War Latin America
 1477316396, 9781477316399

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Th e Art of Soli darity

The Art of Solidarity V i s ual an d P e r fo r mat i v e P o l i t i c s i n C o l d Wa r Lat i n Am e r i ca

-­ Edited by Jessica Stites Mor and Maria del Carmen Suescun Pozas

Universit y of Texas Press Austin

Copyright © 2018 by the University of Texas Press All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America First edition, 2018 Requests for permission to reproduce material from this work should be sent to: Permissions University of Texas Press P.O. Box 7819 Austin, TX 78713-­7819 utpress​.utexas​.edu​/rp​-­­form c The paper used in this book meets the minimum requirements of ANSI/NISO Z39.48-­1992 (R1997) (Permanence of Paper). Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Stites Mor, Jessica, editor. | Suescun Pozas, Maria del Carmen, editor. Title: The art of solidarity : visual and performative politics in Cold War Latin America / edited by Jessica Stites Mor and Maria del Carmen Suescun Pozas. Description: First edition. | Austin : University of Texas Press, 2018. | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2017057641| ISBN 978-1-4773-1639-9 (cloth : alk. paper) | ISBN 978-1-4773-1640-5 (pbk. : alk. paper) | ISBN 978-1-4773-1641-2 (library e-book) | ISBN 978-1-4773-1642-9 (nonlibrary e-book) Subjects: LCSH: Art, Latin American—20th century. | Art—Political aspects—Latin America—History—20th century. | Art and society—Latin America—History— 20th century. | Solidarity—Latin America—History—20th century. | Solidarity— Political aspects—Latin America. Classification: LCC N6502.5 .A73 2018 | DDC 709.8/0904—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2017057641 doi:10.7560/316399

Contents

Introduction: Transnational Pathways of Empathy in the Americas Je ssica St i te s Mor and Mari a del Carmen Sue s cun Poza s 1

Part I P r e pa ring the Groun d, H olding G round, 1 9 4 4 –2 0 1 5

1. “My Art Speaks for Both My Peoples”: Elizabeth Catlett in Mexico Mel anie Anne He r zo g 23

2. Traditions of Resistance, Expressions of Solidarity, and the Honduran Coup Kat he rine Borl and 53

Part II Re s is ta nc e a n d Lib e r ation, 1 9 6 0 –1 9 7 4

3. Ignácio de Loyola Brandão’s Zero and the Aesthetics of Resistance in 1960s Brazil

Jav ie r Gonzále z

83 4. Canto Libre: Folk Music and Solidarity in the Americas, 1967–1974

Ashle y Bl a ck 117

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Part III C u lt u r a l Economie s of S olidari t y, 1 9 7 0 –1 9 8 7

5. “¡Estamos Hartas!”: Feminist Performances, Photography, and the Meanings of Political Solidarity in 1970s Mexico

Gabriel a Ace ve s Sepúlveda 149

6. “Amor Solidario”: Revolutionary Lesbianism in Mexico City, 1977–1987 Lucinda Grinnell 193

Part IV Solida r it y A c tion b eyon d Mo v e me nts

7. Solidarity in Spectatorship Ke v in Cole man 215

8. What Is Solidarity Art? Ja cq ueline Adam s 241

Epilogue Erne st o Capell o 259

Acknowledgments 267 Bibliography 271 Contributors 291 Index 297

Th e Art of Soli darity

Introduction T r a n s nat iona l P at h way s of E m pat h y i n t he Am e rica s

-­ Jessica Stites Mor Maria del Carmen Suescun Pozas

T

he Terza Loggia is the area of the apostolic palace where the diplomatic corps of the Holy See maintain a “Papal Correspondence Office” to handle the nearly thirty bags of mail received daily by the popular Argentine-­born pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, elected to the highest office in the Roman Catholic Church in March 2013. By June 2014, this office had begun to receive a flood of turquoise-­blue rectangles upon which was printed, just under an elegant white line-­drawing, “Dignity has no nationality.” First coming in the dozens and later hundreds by the day, the postcards beseeched the Roman pontiff, better known as Pope Francis, to recognize the situation of undocumented refugees fleeing warfare and extreme economic and climate changes across the global South, and to grant these refugees and otherwise stateless peoples citizenship in the “conceptual nation” of the Vatican.1 Tania Bruguera, a performance and conceptual artist born in Havana in 1968 to a revolutionary diplomatic family, designed and distributed

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these cards by hand and collected more than fifteen thousand signatures on a petition with the same demand. This was incorporated in an art installation entitled “The Francis Effect” that ran for four months at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, in New York City, from June 12 to October 1, 2014, as part of a multiple-­artist project entitled “Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today.”2 Bruguera’s work is an excellent example of the kind of Latin American activist art practice—in Bruguera’s words, “art that mobilizes social change”—that evolved over the course of the latter part of the twentieth century.3 Bruguera uses the terms “socially engaged art,” “public sphere art,” and “political art” interchangeably, emphasizing that a continuum exists between art made in the service of political activism and the cultural practices of those participating in solidarity networks. Her work not only raises global awareness around issues of violence, human rights, and citizenship insecurities in Latin America but also, and critically, utilizes the medium of the transnational solidarity network itself to push back against repressive regimes and the legal confines of nation-­states. This book examines the role of creative practices in culture and the arts within transnational solidarity campaigns that connected peoples of the Americas from the early part of the twentieth century through the Cold War and its immediate aftermath. It explores the practices of solidarity-­ based cultural production, broadly conceptualized as modalities of action within various art forms and media, the social and intellectual habits of participants, and the strategies of expression and representation that grew out of and alongside transnational solidarity movements. Solidarity activism manifests itself through a plurality of discrete sets of practices not limited to imaging, reenactment, and spectacle, but expanding to include nuanced social and political strategies of mobilizing action. By examining these practices, this collection hopes to shed light on the visible—yet sometimes elusive—political work that the cultural production of solidarity performs, as well as to reveal the place of that work in transnational solidarity history. Following the lead of aspects of cultural history and political theory that deal with the political imaginary, this volume addresses the mechanisms and practices of visual culture and performance art produced as part of solidarity movements, focusing in particular on how community is constructed across transnational political spaces.

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F r a mi ng T r a n s nat iona l S ol i dari t y t h rough C ult u r a l P roduc t ion an d t h e Art s Visual culture and performance participate in the political life of activism in a variety of meaningful ways. In the most obvious instance, the cycle of production, reproduction, and dissemination of graphic images, such as images of struggle, is aimed at informing and expanding the consciousness of the viewing public and others with whom the work interacts.4 Although almost twenty years ago cultural historians began examining imperial relations and anti-­colonial/imperial struggles in Latin America in ways that relate to the politics of solidarity in Cold War Latin America, the question of whether cultural production and the arts play a meaningful role in solidarity action during this period remains open.5 Solidarity activism engages a form of spectatorship that goes far beyond a passive reception, if such a thing exists, demanding of its participants “an active concern of the mind.”6 Consider, for instance, photographs of the Mexican Revolution taken and circulated by the typographer and photojournalist Agustín Víctor Casasola (1874–1938). Casasola’s photographs record the class, race, and gender composition of combatants and their supporters, providing details about the specific kinds of work that camp followers performed on the margins of the fighting and dispelling myths about the capacity of women to participate in active combat. This body of images informed an audience both at home and abroad, and, filled with “depth and humanity,” it was able to draw attention to the previously unrecognized role of women in revolutionary struggle.7 Interacting with Casasola’s photographs meant analyzing their particulars within a frame of reference, perceiving them from a knowledge base crafted by an informed point of view, and allowing that perspective to be further broadened by the information communicated by the images. This work of framing is at the center of our understanding of how social movements of solidarity are organized.8 Image constructs and performance can inhabit a particular narrative space by informing their audience about events and actors, creating a pathway along which the process of bearing witness can travel.9 Susan Sontag, in her landmark essay Regarding the Pain of Others, powerfully articulates the role of the visual in communicating and bringing to light intimate knowledges of suffering. She argues that images, and specifically photographs, have the power to reiterate, to clarify, to simplify, and

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to render otherwise cacophonous information and instinctual emotive reactions into a unified and more politically useful perspective. For Sontag, representations of violence can help to explain the incomprehensible; they can say, “this is what a war does,” and make palpable what is otherwise unable to be described.10 Along this line of reasoning, Jürgen Habermas argues in The Inclusion of the Other that the greatest threat to the spread of universal human protections, such as participatory democracy and civil rights, is the distortion of structures of communication. He contends that mistrust and violence arise from the inability to deliver full understanding across great cultural and spatial divides.11 According to Habermas, solidarity is the third most crucial element of social integration, after individual and group self-­interest, and creating solidarity comprises the basic function of social organization.12 In order to create a sense of solidarity not only within the confines of the nation-­state but also beyond its borders, he continues, accurate depictions and renderings of realities, and in particular of unfamiliar experiences, craft political worldviews amenable to just and inclusive politics.13 Solidarity movements, however, are sometimes challenged by the construction of political linkages between parties perceived as unequal. Understanding the other in the context of extremes, such as expressing outrage in the aftermath of a genocide or empathizing with victims of gender discrimination, can sometimes lead to a distancing, creating a sense that the other party experiences social issues that are quite distinct. North to South solidarity, for instance, has been accused of reinforcing notions of difference and eventually justifying lopsided power relations between “First World humanitarians and their unequal Third World counterparts.”14 Eduardo Galeano’s imagery of venas abiertas, “open veins,” which in connecting Central and South America also connects them to the Americas of the North, is evocative of the vulnerability that these flows can sometimes engender. Solidarity creates and elaborates relationships of power, and, as such, these must be understood and deconstructed in order for us to properly assess the impact of such movements, not only on structures of authority but on participants and audiences. The work of Raúl Zibechi argues that acts of solidarity are not mere “islands at sea,” but rather construct spaces that become hubs of community building, knowledge production, and territorial resistance.15 Such movements also have been described as a circuit not only of information but also of networked identities, the reinforcement of which produces mobilization.16 South to South

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movements, on the other hand, while often less determined by unequal power relations, offer the possibility of reciprocal relationships and greater capacity for solidarity activities to be negotiated by multiple parties. By no means, however, does this distinction allow South–South solidarity actions to avoid entirely the problem of othering. It does, however, beg the question of whether empathy and the acts of empathetic politics might be of a different nature if the gap between subject and object were to vary. Social movement theorists have argued that a large part of political action is derived from a sense of perceived belonging, a carefully articulated worldview within which one can identify oneself as a member of a social group.17 Thus, the framing of a particular cause, community, or political identity, and sometimes even the contested nature of such framing,18 can serve to orient participation in political life and position subjects within collective action. As such, the cultural adaptations of both concepts of belonging and categories of meaning within political subjectivities are crucial elements of participant recruitment. Cultural production and art produced as part of solidarity action, participating in the work of framing social issues and discourses, present visual and performative pathway-­ spaces through which subjectivities can be crafted and realigned. In this way, such activism can heighten the collective focus and contribute to the evolution and, ultimately, to the success of a movement.19 This crucial feature of framing facilitates the maintenance of commitment and the capacity to mobilize collective agency within social movements.20 Beyond the function of informing an audience and participants, visual and performative material aspects of collective political action—flyers, posters, design, dance, song, and the like—can also define social gatherings. Movement participants create spaces within which ideas are able to be mapped and take shape, and within these spaces competing meanings of struggle can be expressed and debated to set a new course of action. According to Arne Johan Vetlesen, “solidarity presupposes empathy.”21 Likewise, Carol C. Gould argues that motivating collective action toward a particular cause requires the triggering of emotional understanding, empathy, “where this signifies an imaginative understanding of the perspective, situation, and needs of others, as a basis for moral action in response to them.”22 Empathy has a well-­established place as a moral, social, and behavioral category subject to analysis in disciplines such as philosophy and psychology,23 where it is held to yield information regarding intersubjectivity and commonality among subjects.24 However, empathy seems to still be an

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elusive notion and experience. Whether the product of a voluntary act that can be cultivated, a cognitive process involving thinking and intent,25 or an automatic response that manifests as a sensory or emotional effect, the work of empathy merits a closer look. For one thing, empathy arises in a relational field, and thus it is not circumscribed and limited to the experience of one person. Furthermore, empathy is not passive and disengaged. On the contrary, it is an action in its own right, oriented simultaneously inwardly and outwardly, and the body is the site of empathy, where it manifests and generates action. Empathy gains full expression in the human body and its labors, as opposed to simply being expressed in works or cultural artifacts in their finished form.26 Authors in this volume advocate vigorously for the examination of empathy as an embodied form of social and political action. Uncovering what empathetic positioning is accomplished through the artistic production of transnational solidarity networks, in particular, is a useful starting point. Transnationalism can be understood as “sustained cross-­border relationships, patterns of exchange, affiliations and social-­ formations spanning nation-­states, . . . [and the] collective attributes of such connections, their processes of formation and maintenance, and their wider implications,” which shed light on the way that transnational relationships come together and are maintained.27 Empathy, as a state of being that can be described as existing beyond self,28 engages in the act of bridging understandings across space and time, making transnational solidarity networks and communications an expedient means to analyze the success and failure of empathetic political actions. Transnational movements do not respond to simply one civic context, but to many, often competing and sometimes hybrid, sites of action and even more complex emotional jurisdictions. To study far-­reaching solidarity actions, methodologically, requires the traversing of these multiple sites of mobilizations and interpreting events with profound attention to multiple contexts. These contexts are also the key to determining the meanings and uses of cultural production and of its display and reception. Hi s t oric a l C on t e x t s The Cold War served as an important frame for narratives of struggle in the Americas, though it was certainly not the start or end point for even most of the solidarity movements that emerged in the twentieth century. Many of these movements trace their origins to abolitionist, class-­based,

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and anti-­colonial movements from earlier periods. This framing of the Cold War, however, became useful not only as a way to reflect upon the impact of rival imperialist designs on the region, but also because it provided an interpretive lens through which much longer internal struggles with dictatorship, violence, capital, and inequality could be observed. Transnational solidarity movements of the Cold War period were somewhat unique in their ability to connect cultural producers and artists with activist resources in a variety of ways. However, an important precursor to pan-­American solidarity movements, though not itself such a movement, can be found in 1922 in Mexico, with the creation of the Sindicato de Obreros Técnicos, Pintores, y Escultores (Union of Technical Workers, Painters, and Sculptors). In this movement, artists, as producers, stood alongside technical workers, joined by the common goal of moving conscience by appealing to the notion that such work ought “to create beauty for all, beauty that enlightens and stirs to struggle.”29 The first half of the twentieth century in Latin America is also a period during which the state, in Mexico as elsewhere, embraced culture and the arts as vehicles to communicate and mobilize aspirations of nation building. The advancement of state institutions of culture and the arts in a number of national settings proved to have a scope, reach, and impact that prepared the ground for mobilization of groups of cultural workers and artists from the 1950s onward across the Americas.30 In the United States, in 1935, the arts were imbued with a new sense of purpose in unprecedented ways with the creation of the American Artists’ Congress, convened to respond to the economic devastation of the Great Depression and the rise of fascism in Europe.31 Initially conceived as an organization that would help shelter artists from the dangers of censorship and violence in increasingly difficult political climates, this congress brought together, at its peak, an international cohort of more than nine hundred artists, all of them working in various media. Among their more successful projects, the congress organized exhibitions in 1937 to raise awareness of the Spanish Civil War, channeling funds to the Spanish Refugee Relief Campaign and to the Loyalist forces.32 This campaign aimed to politicize artists and direct their energies toward the support of the internationalist goals of the Soviet Union’s Popular Front. It built upon the success of a federation of organizations at the local level made up of Marxist writers, intellectuals, and artists and was named after journalist and activist John Reed. John Reed Clubs, first set up in New York in 1929,

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brought together artists—many of whom had failed to form fruitful alliances with the American Communist Party—to help them collectively find a way to reach and connect with the working classes. The clubs recognized the usefulness of artists, whose skills had traditionally been valued only in the exclusive circles of literature and the arts, as a new type of civil actor that might be of use in expanding political spaces and dialogue.33 The 1930s saw a tremendous engagement of cultural industries and the arts, all across the Americas and elsewhere. In the face of social problems both at home and across the Atlantic, various strands of social realism lent form to the values and objectives of intellectual and artistic communities seeking to advocate for change. Thus, it made sense that networks of artists and cultural producers working toward a specific political goal would emerge around crucial problems, such as poor labor conditions and class-­ based discrimination. These networks were predominantly organized as guilds and unions of professional artists, or sometimes as artistic cadres within political parties, and interacted within and through these venues, where the primary avenue for action depended on organizational or party objectives. For instance, the Mexican Artists’ Union inspired the Harlem Artists’ Guild and the Unión de Escritores y Artistas in Cuba, but members’ cross-­cause solidarity was sometimes limited by the activist work that could take shape through the associations themselves.34 Following the end of World War II, and more particularly with the beginning of the Cold War in 1947, local contests for power were often influenced directly and indirectly by ideological, economic, and military clashes between the United States and the Soviet Union. The ideological polarization that characterized this period had dramatic consequences for regions such as Latin America and the Caribbean. At the local level, the fight against communism translated into a militarization of government that went unchecked over most of the region. Resistance frequently evolved into social movements and calls for social justice of a wide range and variety, several of which openly sought common cause and support across the Americas. For prominent practitioners in the arts and literary circles, such connection was most easily channeled through international networks, markets, and professional societies, which provided a ready space for connecting with counterparts elsewhere in the region and seeking resources of solidarity for local causes. For newcomers and outsiders, creating spaces for communicating across these divides was a tremendous challenge. Excluded in particular were women and minorities, such as

Introduction 

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people of color, recent immigrants, indigenous peoples, and individuals with queer sexual orientation. This volume examines the negotiation of a political space that was informed by aesthetic and functional considerations within these movements. It presents empirically grounded case studies representative of some of the most important moments of North–South and South–South solidarity activism during—and as a consequence of—the Cold War. Together, the individual contributions to this volume argue that the political life of activist production in culture and the arts challenges the confinement of subjects to a set of representational and aesthetic strategies within movements. As vehicles of expression to register thought and feeling in diverse media and spaces of utopian projection, these works could fuel ideological commitment to struggles at home and abroad and mobilize the emotional faculty of empathy among those with whom direct communication was limited.35 As a form of investigation, visual and performative culture and arts of transnational solidarity become activist in their own right by penetrating the limits of understanding and inviting an audience within usefully politicized spaces, actions, and movements to place itself inside the experience of others.36 There are examples, of course, of movements that fall outside the scope of the book, all of which deserve separate consideration. There were those that were broadly liberal, Catholic, socially oriented, or that had no particular political affiliation or party, and some that also consciously avoided radial politics, which all deserve due reflection, though this remains outside the book's contents.37 There are also examples of propaganda, which tended toward indoctrination rather than generating empathy.38 Key to differentiating the work of cultural production in solidarity movements is the notion of invitation to engage, the art of empathetic persuasion, rather than the attempt to bypass logic through emotional appeal in order to manufacture or manipulate public opinion.39 In part, it might seem that the stirring of empathy has much in common with the manipulation of emotion. This volume, however, aims to dispel the suspicion of empathetic politics, primarily by focusing our attention on the laboring body rather than specific cultural products or outcomes, tracing the individual reporting we have from these activists—embodying, performing, interpreting, and producing—on what mobilizes and propels their actions. Recent scholarship within the fields of sociology, political science, cultural studies, and history of grassroots organizing, human rights, and

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transnational solidarity provides the foundation for the present volume.40 Also foundational to the present work are studies that examine the politics of culture and art at play in social movements and shaping activist discourse.41 In particular, art in social change movements has received much scholarly attention as a subject of historical inquiry into art, particularly with regard to its role in the formulation and articulation of minority identities within wider struggles for civil rights, social justice, and human freedom. Oftentimes, these studies push the social historical and theoretical dimensions of the movements themselves to the background in order to concentrate on the important work of analyzing bodies of artistic work or individual artists’ careers. Close examination of artists’ bodies of work and professional trajectories can potentially yield invaluable knowledge concerning the inherent ability there is in art-­making to bring about deep transformation at the individual and collective level. Cultural workers and artists whose commitment lies in mobilizing social change through their own practice and labor do not, however, operate in a dimension parallel to that of politics as followers, collaborators, or propagandists whose works merely reflect intellectual currents within social movements. Rather, they are distinctly responsible for historical agency within social movements in defining or shaping causes. Although this is a statement most scholars in the field would agree with, a systematic study of the material aspects of solidarity action and the political resources whence transnational cultural and artistic interventions are derived and mobilized is, nevertheless, still missing from this ensemble of literature. This volume aims to address this absence by bringing together works that connect the investigation of transnational solidarity in cultural production and the arts to solidarity movement theory, situating organizational work and cultural and artistic practices at the center of such transnational movements in the Americas. O rg a n i z at ion The volume is divided into four analytical parts, with chapters internally presented in chronological order, which offers unique opportunities for analysis and insight. For the very first time, we get a glimpse of the overall story of solidarity and empathy in cultural production and the arts in the Americas from the 1940s to the present in transnational perspective, with a special focus on the Cold War.

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Part I, “Preparing the Ground, Holding Ground, 1944–2015,” opens with interventions in the domains of cultural production and the arts in the pre–Cold War era that set the stage for transnational solidarity organizing (Herzog, 1944–1982) and offer a glimpse of continuity in the aftermath of the Cold War (Borland, 2000–2015). Part II, “Resistance and Liberation, 1960–1974,” offers examples of early responses to the rise of Cold War polarization and state repression in culture and the arts (González, 1960s-­1970s; Black, 1967–1974). Part III, “Cultural Economies of Solidarity, 1970–1987” shows cultural and artistic production taking center stage in social movements of solidarity (Aceves Sepúlveda, 1970s; Grinnell, 1977–1987). The final section, “Solidarity Activism beyond Movements,” provides examples of the mechanisms social actors used to pitch solidarity cultural production to spectator-­consumers in paradoxical ways (Coleman, 1954; Adams, 1973–1990). Together these four parts demonstrate that, all through the period of the Cold War, cultural production and the arts were integral to solidarity organizing. Cultural producers and artists engaged in solidarity action as part of a tradition with strong foundations in pre–Cold War realities and experiences. The chronologically ordered analysis in each part also opens pathways to the further identification of patterns, an examination of aspects of continuity and change, and the tracing of novel cultural production and strategies coming out of the American continents. It also offers opportunities for thematic discussion around conceptual nodes. To illustrate this point, we offer here three examples of how to go about mining the chapters in ways that help advance the study of solidarity action in social movements more broadly. As conceptual nodes, many of the chapters engage the political imaginary and its interface with cultural and artistic production. The second node that opens theoretical dimensions of solidarity network development is the question of collective agency in transnational art practice. And the third is that of the embodiment of empathetic politics in artistic labor. The practical considerations of communicating struggle and cultivating an audience through the crafting of a political imaginary is addressed, for example, in Melanie Herzog’s piece, which explores the difficulty of asserting and describing the reality of Afro-­Mexican women to Latin American audiences unfamiliar with the ethnic politics and racial diversity of central Mexico. The work of solidarity often must concentrate on redefining the parameters of the political issues at stake and on delineating any boundaries to be transgressed, and embodiment must contend with existing power

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relations while calling into question those structures. Thus, such work must begin with the challenge of definition and origin stories, such as the work of photojournalists examined in Kevin Coleman’s contribution to the volume. In communicating the struggles of Honduran banana workers, he argues, photojournalists had to first position these workers as not only citizens but also workers with labor rights that were in conflict, before being able to draw out nuances within their photographs of protests. Further, as any work of political art is informed by decisions about materials and form, choices of medium and tone, or even perspectives privileged or critiqued by the author of the work, solidarity works in cultural production and the arts must also confront representation of subjects that are to a degree both unknown and unknowable to intended audiences. Lucinda Grinnell’s piece serves as an interesting contrast to Coleman’s, because it examines the role of photographic images in contesting gender identities in Mexico, breaking open spaces in political imaginaries for new subjects to exist. Her piece argues that redefining the role of lesbian and gay activism within leftist spaces helped to solidify solidarity movements and to desexualize queer activist spaces. As a consequence, these factors make solidarity culture a unique subject of inquiry for those interested not only in the politics of Latin America but also in understanding the uses and practice of politics beyond the formal sphere of political institutions. These essays argue that such practical considerations underpin the means by which a common political imaginary can be constructed, maintained, and called into action. The second conceptual node of the volume reveals the work of solidarity in the realms of culture and the arts as inextricably tied to the social networks through which artistic work travels and to the collective agency of transnational art practice. As such, these authors wrestle with the question of how the social life of cultural and artistic production contributes to the formation of political community and identities. Ashley Black, for instance, argues for the singular importance of interpersonal exchange in the context of performance. Black specifically points out the critical role of networks of professional cultural producers involved with solidarity work in transforming moments of collective inspiration into concrete political actions. She signals key distinctions between North and South solidarity practice, arguing that activists in the South have distinct strategies of network formation that emphasize the creation of personal bonds. Herzog’s piece also adds nuance to this argument by elucidating the role of

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key figures, artists who play transformative roles within solidarity communities, in solidifying the goals of resistance and providing a focal point through which to gauge conflict and progress. Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda points out that in Mexico in the 1970s, the solidarity work of women protesting human rights violations was able to build awareness of feminist issues within social movements more broadly. Cultivating affinities and sharing publics created opportunities among leftists to cross over causes and collectivities in socially transgressive ways. Javier González’s contribution examines the work of the surrealist novelist Loyola Brandão, whose censored writings initially reached a very small public during the military dictatorship in Brazil. González argues that despite his works’ formal marginalization, the ability of the writer to connect through networks and by other means allowed his work to raise awareness about the regime’s abuses. Solidarity practice, such as that of Loyola Brandão, is distinct from other artistic movements, and nonconventional, while Jacqueline Adams, in her examination of the Chilean arpillera movement, looks at the ways that solidarity projects manipulated traditional art market practices. These investigations of network construction reveal that structures of belonging are carefully articulated and formulated within transnational solidarity spaces. Third, and finally, the volume’s authors consider solidarity in cultural production and the arts as embodied practice, taking a closer look at what it entails and means when grounded in the laboring body. Case studies begin to give concrete shape and depth to activities previously considered almost exclusively conceptually, in the abstract. These authors argue that solidarity is often manifested in the body of the cultural producer or artist in struggle and that cultural work in these domains develops forms of expression unique to participation in the cause of transnational solidarity. Examination of the contribution that cultural producers and artists make to solidarity action qua engaged intellectual work must encompass the relevant aspects of their life, the labor performed, and the intersection of the communities of knowledge to which they belong. It must also consider the finished works and the public version of various aspects of their personal life, labor, and production that forms part of the “production chain.” The approach just described will shed light on the diversity of spaces in which the mind is at work—where the attainment of solidarity takes place. It highlights the interconnectedness between and interdependence of spaces—such as home, studio, workshop, community, and street—where

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the problems of solidarity action are worked through.42 Coleman, for instance, speaks to the photographer’s transgression of class-­bound audiences in the production of transnational solidarity photojournalism and shows how, by his speaking to a global audience, awareness of a local conflict could not only reach faraway people but also transcend into the consciousness of elite domestic audiences to affect and mobilize a strategic set of actors for the movement. Several of the contributions to this volume illustrate the ways in which the work of solidarity and the design of transnational networks of cultural producers and artists succeed within and on the margins of social movements. Katherine Borland’s piece on the work of Honduran anti-­coup performance argues that an aesthetic of resistance, and an embodied commonality of purpose within solidarity movements, can lend itself to being absorbed by other “friendly” movements, where it can be most successful. Adams adds that the cultural production of solidarity movements, within the context of markets and physical spaces, can provide a powerful site of resistance against state power. Further, she contends that these markets provide informal and formal spaces for exchange and participation, creating circuits of consumption that often are overlooked in terms of their political dimensions. In contrast, Black and Coleman, who are both skeptical of the potential hazards of resistance as a cultural form, contend that while solidarity culture should be considered a political resource unto itself, the act of creating such artworks should not take the place of other forms of mobilization. Tania Bruguera’s “Francis Effect” reached a wide audience in part because of the specific way in which her own life and work relate to the mobilization of a particular narrative of the Cold War as it played out in the Americas. Her artistic labors followed critical pathways of transnational solidarity dating to key moments of the Cuban Revolution, US imperialism, Latin American liberation theology, borderland citizenship-­rights struggles, and gender politics. Cold War framings and political identities created a field of embodied artistic practice within which her efforts were able to raise international awareness about the plight of stateless migrants and refugees. This book challenges the boundaries between studies of cultural and artistic practice and the activities of political labor during this period. It positions cultural production of transnational solidarity movements as a site of inquiry that must be viewed through the lens of social theory,

Introduction 

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and offers in each of its case studies methodological examples of how this might be accomplished. In doing so, these contributions further elaborate theoretical distinctions between North–South and South–South transnational solidarity paradigms and argue for further attention to the historical agency of these actors. They also give sharper focus to the political in cultural production and the arts as integral to the life of social movements. Rather than examining cultural products as objects, or relics, of mobilization, the works as a whole center on the modalities of solidarity cultural practice—the employment and the labor of the artist—within movements for change. As such, this volume argues that transnational solidarity movements can be understood as sites of empathetic politics, and that actors considered marginal within most theory and scholarship of social movements have, in fact, wielded significant agency. The contributors to this volume position transnational visual culture and performance “flows” as an object of historical inquiry that, viewed through the lens of social theory, can offer insight into the nature of empathetic politics and their place within the history of social movements. Notes 1. Elizabeth Levy and Nisma Zaman, video interview producers, “Artist Profile: Tania Bruguera on ‘The Francis Effect,’” Guggenheim Museum, Sept. 30, 2014: https://​youtu​.be​/​_ijFqq1hNpc​?list​=​PL4B158972C6000678 (consulted March 6, 2017). 2. Pablo Helguera, “Portfolio: The Art and Activism of Tania Bruguera,” Americas Quarterly 3 (2016), online supplement: http://​www​.as​-­­coa​.org​ /articles​/portfolio​-­­art​-­­and​-­­activism​-­­tania​-­­bruguera (consulted Aug. 12, 2016). “Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today” was organized by Mexican-­born Pablo León de la Barra, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Latin America. 3. Levy and Zaman, “Artist Profile,” 1. 4. For an overview discussion of the study of the social life of images from an interdisciplinary perspective, see Nicholas Mirzoeff, An Introduction to Visual Culture (New York: Routledge, 1999); and Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright, Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001). On the continuities and discontinuities between visual culture studies and performance studies, see W. J. T. Mitchell, “Showing Seeing: A Critique of Visual Culture,” Journal of Visual Culture 1.2 (2002): 165–181; and Shannon Jackson’s response to

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~ Introduction Mitchell, “Performing Show and Tell: Disciplines of Visual Culture and Performance Studies,” Journal of Visual Culture 4.2 (2005): 163–177. 5. See Maria del Carmen Suescun Pozas, “From Reading to Seeing: Doing and Undoing Imperialism in the Visual Arts,” in Close Encounters of Empire: Writing the Cultural History of US–Latin American Relations, ed. Gilbert J. Joseph, Catherine LeGrand, and Ricardo Salvatore (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998), 525–556. Authors also note that power can rely on invisibility, as its ubiquity in imperial relations amply demonstrates. See also Víctor Manuel Rodríguez-­Sarmiento, “Cold War Legacies Otherwise: Latin American Art and Art History in Colonial Times” (PhD diss., University of Rochester, 2009); and more recently, Kevin Coleman, A Camera in the Garden of Eden: The Self-­Forging of a Banana Republic (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2016). 6. Rudolf Arnheim, Visual Thinking (London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1969), 37. 7. Rita Pomade, “The Legacy of Agustín Víctor Casasola (1874–1938),” Mexconnect (June 1, 2004): http://​www​.mexconnect​.com​/articles​/1086​ -­­the​-­­legacy​-­­of​-­­agustin​-­­victor​-­­casasola​-­­photographer​-­­1874–1938 (consulted March 7, 2017). 8. Sidney G. Tarrow, Power in Movement: Social Movement and Contentious Politics (London: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 155. 9. Victoria L. Henderson, “Citizenship in the Line of Fire: Protective Accompaniment, Proxy Citizenship, and Pathways for Transnational Solidarity in Guatemala,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 99.5 (2009): 969–976. 10. Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003), 7. See also Murray Edelman, From Art to Politics: How Artistic Creations Shape Political Conceptions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995); and Grant H. Kester, Art, Activism, and Oppositionality: Essays from “Afterimage” (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998). 11. Jürgen Habermas, The Inclusion of the Other: Studies in Political Theory, ed. Ciaran P. Cronin and Pablo De Greiff (Boston: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 2000), 10. 12. Ibid., 240. 13. Ibid., 77. 14. Christine Hatzky and Jessica Stites Mor, “Latin American Transnational Solidarities: Contexts and Critical Research Paradigms,” Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research 20.2 (2014): 127–140. See also Jessica Stites Mor, ed., Human Rights and Transnational Solidarity in Cold War Latin America (Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2013). 15. Raúl Zibechi, Territories in Resistance: A Cartography of Latin American Social Movements, trans. Ramor Ryan (London: AK Press, 2012), 249.

Introduction 

~ 17

16. Thomas Olesen, “The Transnational Zapatista Solidarity Network: An Infrastructure Analysis,” Global Networks 4.1 (2004): 89–107. 17. Robert D. Benford and David A. Snow, “Framing Processes and Social Movements,” Annual Review of Sociology 26 (2000): 614. 18. Francesca Polletta, “Contending Stories: Narrative in Social Movements,” Qualitative Sociology 21.4 (1998): 419–446. 19. Randall Collins, “Social Movements and the Focus of Emotional Attention,” in Passionate Politics: Emotions and Social Movements, ed. Jeff Goodwin, James M. Jasper, and Francesca Polletta (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), 33. 20. John Mraz, Looking for Mexico: Modern Visual Culture and National Identity (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009), 8. 21. Arne Johan Vetlesen, Perception, Empathy, and Judgment: An Inquiry into the Preconditions of Moral Performance (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994), 322. Habermas’s reflections on solidarity evolved over time. Vetlesen, a student of Habermas, examined the nuance and complexity of his approach. Habermas’s thinking on solidarity was also crucial to Guillermo Hoyos Vásquez, who was a cofounder of the Centro de Investigación y Educación Popular (CINEP) in 1972, the director of the Instituto de Estudios Sociales y Culturales PENSAR (2000–2009), and the director of the Instituto de Bioética (2009–2013) of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. From the early 1970s up to his death in 2013, in his scholarship and leadership of research groups at the Instituto PENSAR, whose members are spread all over the world, including Canada and the United States, Hoyos advocated an ethics of solidarity in advancing human rights, participatory citizenship, social justice, conflict resolution, and bioethics. See Alfredo Rocha de la Torre, Angela Calvo de Saavedra, and Guillermo Hoyos Vásquez, eds., La responsabilidad del pensar: Homenaje a Guillermo Hoyos Vásquez (Barranquilla, Colombia: Uninorte, 2008). See also a posthumous note published in Ideas y Valores containing the transcription of two interviews with Leonardo Tovar González, “Guillermo Hoyos Vásquez: In Memoriam,” Ideas y Valores 62.151 (2013): http://​www​.revistas​.unal​.edu​ .co​/index​.php​/idval​/article​/view​/38306​/41575. 22. Carol C. Gould, “Transnational Solidarities,” Journal of Social Philosophy 39.1 (2007): 149–163. This entire issue of the Journal of Social Philosophy considers this theme in great detail, with excellent contributions by Jean Harvey, Enrique Dussel, and Sally Scholz. 23. Paul Bloom notably has critiqued the notion in his recent work Against Empathy: The Case of Rational Compassion (Toronto: Ecco/HarperCollins, 2016). See initial responses to Bloom’s argument that empathy is a poor guide for ethical behavior and his response to comments in a forum

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~ Introduction in the Boston Review: A Political and Literary Forum, Aug. 26–Sept. 10, 2014: http://​bostonreview​.net​/forum​/paul​-b ­­ loom​-a­­ gainst​-e­­ mpathy (consulted March 17, 2017). 24. See Amy Coplan and Peter Goldie, eds., Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011); and Karl F. Morrison, “I Am You”: The Hermeneutics of Empathy in Western Literature, Theology, and Art (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988). 25. Luis Pessoa, The Cognitive-­Emotional Brain: From Interactions to Integration (Boston: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 2013). Pessoa has argued that most recent studies from various fields within neuroscience and behavioral psychology have provided compelling evidence that emotion and cognition interact and are integrated, rather than being compartmentalized regions of the brain or specialized, distinct “circuits.” 26. According to Terry Eagleton, “aesthetics is born as a discourse of the body” (“The Ideology of the Aesthetic,” Poetics Today 9.2 [1988]: 327). See also Terry Eagleton, The Ideology of the Aesthetic (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991). 27. Steven Vertovec, Transnationalism (London: Routledge, 2009), 2–3. 28. Coplan and Goldie, Empathy, 11. 29. David Alfaro Siqueiros et al., “Manifesto of the Union of . . . ,” originally published as a broadside in Mexico City and republished in El Machete, no. 7 (Barcelona, June 1924), English translation from Laurence E. Schmeckebier, Modern Mexican Art (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1939), 31. See also Bruce Campbell, Mexican Murals in Times of Crisis (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2003), 48. 30. In Argentina, Juan Perón followed the path of nationalist senators in constructing state institutions of the arts that could be later turned to his populist ambitions. See Jessica Stites Mor, Transition Cinema: Argentine Political Filmmaking and the Left since 1968 (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012), 52–53. In Colombia, under the Liberal regime that was inaugurated in 1930, and most particularly alongside the Revolution of the March reforms led by Alfonso López Pumarejo, culture and the arts participated in addressing pressing social matters. See Maria del Carmen Suescun Pozas, “Modern Femininity, Shattered Masculinity: The Scandal of the Female Nude in Colombia, 1930–1948” (PhD diss., McGill University, 2005); and Catalina Muñoz, “To Colombianize Colombia: Cultural Politics, Modernization, and Nationalism in Colombia, 1930–1946” (PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania, 2009). For the case of Brazil, see Daryle Williams, Culture Wars in Brazil: The First Vargas Regime, 1930–1945 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001). On the cultural political project advanced by Chilean intellectuals in printed media in the decades of the 1920s and 1940s, see Patrick Barr-­Melej, Reforming Chile: Cultural Politics, Nationalism,

Introduction 

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and the Rise of the Middle Class (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001). 31. For rich detail of this meeting and its presented papers, see Matthew Baigell and Julia Williams, eds., Artists against War and Fascism: Papers of the First American Artists’ Congress (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University, 1986). 32. Andrew Hemingway, Artists on the Left: American Artists and the Communist Movement (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002), 115. 33. Ibid., 4–5. 34. Alejandro Anreus, Diana L. Linden, and Jonathan Weinberg, “Introduction,” in The Social and the Real: Political Art of the 1930s in the Western Hemisphere, ed. Alejandro Anreus, Diana L. Linden, and Jonathan Weinberg (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006), xiii. 35. See, for instance, Art as Activist: Revolutionary Posters from Central and Eastern Europe (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, 1992), 22. 36. Carol Becker, The Subversive Imagination: Artists, Society, and Social Responsibility (New York: Routledge, 1994), xiii. 37. For an example of focus on readings as left engagement, see Kristin Mathews, “The Medium, the Message, the Movement: Print Culture and New Left Politics,” in Pressing the Fight: Print, Propaganda, and the Cold War, ed. Greg Barnhisel and Catherine Turner (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2010), 31–49. 38. For a discussion, see Magedah E. Shabo, Techniques of Propaganda and Persuasion (Clayton, DE: Prestwick House, 2008); Anthony Pratcanis and Elliot Aronson, Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion (New York: Freeman, 2001); and Garth S. Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell, “Preface to the Second Edition,” Propaganda and Persuasion, 4th ed. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2006), ix–xi. 39. Shabo, Techniques, 8. 40. See Katherine Hoyt, 30 Years of Memories: Dictatorship, Revolution, and Nicaragua Solidarity (Washington, DC: Nicaragua Network Education Fund, 1996); Vania Marakarian, Left in Transformation: Uruguayan Exiles and the Latin American Human Rights Networks, 1967–1984 (New York: Routledge, 2005); Milagros Peña, Latin Activists across Borders: Grassroots Organizing in Mexico and Texas (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007); Stites Mor, ed., Human Rights and Transnational Solidarity; Hatzky and Stites Mor, “Latin American Transnational Solidarities.” For work on North–South solidarity, see Margaret Power, “The US Movement in Solidarity with Chile in the 1970s,” Latin American Perspectives 36.6 (2009): 46–66; James N. Green, We Cannot Remain Silent: Opposition to the Brazilian

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~ Introduction Military Dictatorship in the United States (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010); Patrick William Kelly, “The 1973 Chilean Coup and the Origins of Transnational Human Rights Activism,” Journal of Global History 8.1 (2013): 165–186; and Doris Sommer, ed., Cultural Agency in the Americas (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005). 41. See Philip S. Foner and Reinhard Shultz, The Other America: Art and the Labor Movement in the United States (London: Journeyman Press, 1985); Henry Giroux, Border Crossings: Cultural Workers and the Politics of Education (New York: Routledge, 2005); Shifra Goldman, Dimensions of the Americas: Art and Social Change in Latin America and the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994); Edward J. McCaughan, Art and Social Movements: Cultural Politics in Mexico and Aztlán (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012); Sonia Alvarez, Evelina Dagnino, and Arturo Escobar, eds., Culture of Politics, Politics of Cultures: Re-­visioning Latin American Social Movements (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1998); Ana Longoni and Mariano Mestman, Listen Here Now! Argentine Art of the 1960s (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2004); Luis Camnitzer, Conceptualism in Latin American Art: Didactics of Liberation (Austin: University of Texas, 2007); Claudia Calirman, Brazilian Art under Dictatorship: Antonio Manuel, Artur Barrio, Cildo Miereles (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012); and Shana Redmond, Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora (New York: New York University Press, 2014). 42. For more on this approach, see Maria del Carmen Suescun Pozas, “Débora Arango,” in Pensamiento colombiano del siglo XX, vol. 2, ed. Guillermo Hoyos Vásquez et al. (Bogota: Editorial Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, 2008), 31–60.

Part I -­

Preparing the Ground, Holding Ground, 1944–2015

1 “My Art Speaks for Both My Peoples” E l i z a b e t h C at l e t t i n M e x ico

-­ Melanie Anne Herzog

P

rints and sculpture by Elizabeth Catlett (1915–2012) proclaim the power of solidarity achieved when people come together across ethnic and national divides. Catlett was uniquely positioned at the mid-­twentieth century as an expatriate African American woman artist living and working at the center of Mexico’s most politically active artists’ community, a community in which visual culture was a critical component of solidarity activism.1 Grounded in her empathy for those to whom she dedicated her artistic expression, her staunchly leftist politics, and her commitment to social justice, Catlett’s praxis of solidarity exceeded imagery and visual aesthetics. It also encompassed her choice of printmaking as a democratizing medium accessible to a wide public, her contributions to collaborative printmaking projects, her engagement with the organizations for which she produced her work, and the distribution of her prints and sculpture to audiences for whom these empathetic expressions of solidarity were particularly meaningful.

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Informed by the politics and the compassionate sensibilities she brought with her to Mexico, Catlett’s profound and complexly layered identification with working-­class and impoverished Mexicans and African Americans and their struggles for justice is a fundamental source of the empathy for her artistic subjects and her audiences that infuses her work. This empathy, a crucial component of Catlett’s politics and her socially charged visual articulation of transnational solidarity, is often given less attention than her visual politics. Rebecca Schreiber argues that “the Cold War culture of political exile made possible a space of critique for left-­ wing US artists, writers, and filmmakers in Mexico.”2 Schreiber describes “a politically informed transnational and anti-­racist aesthetic” that, for Catlett and other African American artists in exile in Mexico at the mid-­ twentieth century, was shaped by the political and artistic ambiance of the Taller de Gráfica Popular (TGP) and, more broadly, Mexico’s postrevolutionary leftist artistic community.3 In the depth and duration of her commitment to her adopted country and her personal identification with “Mexicanness,” Catlett’s experience was unique among these artists, as she made her home in Mexico, married Mexican painter and printmaker Francisco Mora (1922–2002), raised her sons in Mexico, and, in 1962, became a Mexican citizen. Catlett first traveled to Mexico City in 1946 and soon became a member of the Taller de Gráfica Popular (variously translated as “People’s [or “Popular”] Graphic Arts Workshop”).4 The political, social, and artistic milieu of the TGP was fundamental in the configuration of the community that sustained her, and her art was her primary means of participation in political life and activism. In Mexico, she honed her inclusive and transnational progressive politics—concerned with social and economic justice, workers’ rights, and the worldwide struggles of oppressed peoples, particularly working-­class and poor women, and grounded in her deep empathy for those with whom she stood, in her art, in solidarity. Her prints illuminate the terrain of African American women’s identity, the realities of Mexican people’s lives, the ongoing efforts for civil rights and self-­determination for African Americans, resistance to US aggression throughout Latin America, and the experiences and concerns shared by women across political borders and cultural divides. In contrast to the often collaborative practice of the TGP, Catlett’s work in sculpture was an individual enterprise; her sculptural representations of African American and Mexican women, and women of multiple and fluid ethnicities,

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are generally more poetically evocative expressions of empathetic identification, rather than the topical proclamations of political solidarity that characterize many of her prints. During the 1930s and 1940s, many artists and writers from the United States were attracted to Mexico’s postrevolutionary atmosphere of social and economic reform, inexpensive cost of living, and proliferation of visual culture integral to the practice of solidarity politics.5 In the aftermath of the revolution of 1910, muralists adorned the walls of Mexico City’s public spaces and printmakers produced broadsides, posters, and portfolios with images that manifested pride in Mexico’s indigenous roots, class consciousness, and nationalistic fervor, and addressed social and political issues of immediate concern. Artists from within and outside Mexico affiliated themselves with this revolutionary artistic enterprise as they responded to the revolution’s promise of a new social order in Mexico and formulated a visual iconography of Mexican national identity construed as mexicanidad, or “mexicanness.” An expression of the cultural nationalism of the Mexican Revolution, mexicanidad defined a collective identity rooted in historical circumstances, from the pre-­Hispanic and colonial periods, through the movement for Mexican independence, to the revolution. The ideology of mexicanidad began to take visual form under the patronage of José Vasconcelos, minister of education from 1921 to 1924, who believed that art could play a key role in social transformation and the construction of a national identity. Government-­sponsored murals commemorated the revolution and envisioned its outcomes, celebrating Mexico’s cultural roots as a mix of indigenous and Spanish heritage. Rendered invisible, however, in this formulation of mestizaje, or cultural mixing, as part of the essence of mexicanidad is what has been termed the tercera raíz (the third root), the African ancestry that is also a component of the amalgam of multiple heritages evident in Mexican artistic expression.6 Catlett responded to the erasure of blackness in the ideology of mestizaje with assertions of evident African presence in Mexico dating to the time of the ancient Olmec culture of Mexico’s Atlantic Coast—what she termed the “mother culture of Mexico”—which preceded the arrival of the Spanish by at least two thousand years.7 Although Mexico offered no visible artists’ community that mobilized this “third root” of African ancestry, she nonetheless found her own artistic intentions affirmed by revolutionary Mexican artists’ social commitment, direct engagement with the experiences of ordinary people, deliberately accessible style and imagery, and

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consciousness of their centrality in the formation and visual expression of a liberatory Mexican identity. In addition, with the post–World War II onset of the Cold War, Mexico also offered respite from the bitter scrutiny faced by progressive and radical artists and intellectuals in the United States. For leftist African American artists, the anti-­communism of this period exacerbated the racism they encountered daily; thus by the early 1950s, writes Bill V. Mullen, Mexico City “had become a haven and refuge for African American artists seeking an alternative to the repressive political environments at home.”8 Many US artists and writers relocated to Mexico as the House Un-­American Activities Committee (HUAC) commenced its investigations of suspected communists; anyone who belonged to any group on the attorney general’s list of “subversive” organizations faced ruthless questioning, loss of employment, and imprisonment. The list did include the TGP; although several workshop members had visited and brought work to the United States for exhibitions during the early 1940s, they were then prohibited from entering the country.9 US expatriates in Mexico were not exempt from what Robert F. Alegre terms “the anti-­communist zeitgeist that emerged in Mexico—and in the hemisphere generally—in the postwar era.”10 In a major political shift from the populist principles of the revolution, the increasingly conservative Mexican government began to pursue in the 1940s a course of anti-­labor industrialization in the name of “modernization.” US and Mexican anti-­ communisms were, in Schreiber’s words, both “intertwined and distinct.”11 Unlike the United States, Mexico did not support foreign intervention in the name of anti-­communism. However, influenced by pressure from the US government, Mexican domestic policies were anti-­communist. The FBI and other US government agencies monitored US citizens in Mexico throughout the 1950s, and both Mexican and US governments increasingly colluded in naming, imposing restrictions on, and sometimes deporting “foreign communists.” Growing up in the United States in the early decades of the twentieth century, Elizabeth Catlett was instilled with an awareness of the oppression of African Americans and with a fierce sense of justice. She was born and raised in racially segregated Washington, DC, in a women-­centered household—her father, who had been a professor of mathematics, died several months before her birth. Her mother, also educated as a teacher, worked as a truant officer in Washington’s public schools in order to

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support her three children. One of Catlett’s grandmothers lived with the family, and she remembered listening to both grandmothers’ memories of enslavement.12 Even as a young girl, Catlett knew she wanted to be an artist. This aspiration—at a time when few African American women were practicing artists, and many US art museums and institutions of higher education were closed to African Americans—is a testament to her family’s support and the quality of her early education. The political and social consciousness that Catlett brought to Mexico was forged during her early years in the United States and shaped by the camaraderie of the African American artists’ circles with which she engaged in Chicago and New York during the first half of the 1940s. In addition, her education—at Howard University in Washington, DC (1931–1935), with printmaker James Lesesne Wells and art historians and artists James Herring and James Porter; at the University of Iowa (1938–1940) with painter Grant Wood; and in the New York studio of modernist sculptor Ossip Zadkine—provided her with technical proficiency in an array of artistic mediums and the conceptual foundation for her deployment of a rich stylistic vocabulary that ranged from expressionistic realism to abstraction. At Howard, the preeminent historically black university in the United States, Porter, Herring, and Wells introduced her to current debates among African American artists on modernism, aesthetics, and the sources to which African American artists should look for inspiration. From Wood she acquired a disciplined approach to formal composition and insight into the need to take as her artistic subject “something that you know . . . the most about.”13 Though she changed her emphasis to sculpture and graduated in 1940 with her first master of fine arts degree earned in sculpture from the University of Iowa, Wood’s teaching remained significant. Zadkine, recently arrived in New York as a refugee from the Nazi occupation of France, introduced her to Cubist-­derived abstraction that, in turn, enabled her to apprehend more fully the nuanced abstraction of African art. In New York, from 1944 until her departure for Mexico in 1946, Catlett’s involvement with the George Washington Carver School, a night school for working people in Harlem, was most critical to the development of her politics and her artistic ethos. She served as “promotion director” at the Carver School and also taught sculpture and sewing. Her students, she said, taught her how their economic circumstances shaped their lives, and this experience solidified her awareness of the privileges afforded her by her education and ways in which her own middle-­class upbringing had

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circumscribed her understanding of the hardships endured by working-­ class and poor people. Deeply moved by what she termed the “cultural hunger” of the working-­class women with whom she worked at the Carver School, Catlett sought a Julius Rosenwald Fund Fellowship to produce a series of prints, paintings, and sculpture on the subject of “The Negro Woman.” 14 During the first year of her fellowship, Catlett continued work at the Carver School and made little progress on her project. When her funding was renewed for a second year, she realized she would have to leave New York in order to complete this body of work. Catlett traveled to Mexico in 1946 with her first husband, artist Charles White, whom she had met during her sojourn in Chicago during the summer of 1941—the height of the “Chicago Renaissance,” a vibrant period of community-­based, socially engaged artistic expression that addressed interlaced issues of race and class in the United States.15 Her intentions were clear: to produce art that spoke for and to the black audience with whom she so strongly identified. She planned to spend a year in Mexico City, studying sculpture at the government-­run art school known as La Esmeralda and making prints at the Taller de Gráfica Popular. Instead, after a few months Catlett returned to the United States to end her marriage to White, and then went back to Mexico in 1947 to establish permanent residence. She was drawn to the vibrant community of artists at the TGP, whose aims were in accord with her own, and she was in love with workshop member Francisco Mora. Catlett and Mora married in 1947. They were members of the TGP until 1966, and remained artistic and life partners until Mora’s death. Founded in 1937, the Taller de Gráfica claimed roots in indigenous and “popular” culture, and positioned itself as carrying on the lineage of “people’s” art borne of the Mexican Revolution. The workshop’s graphic images, pasted on walls and street corners throughout Mexico City, functioned as immediate and publicly accessible political commentary on urgent topical issues and as visual expressions of solidarity. Printed by the thousands for mass distribution, rather than as limited “fine art” editions, TGP lithographs and linocuts (relief prints cut into blocks of linoleum) decried fascism; supported unions, national literacy programs and other forms of popular education, and movements for social justice; and celebrated the Mexican people’s historical achievements. Intended to reach a wide audience, these prints were distributed throughout Mexico and internationally.

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When Catlett arrived in Mexico, members of the TGP were immersed in production of their celebrated Estampas de la Revolución Mexicana (Prints of the Mexican Revolution), published in 1947, a portfolio of eighty-­five linocuts accompanied by explanatory texts that honors heroes and martyrs of the Mexican Revolution. Many of these images were based on well-­ known photographs, as the artists sought to ensure the legibility of their imagery for people whose historical knowledge of the revolution, besides that which they experienced directly, was visual rather than textual. This grand narrative of “people’s history” offered Catlett a model for her Negro Woman print series, later titled The Black Woman, an unprecedented epic commemoration of black women’s oppression, resistance, and survival.16 The Negro Woman—the substantial core of the project that initially drew Catlett to Mexico—comprises fifteen linoleum cuts, accompanied by captions that prescribe the order of their viewing. Intimately scaled, these powerful prints draw the viewer in close. Throughout the series, the historically marginalized achievements of African American heroines and the private realities of the lives of ordinary African American women demand witness. Commencing with I am the Negro Woman, the prints’ accompanying titles resonate as a clarion call for empathy. As Richard J. Powell writes, “Catlett invites everyone—women, men, blacks, whites, whomever—to act as surrogate ‘Negro women,’ if only via the stating of each title.”17 “I am,” we repeat as we read these titles, joining the artist in her identification with “the Negro woman” through the insistent first-­person declaration of a black woman’s subjectivity that echoes throughout the series’ narrative. Emulating the TGP’s practice of borrowing from historical and contemporary photographs, for this series Catlett derived images from sources familiar to those concerned with social and economic conditions within African American communities. Photographs that were produced for the US government’s Farm Security Administration published in Richard Wright’s and Edwin Rosskam’s 1941 12 Million Black Voices: A Folk History of the Negro in the United States were sources for elements within several of the prints.18 The subject and setting for I have always worked hard in America recalls Jack Delano’s Negro Maid: Washington, DC. In In the Fields, captioned “We chop cotton” in 12 Million Black Voices, the image of the sharecropper and her surroundings is drawn from a detail of one of Dorothea Lange’s photographs that document rural life in the US South, A Negro tenant farmer and several members of his family hoeing cotton on their farm in Alabama of 1936. The images of the historical figures Catlett honored in In

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Sojourner Truth I fought for the rights of women as well as Negroes, In Harriet Tubman I helped hundreds to freedom, and In Phillis Wheatley I proved intellectual equality in the midst of slavery are based on iconic and frequently reproduced engravings. Catlett’s invocation in this series depicting black women’s steadfast endurance and courageous activism is an unequivocal declaration of solidarity: with union organizers in My role has been important in the struggle to organize the unorganized; women who hunger for education in I have studied in ever increasing numbers; working women of the US South whose lives were made immensely more difficult by segregation in My reward has been bars between me and the rest of the land and I have special reservations; and exhausted women in New York, Chicago, and other northern US cities who faced overcrowded living conditions in Special houses, with a backdrop of tenement housing as documented in Russell Lee’s Negro Housing, Chicago, Illinois, also published in 12 Million Black Voices. The lynching Catlett depicted in . . . And a special fear for my loved ones is a stark reminder of why so many people moved to the northern United States in the early part of the twentieth century. The phrasing and cadence of Richard Wright’s text in 12 Million Black Voices reverberate in Catlett’s Negro Woman narrative: “We are the children of the black sharecroppers, the first-­born of the city tenements. . . . What we want, what we represent, what we endure, is what America is.”19 Wright concludes 12 Million Black Voices with this proclamation: “We are with the new tide. We stand at the crossroads. We watch each new procession. The hot wires carry urgent appeals. Print compels us. Voices are speaking. Men are moving! And we shall be with them.”20 In Carl Mydans’s photograph on the book’s final page, Back yard of alley dwelling, Washington, DC, a man looks upward into the sun, his face framed by the shadowed doorway from which he has emerged—perhaps the inspiration for the final print of Catlett’s Negro Woman series, My right is a future of equality with other Americans. Catlett’s words also mirror Frank Marshall Davis’s I Am the American Negro, published in 1937, a prose-­poem scripted for theatrical staging that dramatizes the toil, strength, oppression, and bitterness of black men in America. “I am the American Negro! I am a man apart,” Davis writes. “I have given America loyalty unequalled in man’s history.”21 Also reverberating in Catlett’s narrative is the unpublished “Epic for the Jubilee Year of Negro Freedom” (1940) by Margaret Walker, Catlett’s University of Iowa graduate school roommate; Walker’s refrain—“I tell you America, you too are a

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Negro”—emphasizes the inextricable binding of African Americans into the history and identity of the United States. I am the Negro Woman echoes as a response—in the familiar call and response form of so much black oratory—to Walker’s concluding line, “Who are you America but Me?”22 A radical assertion of black female subjectivity and agency, Catlett’s deployment of the first-­person singular throughout The Negro Woman counters Wright’s collective and masculinist “we”—and the “I am” of Davis’s similarly male-­centered narrative. Produced during her initial year in Mexico, looking back to her country of origin, these prints are Catlett’s first significant act of transnational solidarity and empathy. Catlett’s Negro Woman series now sounds as the overture to a profound personal and cultural transition. Her growing sense of “Mexicanness” became imbricated into her originary identity as she established her life in Mexico—married to a Mexican artist, raising three children (Francisco, b. 1947; Juan, b. 1949; and David, b. 1951) in the heart of Mexico City, and absorbing the workings of the TGP. Her immersion in Mexican life and culture and her experiences as a wife and mother in Mexico impelled her transnational perspective and her empathetic recognition of experiences shared by Mexican and African American working-­class women, especially mothers, and the common struggles of oppressed peoples across national boundaries. This awareness was manifested immediately in her prints— and, when her children were old enough to attend school and she was able to return to the studio, in her sculpture—as the singular “I am” of her Negro Woman series extended to an implied collective solidarity across borders. The Taller de Gráfica Popular nurtured and sustained Catlett’s art and her visual politics during these years. This lively and sometimes contentious group of politically engaged artists provided a social and artistic community in which her politics and social concerns were validated and her printmaking flourished as an activist practice. She made prints at the workshop in the evenings, and, as she embraced the TGP’s collective process, she always tried to attend its Friday night meetings, to which organizations such as unions and agricultural workers’ associations would bring requests for graphic images in support of their struggles. TGP members worked together to produce prints that would most effectively convey the desired message in aesthetically compelling and accessible graphic terms. Catlett’s adoption of the collaborative practice, graphic style, and thematic concerns of the TGP is emblematic of her inclusive and transnational politics of solidarity and resistance, and her awareness of the needs of the

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TGP’s international, though primarily Mexican, audience. By the early 1950s, the rough angularity of her early prints had given way to a rounder, more intricately textured handling of linocuts and lithographs, as seen in El pueblo mexicano en las filas de la paz (The Mexican people in the ranks of peace) (fig. 1.1), a linocut depicting a rural and an urban Mexican worker joined in anti-­militarist unity. A proclamation of Catlett’s solidarity with the international peace movement, this image appeared in 1956 on the cover of Paz (Peace), the newsletter of the Mexican peace organization of the same name.23 Though as a foreigner living in Mexico she was cautious about political involvements that could result in her deportation, Catlett worked with Paz and was responsible for cover design and layout for the group’s newsletters. Increasingly, her art expressed her empathetic identification with the concerns, struggles, and aspirations of Mexican people, and her anti-­racist, anti-­imperialist, and feminist class consciousness. Her subject matter expanded to struggles in Latin America and other parts of

Figure 1.1. Elizabeth Catlett, El pueblo mexicano en las filas de la paz, ca. 1956. Linocut. Cover illustration, Paz 5 (July 1956). In Elizabeth Catlett Papers, Amistad Research Center, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. Photograph courtesy of the Amistad Research Center. Art © Catlett Mora Family Trust/Licensed by VAGA, New York.

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the world as well, as invitations to her multiple audiences to participate in her vision of transnational solidarity, and as calls to activism. That Catlett’s visual expressions of solidarity were imbued with profound empathy is evident in the linocuts, lithographs, and occasional serigraphs (silkscreen) that she produced at the TGP. Many of these illuminate the realities of Mexican people’s lives—urban and rural women and their children, workers and activists, indigenous people asserting their rights and grieving their losses. Skillfully incised into linoleum and drawn with grease crayon on lithographic stones, her subjects are modeled with the subtle range of tonality seen in the work of the TGP’s most technically accomplished printmakers. But technical and formal mastery were not the sole criteria, nor the most important ones, by which the TGP measured success. Instead, the TGP maintained a visual politics of protest and witness; most important was that their graphic proclamations of solidarity spoke with power and utmost clarity. In 1950 or early 1951, outraged and deeply moved by the plight of striking miners and their families in the north of Mexico, Catlett collaborated with two longtime members of the TGP, Leopoldo Méndez and Pablo O’Higgins, on a serigraph poster to garner support for the miners, whose strike had been declared illegal. Strike leaders were jailed, and many workers lost their jobs. As the miners marched south and established an encampment in Mexico City, the TGP produced print materials in solidarity with their struggle. Catlett’s description of how this poster was made illuminates the TGP’s generous and collaborative activist practice. As the wife of the workshop’s printer posed for her with a pillow, Catlett began the drawing of a mother cradling her dead child (fig. 1.2). While I was drawing Leopoldo and Pablo came in. . . . All three of us were working on the drawing, and we drew a child in, instead of a pillow, and then I took it home and I simplified it and made it into a poster. . . . I had a silkscreen that was not big enough for the whole poster, but I could do half. . . . I was squeegeeing away on half the paper, and two guys came in who worked silkscreen commercially. They brought us a big screen, and they screened it.24

Catlett knew that ideally the prints she made in Mexico—particularly those she sent to the United States with friends and artists who had been guests at the TGP—would be seen by both African American and Mexican

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audiences. For black audiences her intent was to create art in which they could see themselves and their experiences reflected. Her linocut Civil Rights Congress of 1950 translates the documentary specificity and graphic symbolism employed by the TGP into a commemoration of the US-­based Civil Rights Congress petition to the United Nations charging the United States with genocide against African Americans. In the upper right corner, William Patterson, national executive secretary of the Civil Rights Congress, restrains the figure menacing the seated child, a Klan-­garbed calavera (skeleton) immediately recognizable to both Mexican and African American audiences. In addition, black women are featured in a number of Catlett’s prints. These are women who act—they are mothers, workers, ordinary folk, and historical heroines. She offered such images of historical and contemporary African American struggle, resistance, and triumph to her Mexican audience as a challenge to the racist stereotypes and misinformation about African Americans presented in the US-­dominated Mexican media. Catlett’s commitment to the illumination of African American history and contemporary struggles via an educative visual expression of transnational solidarity is exemplified by the print series now known as Against Discrimination in the US, which she organized at the TGP in 1953. These sixteen prints are based on engravings and photographs of African American heroes and heroines, from Revolutionary War martyr Crispus Attucks to actor/singer/athlete/scholar/activist Paul Robeson. As Catlett assumed the task of educating Mexican printmakers about the historical figures they would portray, she asked them to stand in solidarity and empathy with their African American subjects. For this series Catlett portrayed Harriet Tubman, previously rendered with powerful authority in her Negro Woman series. Here the bold dynamism of the earlier “Harriet” is replaced by a more carefully delineated image, directly based on a frequently reproduced nineteenth-­ century engraving. Significantly, Catlett altered the engraving’s background, adding the crucial procession to freedom seen in her earlier linocut, and her subject’s outstretched arm. This series was never published as intended, as a supplement for Paul Robeson’s Harlem newspaper Freedom, but it was exhibited worldwide.25 As a member of the TGP, Catlett participated in several of the workshop’s collective projects on Mexican and international topics. In the workshop’s ambitious 1960 portfolio 450 años de lucha: Homenaje al pueblo Mexicano (450 Years of Struggle: Homage to the Mexican People), her Contribución del

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Figure 1.2. Elizabeth Catlett, Leopoldo Méndez, and Pablo O’Higgins, poster in support of the miners of Nueva Rosita and Cloete, 1950. Color serigraph, 37 ½” × 27 ½”. Collection of Elizabeth Catlett. Photograph by Juan Mora Catlett. Art © Catlett Mora Family Trust/ Licensed by VAGA, New York. Photograph courtesy of Juan Mora Catlett.

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pueblo a la expropiación petrolera commemorates the critical role of ordinary Mexican people in financing the nationalization of the petroleum industry in 1938 during the presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas. As she reworked her husband’s portrayal of the same theme for the earlier Mexican Revolution portfolio, Catlett characteristically foregrounded women as active agents of nationalist resistance to foreign imperialism. Catlett’s visual expression of solidarity, immediately evident in her prints, is more nuanced in her sculpture. Explaining that she was concerned primarily with the utilization of form in service to empathetic expression, she said, “I thought of sculpture as more durable and timeless . . . something with emotion, and the relation between form and emotion.”26 While her motivations as a printmaker were primarily social and political, as a sculptor she immersed herself in the expressive potential of visual elements and the tactile sensuality of her sculptural materials. Still, aesthetics and visual politics were inextricably bound for Catlett; thus, the social themes of her prints sometimes found their way into her sculpture, and her experimentation with form was sometimes manifested in her prints. Printmaking fed her need to speak to immediate social issues, often in collaboration with other artists. In contrast, sculpture offered her the opportunity for more generalized investigations of the female body as she embraced the physicality of her sculptural processes and explored the potential of form and materials to convey feeling—and it is in this manifestation of feeling that the poetics of empathy resonate in these figures. In 1959, Catlett became the first woman professor in Mexico’s oldest and most prestigious art school, the fine arts program at the Universidad Autónoma de México, where she taught and served as head of the sculpture department until 1975. When she first arrived in Mexico, she had studied with the noted sculptor Francisco Zúñiga, who taught her to sculpt with clay in the manner of indigenous Mexican ceramic sculptors. When she returned to sculpture—the day she took her youngest son to kindergarten—she began to work in wood, studying woodcarving with José L. Ruiz at the Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado “La Esmeralda” from 1955 until 1959. Her studies with Zúñiga, Ruiz, and, earlier, Zadkine, and her previous teaching experience during the early 1940s at Dillard University in New Orleans, as well as at the Carver School, had amply prepared her to teach sculpture at the university level in Mexico— an appointment unimaginable for an outspokenly progressive African American woman artist in the United States at mid-­century.

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However, Catlett faced challenges from her male colleagues and students. Her colleagues contested her hiring on the grounds that she was a woman and a foreigner, that she would only teach African sculpture (she had invited a guest lecturer to speak on this topic), and that she was inept— the accusation she found most offensive. Soon after she was hired, Catlett was appointed head of the sculpture department; she resigned this position when her colleagues refused to work with her, but was ultimately re-­ elected to serve as chair when they could not agree upon a replacement.27 Her colleagues were forced to acknowledge her competence after she and several of her students won purchase prizes in Mexico’s first and second Sculpture Biennials, highly competitive national exhibitions of the work of Mexico’s most prominent sculptors organized by the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, in 1962 and 1964. Many of her students also became well-­ known artists. In her sculpture, Catlett continuously sought to resolve tensions between her interest in aesthetic experimentation and her staunch commitment to making her work accessible to mass audiences. Drawn to possibilities for manipulating and finishing materials to emphasize their substantive nature and enhance form, she exploited the plasticity of clay as she created ceramic figures that appear to swell and breathe from within, and incorporated into the elegant curves and angular planes of her carvings the patterns of wood grain and the roughness, sheen, or translucency of different types of stone. As is evident in works such as her life-­size Mujer (Woman) of 1964, Catlett’s sculptural figures are generalized, with only essential details depicted; angular planes, subtle curves, and juxtapositions of concave and convex shapes indicate her ongoing interest in abstraction as visual language. African and pre-­Hispanic Mexican sources, more recent Mexican sculpture, and modernist abstraction, which she consistently pointed out has roots in African sculpture, simultaneously inform these figures. The women Catlett sculpted, in wood, stone, and clay, sometimes cast in bronze, are passionate, determined, resilient, and celebratory individuals of agency—mothers, workers, and survivors. That her figural sculpture is grounded in her deep empathy for her subjects is clear; she affirmed that she was moved by “black beauty, not the female nudes of the European artists, but the women of the African wood carvers and the pre-­Hispanic stone carvers.” Abstract form is an elemental means of expression in both of these traditions, and both also carry symbolic weight as embodiments of the cultural legacies that Catlett claimed as her artistic heritage. Her representations of

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the female body are also based in her own bodily experience; as she said, “I am a black woman. I use my own body in working. When I am bathing or dressing, I see and feel how my body looks and moves. I never do sculpture from a nude model. . . . Mostly I watch women.”28 These figures often suggest a simultaneous multiplicity of diverse ancestries that derive from diaspora, border crossing, and mestizaje, the blending of indigenous, Spanish, and, as Catlett asserted, African ancestries shared by many in Mexico. Figures with titles that mark them as black women are imbued with referents to Catlett’s Mexican and earlier pre-­Hispanic influences; figures designated as Mexican echo African stylistic sources. Catlett recognized the nuanced complexity of these cross-­cultural and transnational convergences in her sculpture, noting that her images of African Americans often look Mexican.29 And, she said, “A woman critic here [Raquel Tibol, in Mexico] once told me that whenever I do Mexicans in sculpture they always turn out to be black. There’s no doubt a lot of truth in what she said. My art does, after all, speak for both my peoples.”30 Subjected to harassment by the US embassy throughout the 1950s, Catlett made the difficult decision at the end of that decade to become a Mexican citizen. The impetus for this choice, made possible because she was married to a Mexican, was her arrest as a “foreign agitator” in 1958 during a nationwide railroad workers’ strike for increased wages and union democratization that was deemed a “communist-­led insurgency” by ­business and political leaders and by the right-­wing press.31 Granted authority by the Cold War rhetoric of anti-­communism, Catlett’s arrest was part of a move by the Mexican and US governments to suppress labor and the left, as Mexican government forces violently attacked trade unionists and arrested and deported many US expatriates designated as “communist” by the US embassy.32 Catlett was granted Mexican citizenship in 1962. She could now engage in a broader spectrum of political activity and affiliate herself with activist groups without risk of deportation. In 1963, she was among ninety-­one women from Mexico who traveled to Cuba for the Congress of Women in the Americas. The Mexican delegation returned to form the Unión Nacional de Mujeres Mexicanas (National Union of Mexican Women), a coalition of women’s organizations dedicated to serving the needs of Mexican working-­class urban women and impoverished rural women. Catlett served on the organization’s executive board until 1975. Her linocut Nos quedamos sin escuela (We still have no school), ca. 1964, was made and distributed

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in solidarity with campesinas demanding access to education for their children, a struggle supported by this activist coalition. However, when Catlett became a Mexican citizen she was declared an “undesirable alien” by the US State Department and denied entry to the United States on the basis of her apparent political affinities. The Carver School had been deemed a “Communist Front” organization, and in addition to this connection, in New York, she had also served as the head of Russian War Relief in Harlem and on the Arts Committee of the National Negro Congress, one of the largest Popular Front organizations active in Harlem during the early 1940s. In 1946, she had spoken on a panel on the social uses of art with William Z. Foster, the US Communist Party leader.33 In 1984 she described her political beliefs: Once Dr. [W.  E.  B.] DuBois said, “If you take one step backward, you never stop running,” so I decided not to take that one step backward. And where rights for black people were concerned, I was always very active, whether there were Communists involved or not. I’m interested in socialism—I’ve been to Cuba, I’ve been to Czechoslovakia, and I’ve been to East Germany, and I have thought that in all three countries there was much more democracy as far as I could see than in the United States, or in Mexico either.34

Thus her 1961 visit to Washington, DC, to deliver the keynote address for the third annual meeting of the National Conference of Negro Artists, in which she called for African American artists to address their art to “the great audience of the Negro people in America,” was her last until 1971, when she was granted a visa to attend the opening of her solo exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem. In this speech, published in the first issue of Freedomways magazine, she spoke of the TGP and other revolutionary Mexican artists’ socially engaged artistic practice as exemplary solidarity activism. African American artists should exhibit not only in galleries, she said: “Let us exhibit where Negro people meet—in the churches, in the schools and universities, in the associations and clubs and trade unions. . . . If we are to reach the mass of Negro people with our art, we must learn from them; then let us seek inspiration in the Negro people, a principal and never-­ending source.”35 Clearly, Catlett endured repercussions for her uncompromising political stance. During the 1950s, her financial resources were limited and she was

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seldom able to travel to the United States. Geographic distance and the distancing due to fear—some of her fellow artists in the United States were anxious about associating with artists of the left during the Cold War—constricted the recognition of her artistry in her country of origin. The art world marginalization of black artists—and the near-­invisibility of black women artists—was compounded for her by her absence and by her politics. Still, Catlett maintained that she faced fewer limitations in Mexico than she would have in the United States because Mexico was less burdened by the racism that constrained US artists of color. Reflecting upon her experience in Mexico during the 1960s, she recalled, “During the ten years I was not permitted entry [to the United States], I grew accustomed to another way of life where I don’t get angry every day because of some racist occurrence.”36 Though barred from the United States, throughout the 1960s, from her vantage point in Mexico, Catlett refocused her attention on movements for justice in her country of origin, and she shared with revolutionary black artists in the United States what she had learned in Mexico about visual culture as an empathetic praxis of solidarity activism. She felt a profound connection to a transnational community bound together by the revolutionary promise of black nationalism and the visual politics of the Black Arts movement, a community-­based endeavor to develop a collective aesthetic of self-­determination as the visual expression of Black Power. Catlett’s prints and sculpture from these years affirmed her solidarity with the aims of the civil rights and Black Power movements, and particularly emphasized the role of women in these movements. With explicit reference to US black political leaders and organizations such as the Black Panthers, she proclaimed her political affinities in iconic prints such as Malcolm X Speaks for Us and Black Is Beautiful 2, both from 1970. Her life-­size cedar sculpture Homage to My Young Black Sisters of 1969 is an eloquent declaration of her solidarity with the defiant young women of the Black Power movement. The unequivocal gesture of the upthrust arm and clenched fist makes legible the abstracted concave and convex forms that allude to but do not describe the anatomical female body, demanding witness for women’s role in movements for black liberation. Catlett’s The Torture of Mothers (fig. 1.3), a hand-­colored lithograph of 1970, decries the violence that wracked urban black communities in the United States during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Encapsulated in a jagged-­edged, red pod-­like form, the young victim of violence literally fills his mother’s thoughts. The weighty solidity of the woman’s profile recalls

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Figure 1.3. Elizabeth Catlett, The Torture of Mothers, 1970. Hand-­colored lithograph, 13" × 20". Collection of Elizabeth Catlett. Photograph courtesy of Catlett Mora Family Trust. Art © Catlett Mora Family Trust/Licensed by VAGA, New York.

Catlett’s 1964 clay sculpture Cabeza (Head), her most direct sculptural quotation of the colossal stone heads carved by indigenous Olmec sculptors—for Catlett a link between ancient African and pre-­Hispanic Mexican peoples. Grounded in her empathy as a mother, The Torture of Mothers symbolically embodies across cultural divides the concern of mothers for children against whom violence is directed. Catlett knew women whose children were felled by the military forces called out against student protesters in Mexico City in 1968; her own sons had been part of these mass demonstrations. She identified with mothers of young black men in the United States, who lived in fear that their sons would be next, and with women in Latin America whose children were “disappeared” by US-­supported government forces that opposed their peoples’ liberation movements. Despite her expatriate status, Catlett had not been forgotten in the United States. As a younger generation of African American artists claimed

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her as a foremother, her work found renewed visibility. A 1970 article in Ebony magazine, “My Art Speaks for Both My Peoples,” featured Catlett’s sculptural practice and her cross-­cultural affinities.37 Emphasizing her black nationalism, one photo caption reads, “Armed with power tools and chisels, Miss Catlett begins the liberation of another of her figurative black sisters imprisoned in a log.”38 She is also characterized as a Mexican artist—“among Mexico’s finest print makers”—and her role as la maestra is underscored. This article was followed by numerous invitations to exhibit her work in the United States after nearly twenty-­five years of absence. In 1970 Catlett was invited to attend CONFABA 70, the Conference on the Functional Aspects of Black Art held at Northwestern University near Chicago, as an advisor and an elder of distinction. Because the US embassy denied her a visa to attend the conference, she spoke by phone from Mexico. Informed by her deep, politically grounded empathy, her statement was an unequivocal affirmation both of transnational solidarity with the black liberation struggle and of the revolutionary potential of art: Unfortunately for me, I was refused [a visa] on the grounds that, as a foreigner, there was a possibility that I would interfere in social or political problems, and thus I constituted a threat to the well-­being of the United States. To the degree and in the proportion that the United States constitute a threat to Black people, to that degree and more, do I hope to have earned that honor. For I have been, and am currently, and always hope to be a Black Revolutionary Artist, and all that it implies! . . . I am married to a Mexican artist, and I am a Mexican citizen by choice. But I cannot, nor would I wish to escape the fact that I am also an American born and reared Black woman artist.

She concluded, I want to say a final word about the love we should have for our Black brothers and sisters. To live with them, learn from them, create from them, and give to them of our art, only the best. . . . Our People deserve no less.  .  .  . Let’s create the best art possible for the liberation of our beautiful Black People.39

At this historical moment, with the struggle for racial justice in the United States so prominent in her consciousness and her artistic

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production, Catlett felt a need to convey to her Mexican audience the realities experienced by African Americans. Her landmark 1970 solo exhibition at Mexico City’s Museo de Arte Moderno of sixteen sculptures and twelve prints, “Experiencia negra: Escultura y grabado de Elizabeth Catlett,” was motivated by this desire.40 She expressed her intentions for this exhibition: “I identify closely with the Black Liberation Movement. . . . I want to let the Mexican people know how the Blacks seek to establish their dignity, their self-­respect. I feel that it is appropriate for me to express my Black experience in Mexico in the same way that I would relate my Mexican experience in the United States.”41 Catlett had the opportunity to express her “Black experience” and her “Mexican experience” the following year in a solo exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem.42 “Elizabeth Catlett: Prints and Sculpture” was conceived as a small print show but became a major exhibition of twenty-­ two prints and fifteen sculptures, similar in scope to her Mexican exhibition—her first solo exhibition in the United States since 1948. A concerted effort—led by the Studio Museum director, Edward S. Spriggs, and the artist/writer Elton Fax and supported by numerous other African American artists—forced the US State Department to grant her a visa to attend the opening, though as an “undesirable alien” she was not permitted to travel freely in the United States.43 Artist and art historian Jeff Donaldson’s “Commentary” in the exhibition catalogue stressed Catlett’s black nationalist politics, her consciousness of the interconnections of racism and imperialism, and her transnational solidarity with “Third World” struggles: Her work is a visual bridge connecting our common ancestry. . . . Black and Third World Peoples need to be made actively conscious of their commonality of heritage and interests and also of their common threat from their common enemy. Black and Third World people need Elizabeth Catlett because her work speaks to these concerns, ever has and, hopefully, ever will.44

This exhibition, along with the 1970 Ebony article featuring her work, solidified her status in the United States as a prominent—and revolutionary—black nationalist artist. It was the first of many that were held at predominantly black institutions in the United States—universities, libraries, and community centers—during the 1970s and in subsequent decades.

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She also continued to exhibit in Mexico and internationally. After her retirement from teaching in 1975, Catlett maintained her artistic practice and her commitment to exhibit in “people’s” venues as her primary modes of solidarity activism. Her archives contain numerous letters from admirers, requests for information and images, pleas for donations of work for publicity and fundraising purposes, and queries regarding exhibition possibilities, to nearly all of which she responded affirmatively. Catlett continued to explore in her sculpture the expressive potential of form, sometimes reworking an image in a variety of mediums. To most powerfully convey feeling she drew upon a range of formal idioms; abstraction imbues her figurative work, and nearly all of her abstract forms contain figural elements. The majority of these represent women, their forms pared to essentials, with stylistic referents and physiognomies that suggest simultaneously multiple and fluid ethnicities. Informed by her deep and enduring empathy, these are dignified, impassioned, regal, sometimes playful figures—mothers vehemently protective of their children, women stepping out. In her prints, she often revisited earlier themes and also experimented with form, technique, and print mediums. She continued to draw upon the stylistic and technical conventions of the Taller de Gráfica Popular, especially in prints that addressed struggles for justice and self-­determination in Latin America. In Central America Says No (1986) (fig. 1.4), she combined several earlier linocuts to confront reactionary totalitarianism and US imperialism. In the central image, a helmeted death’s-­head mercenary soldier threatens a campesino couple, strikingly similar to the figures in El pueblo mexicano en las filas de la paz, with the rifle-­mounted bayonet that TGP artists often used to signify imperialist aggression. As viewers, we are positioned behind the couple as active witnesses to the threat of US military and economic might, accompanying them in the space to which the campesino’s outstretched arm assertively bars the soldier from entry. Above and below this central image are repeated imprints of Catlett’s Chile I and Chile II (1980 and 1982), protests against the Pinochet dictatorship’s assault on the Chilean people and the disappearance, torture, and murder of those who resisted. In the bottom print, the mountains are filled with defiantly upraised fists. Multiplied to represent Pinochet’s countless victims, these are the hands of musician Víctor Jara, who in September 1973 was called to sing and play his guitar before thousands of people held by the military in Santiago’s national stadium; the legend is that when

Figure 1.4. Elizabeth Catlett, Central America Says No, 1986. Linoleum cut, 41 ½" x 22". Collection of Elizabeth Catlett. Photograph by Melanie Herzog. Art © Catlett Mora Family Trust/Licensed by VAGA, New York.

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soldiers cut off his hands, he continued to sing. For Catlett, these now-­ recontextualized images spoke to conditions in Central America during the 1980s. Together, they condemn militarism, imperialism, and the horror of governments turned against their own people, a visually commanding cry for justice and a call for solidarity. Catlett never compromised her politics or her stance as an artist committed to making socially engaged, stylistically and iconographically accessible art that served the causes of peace and justice. She credited as the wellsprings of this conviction her experience as a member of the Taller de Gráfica Popular and, more broadly, as an artist in Mexico’s revolutionary environment. In an October 1975 symposium at the University of Texas, Mexican painter and printmaker Rufino Tamayo claimed that truly “revolutionary” painting takes new stylistic paths and that the utilization of social or political content to call one’s art revolutionary is meaningless.45 Tamayo’s statement was published in the Mexico City newspaper Excelsior. In her response, published the following week in the newspaper El Día, Catlett argued that Mexican murals and “social printmaking” were revolutionary precisely because of their content. She wrote, Who would dare to discard Goya’s painting The Third of May, 1808, in Madrid, or to scorn the genius of Picasso, moved to shout his anger against inhumanity in the mural of Guernica? This tendency is evidence of the intentions to neutralize and control the power of art, to deny art one of its most sacred functions, and artists one of their greatest responsibilities, to hold up the mirror of truth and reveal for the eyes of humanity the repulsive presence of the exploitation of man by man.

Artists have a powerful obligation, she asserted, to practices of solidarity that expose abuses of power and the perpetuation of injustice, illuminate resistance, and stimulate revolutionary awareness in service to social transformation. “Art cannot effect this change,” she concluded, “but it can raise consciousness of the necessities and the possibilities of doing so.”46 Elizabeth Catlett thrived as an artist within communities in the United States and Mexico that affirmed the transformative potential of art and the praxis of art as solidarity activism. The seeds of political and artistic consciousness that germinated during her early years in the United States took root at the Taller de Gráfica Popular as the visual language with which

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she continued to manifest her empathetic politics of solidarity with movements for self-­determination and justice in Mexico, with the Black Power movement in the United States, and with liberation movements throughout Latin America. Her US citizenship was restored in 2002, and she spent her last years as a citizen of both the United States and Mexico. By the end of her life, Catlett had received major commissions, several honorary degrees, and numerous honors, as well as opportunities to exhibit in major museums and galleries. Still, she maintained her commitment to exhibit in community-­based spaces as a means of connecting with the people whose struggles she took as her own. Empathy and solidarity resonate throughout the eloquent and impassioned visual statements against oppression and injustice that Catlett produced for over half a century in the United States and Mexico, as she said, “for liberation and for life.”47 Notes 1. For a thorough treatment of Elizabeth Catlett’s life and artistic practice, see Melanie Anne Herzog, Elizabeth Catlett: An American Artist in Mexico (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2000); and Herzog, Elizabeth Catlett: In the Image of the People (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago; New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005). 2. Rebecca Schreiber, Cold War Exiles in Mexico: US Dissidents and the Culture of Critical Resistance (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008), xii. 3. Schreiber, Cold War Exiles in Mexico, 57. Schreiber emphasizes the importance of the TGP for Catlett and other African American artists, particularly John Wilson, Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs, and Charles White, who traveled to Mexico at mid-­century. John Wilson worked in Mexico from 1950 until 1956, studying mural painting and working at the TGP. Margaret Burroughs visited Catlett in Mexico in 1952–1953 and worked as a guest artist at the TGP. Catlett’s experience could more profitably be compared with that of Chicago-­born “artist in exile” Mariana Yampolsky (1925–2002), who joined the TGP in 1945; see Sandra Berler, “Mariana Yampolsky: An Artistic Commitment,” in The Edge of Time: Photographs of Mexico by Mariana Yampolsky (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998), 10–11; and Shifra M. Goldman, “Six Women Artists of Mexico,” in Dimensions of the Americas: Art and Social Change in Latin America and the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), originally published in Women’s Art Journal 3.2 (Fall 1982/Winter 1983): 1–9.

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4. On the TGP, see Helga Prignitz, El Taller de Gráfica Popular en México, 1937–1977, trans. Elizabeth Siefer (Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, 1992; German-­language original, Berlin: Seitz, 1981); Dawn Adès, “The Taller de Gráfica Popular,” Art in Latin America: The Modern Era, 1820–1980 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1989), 181–193; and Alison McClean, “Committed to Print: Printmaking and Politics in Mexico and Beyond, 1934–1960,” in Dawn Adès and Alison McClean, Revolution on Paper: Mexican Prints, 1910–1950 (London: British Museum Press, 2009), 27–42. On African American artists at the TGP, see Alison Cameron, “Buenos Vecinos: African-­American Printmaking and the Taller de Gráfica Popular,” Print Quarterly 16.4 (1999): 353–367. 5. See Schreiber, Cold War Exiles in Mexico; James Oles, South of the Border: Mexico in the American Imagination, 1914–1947 (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993); and Lizzetta LeFalle-­Collins and Shifra M. Goldman, In the Spirit of Resistance: African-­American Modernists and the Mexican Muralist School / En el espíritu de la resistencia: Los modernistas africanoamericanos y la Escuela Muralista Mexicana (New York: American Federation of Arts, 1996). 6. On the African presence in Mexico, see Ben Vinson III, “Introduction: Black Mexico and the Historical Discipline,” in Black Mexico: Race and Society from Colonial to Modern Times, ed. Ben Vinson III and Matthew Restall (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2009), 1–18; Juan de Dios González Ibarra, La negritud, tercera raíz mexicana (Mexico City: Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, 2007); and Marco Polo Hernández Cuevas, African Mexicans and the Discourse on Modern Nation (Dallas, TX: University Press of America, 2004). Cuevas notes that while the African root of Mexican culture is often referred to as the “third root,” it “sometimes is the first, second, third, or fourth” (xiv). 7. Elizabeth Catlett, interview with Glory Van Scott, Dec. 8, 1981, transcript published in Artist and Influence, vol. 10, ed. James V. Hatch and Leo Hamalian (New York: Hatch-­Billops Collection, 1991), 10. In lectures on this subject, Catlett and Mora emphasized the continued African presence in Mexico after the arrival of enslaved Africans. See Francisco Mora, “The African Presence in Mexico,” undated typed manuscript with handwritten additions by Elizabeth Catlett; also announcements for other public presentations, in Elizabeth Catlett Archives, Amistad Research Center, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. 8. Bill V. Mullen, Popular Fronts: Chicago and African-­American Cultural Politics, 1935–46 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999), 91. See also Schreiber, Cold War Exiles in Mexico.

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9. Helga Prignitz-­Poda cites conversations with TGP members who were denied entry to the United States during the 1950s and 1960s; see Helga Prignitz-­Poda, El Taller de Gráfica Popular en México, 1937–1977 (Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, 1992), 142. 10. Robert F. Alegre, Railroad Radicals in Cold War Mexico: Gender, Class, and Memory (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2013), 103. 11. Schreiber, Cold War Exiles in Mexico, 177. 12. Catlett recounted her grandmothers’ stories in several interviews, including those conducted by Glory Van Scott (1981, recording in collection of Elizabeth Catlett, transcript in Artist and Influence 10), Clifton Johnson (1984, recording in Elizabeth Catlett Archives, Amistad Research Center), Camille Billops (1989, recording in collection of Elizabeth Catlett), and Melanie Herzog (1991 and 1993, recordings in collection of the author). 13. Elizabeth Catlett, interview with Camille Billops, Oct. 1, 1989, Hatch-­Billops Archive, New York; transcript published in Artist and Influence 10:19. 14. See Elizabeth Catlett, “Responding to Cultural Hunger,” in Reimaging America: The Arts of Social Change, ed. Mark O’Brien and Craig Little (Philadelphia and Santa Cruz: New Society Publishers, 1990), 244. The Julius Rosenwald Fund was the only source of substantive funding available to African American artists at this time. 15. The Chicago Renaissance is the subject of a substantial amount of recent scholarship: see Robert Bone and Richard A. Courage, The Muse in Bronzeville: African American Creative Expression in Chicago, 1932–1950 (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2011); Darlene Clark Hine and John McCluskey Jr., eds., The Black Chicago Renaissance (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012); Sarah Kelly Oehler, They Seek a City: Chicago and the Art of Migration, 1910–1950 (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago; New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2013); Daniel Schulman, “‘White City’ and ‘Black Metropolis’: African American Painters,” in Chicago Modern, 1983–1945: Pursuit of the New, ed. Elizabeth Kennedy (Chicago: Terra Museum of American Art, 2004), 39–51; and Mullen, Popular Fronts. 16. See Paintings, Sculpture, and Prints of “The Negro Woman” by Elizabeth Catlett (Washington, DC: Barnett-­Aden Gallery, 1947), the catalogue for Catlett’s initial exhibition of this project. Later exhibitions, and prints from this series titled by Catlett in subsequent decades, display some variations, notably the use of “Black” instead of “Negro.” 17. Richard J. Powell, “Face to Face: Elizabeth Catlett’s Graphic Work,” in Elizabeth Catlett: Works on Paper, 1944–1992, ed. Jeanne Zeidler (Hampton, VA: Hampton University Museum, 1993), 52.

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18. See 12 Million Black Voices: A Folk History of the Negro in the United States, text by Richard Wright and photo-­direction by Edwin Rosskam (New York: Viking Press, 1941). 19. Ibid., 142–147. 20. Ibid., 147. 21. Frank Marshall Davis, I Am the American Negro (Chicago: Black Cat Press, 1937). 22. Margaret Walker, “Epic for the Jubilee Year of Negro Freedom” was written for the American Negro Exposition held in Chicago in 1940. Quoted in Jeffrey Helgesen, “‘Who are you America but Me?’ The American Negro Exposition, 1940,” in The Black Chicago Renaissance, 139. 23. See Paz 5 (July 1956), in Elizabeth Catlett Archives, Amistad Research Center. 24. Interview with Melanie Herzog, June 15, 1991, Cuernavaca, Mexico. TGP members produced additional prints in support of the miners, including Méndez’s Stop the Aggression against the Working Class! Help the Miners of Palau, Nueva Rosita, and Cloete, and Catlett’s Rest or México, 970 kms, published in 1959 in the book La huelga de Nueva Rosita (The Nueva Rosita Strike). 25. See “Veinte años de vida del Taller de Gráfica Popular,” a special issue of Artes de México 18 (July and August 1957), n.p. Also see Prignitz, El Taller de Gráfica Popular, 418–419. According to Prignitz, there were sixteen prints in the series: Frederick Douglass (Pablo O’Higgins); Nat Turner (Alberto Beltrán); Harriet Tubman (Elizabeth Catlett); Sojourner Truth (John Wilson); Denmark Vesey (Roberto Berdecio); Isaac Myers (Francisco Luna); Blanche K. Bruce (Francisco Mora); Ida B. Wells-­Barnett (Celia Calderón); Dr. George Washington Carver (Erasto Cortés); Dr. W. E. B. DuBois (Guillermo Rodríguez); Paul Robeson (Leopoldo Méndez); Crispus Attucks (Angel Bracho); Deborah Gannett (Mariana Yampolsky); Carter G. Woodson (Ignacio Aguirre); Frances Ellen Watkins (Fanny Rabel); and Benjamin Davis (Oscar Frías). Twelve of these images are in the archives of the TGP at the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City. Margaret Burroughs also made a print of Sojourner Truth (seen by Melanie Herzog on display at the Art Institute of Chicago in May 1996) that was either misattributed or omitted by Prignitz. 26. Quoted in Michael Brenson, “Form That Achieves Sympathy: A Conversation with Elizabeth Catlett,” Sculpture 22.3 (April 2003): 31. Also, see online http://​www​.sculpture​.org​/documents​/scmag03​/apr03​/catlett​/cat​ .shtml (accessed on March 20, 2017). 27. Catlett discussed these challenges in an interview with Camille Billops, Oct. 1, 1989, published in Artist and Influence 10:25; also with Clifton Johnson, Jan. 7, 1984; and with Melanie Herzog, July 6, 1991.

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28. Elizabeth Catlett, untitled and undated handwritten manuscript for a presentation about her work, in the artist’s personal files, Cuernavaca, Mexico. 29. Elizabeth Catlett, interview with Melanie Herzog, Dec. 10, 1991, New York. 30. Quoted in Elton Fax, Seventeen Black Artists (New York: Dodd and Mead, 1971), 31. 31. On the 1958 and 1959 strikes by the Sindicato de Trabajadores Ferrocarrileros de México that led to the mass arrests and imprisonment of Mexican and international leftists, see Alegre, Railroad Radicals in Cold War Mexico; Schreiber, Cold War Exiles in Mexico, 172–191; and Barry Carr, Marxism and Communism in Twentieth-­Century Mexico (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992), 203–219. 32. Catlett discussed her arrest and imprisonment in interviews with Clifton Johnson, Jan. 7, 1984, and Melanie Herzog, July 6, 1991. Also see Schreiber, Cold War Exiles in Mexico, 186, and Fax, Seventeen Black Artists, 27–28. 33. Catlett discussed these activities and their subsequent use against her by the US State Department in her interview with Clifton Johnson, Jan. 7, 1984. 34. Elizabeth Catlett, interview with Clifton Johnson, Jan. 7, 1984. 35. Elizabeth Catlett, “The Negro People and American Art at Mid-­ Century,” typewritten manuscript with the heading “Speech delivered to the National Conference of Negro Artists, April 1, 1961, by Elizabeth Catlett,” in Elizabeth Catlett Archives, Amistad Research Center. This speech was published as “The Negro People and American Art” in Freedomways 1.1 (Spring 1961): 74–80, and excerpted in Samella Lewis, The Art of Elizabeth Catlett (Claremont, CA: Hancraft Studios, 1984), 104–107. 36. Elizabeth Catlett, interview with Simone Summers, in Elizabeth Catlett: Print Retrospective, Sept. 16–Oct. 25, 1989 (Jamaica, NY: Jamaica Arts Center, 1989), n.p. 37. Marc Crawford, “My Art Speaks for Both My Peoples,” Ebony 25.3 (1970): 94–101. 38. Crawford, “My Art Speaks for Both My Peoples,” 95. 39. Typed manuscript, with handwritten additions and corrections by Elizabeth Catlett, labeled “CONFABA,” in Elizabeth Catlett Archives, Amistad Research Center. Also quoted in part in Raquel Tibol, “‘Las paredes de la dignidad’: Elizabeth Catlett, artista y militante,” Diorama de la cultura, supplement to Excelsior, June 7, 1970, 3 and 16; and in Raquel Tibol, Gráficas y neográficas en México (Mexico City: Secretaría de Educación Pública, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1987), 194–195.

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40. See the exhibition catalogue Experiencia negra: Escultura y grabado de Elizabeth Catlett, essay by Raquel Tibol (Mexico City: Museo de Arte Moderno, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, 1970), n.p. 41. Quoted in Experiencia negra: Escultura y grabado de Elizabeth Catlett. 42. See Elizabeth Catlett: Prints and Sculpture, foreword by Elton Fax, “Commentary” by Jeff Donaldson (New York: The Studio Museum in Harlem, 1971), n.p. 43. The effort to obtain a visa for Catlett began in 1970 and continued into 1971. See letters from Edward S. Spriggs to Elizabeth Catlett and to the US embassy in Mexico City, and from Elton Fax to Romare Bearden as a representative of the Black Academy of Arts and Letters, in Elizabeth Catlett Archives, Amistad Research Center. 44. Jeff Donaldson, “Commentary,” in Elizabeth Catlett: Prints and Sculpture. 45. Rufino Tamayo, statement in El artista latinoamericano y su identidad, ed. Damián Bayón, symposium proceedings, University of Texas, Austin, October 1975 (Caracas: Monte Avila Editores, 1977), 92–93. 46. Elizabeth Catlett, “Contradice una escultora a Rufino Tamayo,” letter to the editor, El Día, Nov. 4, 1975, page number missing; in Elizabeth Catlett Archives, Amistad Research Center. Also in her archives is a letter of Nov. 1, 1975, to Cliff Joseph, chair of the Committee for the “Third World American Revolution in Art” exhibition planned to be shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1978, in which Catlett states, “Your project sounds so good that I used part of the letter (translated into Spanish with changes and additions) to answer an attack by Rufino Tamayo on Mexican muralists.” Also see Macarlo Matus, “Elizabeth Catlett,” and “El arte social y Elizabeth Catlett,” El Día, Nov. 15, 1975, 17. 47. Elizabeth Catlett, quoted in Forever Free: Art by African-­American Women, 1862–1980, ed. Arna Alexander Bontemps and Jacqueline Fonvielle-­Bontemps (Normal, IL: Center for the Visual Arts Gallery, Illinois State University, 1980), 68.

2 Traditions of Resistance, Expressions of Solidarity, and the Honduran Coup

-­ Katherine Borland

H

ands Up.” “Don’t Shoot!” What does a gesture imply? Why is it successful in its assertion? This particular gesture fails to reenact any one of the regrettably numerous and ongoing instances of US police excessive force against black men and boys. Instead, it works as an abstraction, a theory if you will, a clarified perspective on the issues at hand stripped of all their messy details and particularities. As those of us who are not victims of police brutality raise our hands to perform the automatic call-­and-­response, we feel the innocence of the absent subject as our own innocence, and we represent their situation as innocence criminalized. A gesture of fear on the part of a single individual turns to righteous anger among a throng of marchers. Some marchers may be black men in resistance, but many are not. Theirs is a performance of solidarity. Similarly, people who gather in solidarity with absent others deploy traditional symbols and gestures to draw attention to ongoing injustices that are routinely ignored, denied, or accepted with resignation as the way

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of the world. They engage in techniques of identification, imaginatively sharing the predicament of others elsewhere whose right to assemble and/ or resist may be compromised. At the November 23, 2014, School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) vigil at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia (fig. 2.1), for example, protesters creatively combined elements of Catholic liturgy with Latin American and North American traditions of dissent to decry the continuing militarization of the hemisphere, folding Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri, into a mounting list of martyrs that begins for this group with the 1989 murder of six Jesuits, their housekeeper, and her daughter by graduates of a US military training program.1 In this essay, I will trace how solidarity activists in the US adopt and combine expressive traditions of Latin American resistance with their own traditions of resistance to advocate for others elsewhere. I argue that many grassroots performances of solidarity deploy a technique of identification that contrasts in important ways with the more commonly used techniques of juxtaposition in the arts of protest and resistance. Performances of solidarity are potentially powerful in making suffering evident. Yet in recasting a localized struggle as part of an ongoing transnational human rights campaign, solidarity activists necessarily obscure the specific aims

Figure 2.1. School of the Americas Watch annual vigil, 2014, Fort Benning, Georgia. Photo by Katherine Borland.

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and agency of the groups in resistance. To illustrate these tensions, I will compare expressive texts and performances emerging from the 2009 Honduran resistance movement with those of the North American solidarity activism it inspired. T he T r av e l i ng Sign North American solidarity performances draw on a long tradition of solidarity activism that stretches back at least to the 1970s, if not earlier, and engage multiple strategies of representation. One of the most direct is to transport the materials generated in one setting to another as the incontrovertible sign of either suffering or resistance. Around 1990, a Columbus, Ohio, solidarity activist displayed a series of Salvadoran children’s drawings as unmediated expressions of a horrifying social reality of innocents under attack (fig. 2.2). The drawings, from a stronghold of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), are similar, almost as if someone were holding up an image for the children to copy: a house, a tree, a helicopter dropping bombs from the sky.2 The power of the imagery

Figure 2.2. Children’s drawings (circa 1990) from the Folklore Archives, Center for Folklore Studies, Ohio State University. Columbus-­Copapayo Sister City Project. Box 12, Martha McFerran Documents, Child Drawing 21 and Child Drawing 9.

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resides in the juxtaposition of pastoral scenes, rendered in untutored styles, with depictions of the twentieth-­century war machine. Yet, as the design repeats from one drawing to the next (even from one war to the next), it loses credibility as a transparent window onto suffering.3 More damaging, the focus on innocent suffering elides the fact that the larger community experiencing repression is a community in resistance; it turns local activists under attack into mere victims. Moreover, evocative forms born in resistance may lose their critical edge as they travel beyond the contexts of protest, becoming popularized and commercialized as revolutionary kitsch. I have on my windowsill a pair of Zapatista4 dolls (fig. 2.3) that I picked up in the mid-­2000s from a New Age Latin American vendor at a Native American powwow in central Ohio. The vendor couldn’t tell me much about the dolls. Stephen Flusty, however, traces the spread of their production in the 1990s from weavers inhabiting the highlands of insurgent Chiapas to artisan communities throughout Mexico, who reproduced the figures in wood and clay as well as in cloth.5 For Flusty, the dolls’ wide circulation demonstrates that the Zapatistas captured the imagination of artisans and ordinary people in Mexico.6 Masked by the triviality of the form—a doll made of scraps for the tourist market—are the signs of resistance. Like children’s drawings of wartime pastoralism, the message of the two dolls draws on the power of juxtaposition: a traditionally dressed couple carries weapons, not tools. The male doll has blue eyes, identifying

Figure 2.3. Zapatista dolls. Photo by Katherine Borland.

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him with the most public leader in this avowedly communitarian group— Subcomandante Marcos. But he is smaller than the female figure, Comandanta Ramona, and it is he, not she, who carries a bundle on his back. In this way the dolls invert taken-­for-­granted hierarchies of gender and race, suggesting an alternative order of things. They deploy the surrealist strategy of fashioning a delightful incongruity that forces the recognition of a new relationship and asserts the power to rearrange the order of things. The juxtaposition of “people’s” art, or folk tradition, with a revolutionary cause has a particular strength: it counters the very notion that the folk are passive subjects, experiencing lives out of time, uninterested in change. Flusty argues that this and other Zapatista performances construct “temporary autonomous zones” that advance their radical alternatives to a soul-­crushing neoliberal present. The dolls on my windowsill, however, have moved far beyond their initial purpose. Folklorists have long argued that the meaning of an object or expressive tradition does not reside in the thing itself but rather derives from its context of use. As material and expressive culture moves from one setting to another, it loses its originary meaning and becomes available for resignification. Enid Schilkraut and Donna Klumpp Pido describe a process whereby the refuse materials from an industrialized Western culture are taken up into the aesthetic systems of non-­Western traditional craft cultures. Non-­Western groups, they argue, do not simply adopt Western material culture7 but intentionally select certain items, out of the myriad of possibilities, because these are the ones that meet their own criteria of practicality, beauty, and cultural appropriateness. They break down materials produced for one purpose—melting, cutting, and disassembling— and refashion them to fit their own display needs. Even when objects are adopted in their entirety, they inevitably shed the meanings associated with them in the producing culture. Schildkrout and Klumpp Pido explain that when it became fashionable for Maasai male elders to wrap themselves in US-­and British-­manufactured women’s poplin mini-­raincoats, “the raincoat was not a raincoat anymore, but rather an analogous garment to the blanket.”8 Such transformations may provoke a sense of irony for the Western viewer who cannot easily disassociate the original purpose or meaning from the item, but the new usage makes perfect sense within the Maasai frame. The same is true, Barbara Kirshenblatt-­Gimblett argues, for people and artifacts that have been removed from their home cultures in order to produce ethnographic representations of those cultures.9 The

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very act of detaching, defining, and carrying away the object makes it subject to the ethnographer’s system of signification, even when the ethnographer does his or her best to supply the missing context, through either labels or explanatory lectures. We see the object through the ethnographer’s lens and understand its value accordingly. Similarly, the act of solidarity is a second-­order form of resistance, designed to support and broaden the resistance on the ground, but inevitably refashioning the expressive materials for a new context. United in a struggle that is understood to be broadly shared, resistance and solidarity actors traverse different terrain. I move now to consider the different kinds of grassroots expressions of resistance and solidarity provoked by the 2009 Honduran coup. A rt s of R e s i s ta nce In the early morning hours of June 28, 2009, more than a hundred Honduran soldiers stormed the residence of the democratically elected president, José Manuel (Mel) Zelaya in Tegucigalpa.10 They escorted him at gunpoint, dressed only in his pajamas, to the airport, banishing him to Costa Rica. Joining the initial international outcry against this twenty-­first-­century coup, the US president, Barack Obama, issued a statement strongly condemning what he saw as a “terrible precedent” for the region. Yet within a week Obama had cited nonintervention in Honduran affairs as his goal. The following November, when the former Congressman and National Party politician Porfirio Lobo Sosa became president after a hastily organized, flagrantly corrupt election, the United States officially recognized his government, restoring aid to the military and police. Inside Honduras, resistance began almost immediately, as people from all walks of life took to the streets calling for Zelaya’s return. In these spontaneous protests, a sense of common purpose emerged amongst previously independent civil and human rights movements, unions, and political parties, until a formal unity emerged in the shape of the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular (FNRP), also called La Resistencia. For his part, Zelaya refused to remain in exile and made several dramatic attempts to reenter the country, behavior that galvanized the popular resistance. Eventually, he sought sanctuary in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa. Surrounded by militants inside the embassy, he rallied crowds of supporters with daily speeches from the balcony.

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Massive street protests made use of colorful banners and playful mockery to denounce the organizers of the coup, challenging their insistent claims that they had not, in fact, perpetrated a coup. One group employed portable dioramas to humorously make this point. For example, a schoolgirl held a cardboard platform that contained on one side the squat figure of a soldier in fatigues and on the other a small toilet marked “Channel 10,” framed against cutout photos of Roberto Micheletti Baín (the interim de facto president after the coup and a fellow member of Zelaya’s Liberal Party) and the words “Assassins” and “Coup-­makers.” An elderly man used small plastic figures to represent the clash between protesters and heavily armed police; his backdrop was plastered with headshots of injured protesters and read, “To the World, To the International Court, We ask that the human rights violators be punished.” Next to him, a boy depicted the Resistance itself with Zelaya prominently featured on a white horse, flanked by the Honduran flag, a flag of peace, and a protest sign reading “National Resistance.” Another schoolgirl had a painted cardboard box strapped to her chest. When closed, the box read on the front: “We trapped a coup-­maker in this box. Want to see?” (fig. 2.4). Opening the box would reveal a toilet paper roll figure painted as Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodriguez with a lempira note pasted to his side, holding aloft a sign with the word “gorilletti” positioned in front of a Honduran flag with the word “coup-­makers” printed on it. The composition was labeled “Cardemal [sic] of the Rich,” and implicated the Catholic leadership in Honduras’s anti-­ democratic turn.11 Numerous protesters carried or displayed small stuffed gorillas, a comic refutation of military-­backed government officials’ self-­portrayal as guerrilla “freedom fighters” rescuing the state from an impending Zelaya dictatorship. Grassroots leaders characterized the atmosphere of the street actions as joyful and ebullient, as well as angry. People were looking around, discovering their collective power and drawing on carnivalesque imagery of the world upside-­down, of noise, confusion, playful insouciance, categories blasted or inverted. The flowering of Honduran resistance drew the attention of preexisting North American solidarity networks that quickly organized fact-­finding delegations to learn more about La Resistencia, monitor attacks against both La Resistencia and its constituent groups, and provide support for the movement.12 Taking inspiration from the energy and imagery of their Honduran allies, the solidarity activists portrayed their struggles to a North

Figure 2.4. Dioramas from the La Resistencia march, 2012. Photo by Roger Harris.

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American audience, using slide shows, websites, and street theater that called attention to US complicity in a mounting human rights crisis. These texts and performances, however, cannot be understood simply as projections of a Honduran reality or even as projections of Honduran representations of their struggle. Traditions of North American solidarity with Latin American resistance movements stretch at least as far back as the human rights campaigns against Southern Cone military repression of the 1970s.13 As solidarity activists constructed their messages, they drew on this tradition as well as on homegrown arts of resistance to fashion compelling messages that called attention to the political crisis in Honduras. A comparison of texts and performances from the Honduran resistance with those generated by North American solidarity activists in Washington, DC, highlights the particular challenges and opportunities of the arts of solidarity. If an aesthetic of resistance is understood as a contextual matter, as the deployment of symbolic resources in a political field, then the distinctive context of solidarity performances necessarily affects their style and form. Hon dur a n A rt s of Re si stance In Honduras, given the direct attack on national sovereignty in the person of Mel Zelaya, La Resistencia drew on patriotic feelings and forms to spread its message. Protest marches included a broad range of social and political groups: LGBT, indigenous, Garifuna,14 teachers, human rights organizations, environmental groups, university political groups, feminists, each with their own colorful banners. Bands and troupes of school-­ aged baton twirlers in matching uniforms marched as well. Motorcyclists in the resistance formed a parade guard for protesting marchers. If one ignored the heavily armored police and military also present in the streets, the overall effect was of a slightly carnivalesque civic parade. In an act of revolutionary solidarity, Venezuelan musician José María composed a stirring hymn for La Resistencia, which forms the background music for several YouTube video representations of the post-­coup unrest. The “official version” intercuts images of Abiayala, the Venezuelan band of which José María is a member, performing alone in a desert landscape with shots of the ousted president, his wife, Xiomara Castro de Zelaya (who remained in the country despite threats to rally support for his return), the street protesters, and scenes of police repression.15 The lyrics translate as follows:

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In Central America a country awoke Because it marked a path; it made a revolution Now they want to silence them They want to sacrifice them Because they take away their liberty with bullets One morning of guerrillas and terror They kidnapped the president And violated the Constitution

This song, composed in the tradition of the 1970s-­era revolutionary battle hymn “El pueblo unido jamás será vencido,”16 elevates Zelaya’s social reforms to the status of a revolution and, in later verses, positions Zelaya as a returning savior, one who would not disappoint the Honduran people. In reality, Zelaya was a wealthy cattle rancher and a member of the traditional Honduran elite. He ran on the Liberal Party ticket in 2006, becoming president of one the poorest, most unequal countries in Latin America.17 Ten to twenty families control most of the wealth, and this translates directly into political power backed by the military.18 By the mid-­2000s, the steadily worsening situation of Honduras’s poor majority incited calls for the democratization of access to land, food, education, and health care. Zelaya began responding to these popular calls by raising the minimum wage, favoring campesinos in land disputes, decreasing the influence of the military in government, and joining the Bolivarian Alliance.19 These actions, along with a call to hold a constitutional assembly to debate the necessity of rewriting the constitution, resulted in his ouster.20 After the coup, as the FNRP developed into a more coherent, organized bloc, it formally constituted itself as a nonviolent movement to re-­found the Honduran state. In March 2011, it formed LIBRE, a third political party in a system that traditionally alternated power between the elite-­ controlled Liberal and National parties. Fielding Xiomara Castro, Zelaya’s wife, as their presidential candidate, LIBRE made a strong showing in the November 2012 primaries but lost to the National Party the following year in a general election marred by accusations of fraud and intimidation. In the years since the coup, the people of Honduras have experienced increasing civil disorder, human rights violations at the hands of state actors, and a general rise in crime and physical violence. Human rights organizations have documented the illegal detainment of more than four thousand people related to the resistance. Particular targets of state-­sponsored

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violence and murder include opposition journalists, LGBT political figures, campesino activists, and human rights workers.21 In addition, Honduras made international news in February 2012 for a prison fire in Comayagua that killed 360 people,22 many of whom had been detained, but not charged, in May of the same year, in connection with a botched US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)/Honduran military joint drug intervention that left four Miskitu dead, including a pregnant mother.23 More recently, Honduras has been in the news because of the regrettable murder in March 2016 of Berta Cáceres, an internationally recognized environmental activist and Lenca indigenous leader.24 Although the murder rate has declined slightly since 2014, when Honduras was named the “most dangerous country in the world,” politically motivated assassinations continue.25 With the failure of LIBRE to regain the state, artistic resistance continued, but the focus has become less on Zelaya and the perpetrators of the coup and more on the underlying issues making life unbearable for Hondurans. In 2013, a small group of masked graffiti artists, whose paintings provide generalized protest mixed with public service messages, received a flurry of attention from the press.26 The artist with the pen name Cariquí depicts a television spewing blood as a symbol of the yellow journalism of the television news. Maeztro Urbano has created a series of murals in which he inserts brilliantly colored weapons into muted copies of iconic paintings: Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Grant Wood’s American Gothic, and René Magritte’s The Son of Man, capitalizing on this pattern of juxtaposition to decry the violence that has engulfed the country.27 These artists adopt the persona of tricksters and gadflies, painting their messages surreptitiously to call attention to the broken nature of Honduran society. The byline on Maeztro Urbano’s Twitter account reads, “I don’t try to give solutions to problems, I wasn’t born for that. I just assure myself that they don’t forget them.” After the failed elections, he tweeted on January 27, “Today we demonstrate our incapacity to oppose the oppressors. Four more years of violence, illiteracy and misery.”28 Indeed, with the failure of the electoral strategy, LIBRE’s constituent groups have refocused their energies on their own, ongoing local struggles. T he W ork of S oli dari t y Solidarity activists broaden local protest beyond the orbit of those who are immediately caught up in the struggle. Activist Matt Ginsburg-­Jaeckle

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explains: “At the base, ideally at least, solidarity is an understanding of a shared faith, a shared commitment to a political project that impacts people on both sides and stemming from that, a commitment to leveraging whatever services and networks people have in the service of that project.”29 In other words, to be in solidarity, one must recognize the struggles of another as an aspect of one’s own struggle. It is a “doing with” rather than a “doing for.” The recognition of a common struggle is intensified when a solidarity movement can clearly identify and resist the role of its own government or industry or commerce in perpetrating the injustices others suffer elsewhere. Lacking that clarity, activists in solidarity with Honduras worked to portray US nonintervention as a form of support for an illegitimate state that was violently repressing dissent. However, solidarity is also susceptible, to use Doris Sommer’s evocative term, to the “murderous mutuality” of overly insistent identification, when it ignores or elides inherent power differentials between homegrown and geographically distant groups.30 Because it involves advocacy on behalf of another, solidarity activism could slide into paternalistic, protective patterns of behavior that disempower the very subjects activists aim to strengthen.31 As Amy Shuman has pointed out, “appropriation can use one person’s tragedy to serve as another’s inspiration and preserve, rather than subvert, oppressive situations.”32 Historically, those engaged in solidarity activities have enjoyed greater influence and greater choice, because they come from comparatively affluent locales of the global north and have comparatively greater rights protections than do local members of resistance movements in the global South. Ginsburg-­Jaeckle acknowledges this when he says, “A project I’ve had on the back burner for a while is a project of grassroots community-­to-­community solidarity that’s based less on access to more privileged spaces and based more on a recognition of commonalities.”33 Linking geographically dispersed, marginalized communities in a common struggle, however, exists more often as the activist’s unrealized desire, the thing that remains on the back burner, than as a practice and does not preclude the need for continual reflection on the workings of power within a network. At the same time, solidarity activism remains a crucial component of homegrown protest movements, because it does have access to privileged spaces. It activates extra-­local resources that can be used to sustain and support protesters under siege and put pressure on their opponents. The Sandinistas relied on international outrage over Somoza’s wanton violence

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and corruption to end the US military aid that was propping him up in the 1970s.34 They relied on North American solidarity activists in the following decade to pressure the US government to stop financing the Contras.35 In El Salvador, the civic and military resistance movement likewise relied on solidarity and sanctuary activists to broadcast government atrocities, which resulted in the formation of a US Congressional fact-­finding delegation and investigation, and ultimately helped bring about peace accords.36 Since the mid-­1990s, the Zapatistas have relied on international solidarity visitors to their region and on their broad popularity among the global countercultural crowd to protect them from state assaults into their territory.37 In short, solidarity activism is a necessary element of many resistance movements that might otherwise succumb to state violence. A rt s of S ol i dari t y Ideally, the arts of solidarity avoid the simple projection of homegrown representations of suffering or resistance into a new context and work to fashion messages of resistance that operate within that context. Instead of expressing or revealing a broadly shared perspective on social reality, as artists in a situation of social upheaval can do, North American solidarity activists face an environment at home of ignorance, complacency, and indifference to the Honduran crisis. The religious sector, which had been a central player in the 1980s-­era struggles in El Salvador and Nicaragua and had inspired intense involvement among churchgoing North Americans without previous knowledge of the region, was not visibly involved either as a targeted victim of state repression or within the leadership of the Honduran resistance.38 Nor did Hondurans residing in the United States engage with the conflict; in fact, the most forceful opposition to the Honduran coup among Latin American immigrants in the United States came from CISPES, a Salvadoran organization with roots in the 1980s Sanctuary Movement. In essence, the Honduran resistance had formed around a political leader that US audiences knew little about; consequently, solidarity recruitment in North America remained limited to activist enclaves. Nevertheless, in the years after the coup, the School of the Americas Watch engaged in several campaigns to raise awareness and pressure policy makers to withdraw US support for the Honduran military. SOAW demonstrations often use crosses with the names of victims as a means of instantiating the dead. At their annual gathering outside the

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gates of Fort Benning, the longest-­running peace protest in the United States, they hold a vigil, during which a long reading of the names of the dead, each followed by the words “presente,” functions as the emotional highpoint.39 Each year, a small group of individuals scale the walls of Fort Benning and are arrested, becoming prisoners of conscience. Sharon Erickson Nepstad argues that the ongoing rituals of the SOAW strengthened the oppositional consciousness of a North American Christian culture of resistance at a time when US–Central American solidarity activism was waning.40 However, the organization draws support from nonreligious as well as religious activists. Two street performances by SOAW activists working in solidarity with the Honduran resistance draw on and combine preexisting traditions of Latin American and North American resistance to fashion their solidarity messages. Both follow the easily recognizable sequence of (1) performing an action, (2) providing an explanation, and (3) documenting police repression of nonviolent protest. For SOAW activists, this last element exposes the ways in which US hegemony silences dissent both at home and in Latin America. In these performances, activists deploy techniques of identification, linking their own bodies to those of Latin American victims of repression, with varying degrees of success. In her elegant essay “Choreographies of Protest,” Susan Foster emphasizes the materiality of the body as a factor in how a particular nonviolent protest tactic develops.41 Comparing the 1960s-­era lunch-­counter sit-­ins with ACT UP “die-­ins” from the 1980s and the “Battle in Seattle” in response to the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting, Foster argues that different bodies present different potentialities for protest that are partly conditioned by what those bodies are denied. The almost immobile, silent lunch-­counter sit-­ins of the 1960s worked to undo the notion of blacks as unruly, uncivilized, dangerous, and, therefore, deserving of white repression. The more theatrical public die-­ins that AIDS activists staged two decades later demanded the attention and care that individual sufferers were being refused. Foster concludes by drawing a distinction between the bodily options of those who protest on their own and those who protest on another’s behalf: Both these [Civil Rights and AIDs activists] groupings of bodies displayed a physical relationship, black skin or HIV-­related symptoms, to the oppression they suffered. Bodies of WTO [World Trade Organization] protesters,

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in contrast, did not register so obviously the effects of the policies they were protesting against. In some measure privileged, and demonstrating on behalf of others less fortunate, they enjoyed a freer perambulation through public space, taking advantage not only of cell phone and pager technology but also of their entitlement as primarily first-­world citizens to break up and re-­group throughout a first-­world city.42

Honduran solidarity activists enjoy similar privilege as advocates for the suffering Honduran resistance, but the strategy I identify in two recent Washington, DC, street performances endeavors rather to assert the victimhood of the protesting advocate through an insistent identification with victims elsewhere. Bodily freedom of movement is tempered into the solemn language of memorialization, emphatically asserting the dignity of those who have been unjustly dehumanized or killed. The first performance restaged a recent Honduran massacre on a busy Washington street corner on April 8, 2013, and coincided with visits to Congressional representatives to discuss the Honduran crisis. A videotaped version of the event, posted the next day on livelink​.com, provides text.43 Flanked by a group holding a long banner that announced the annual vigil at Fort Benning, six actors stood holding black cutout silhouettes of the murdered Hondurans, each victim’s name and the word “killed” printed along the length of the cutout. Using a bullhorn, a narrator read out a report on the facts of the 2011 massacre. As he announced the name of each victim, actors dressed in military fatigue jackets, positioned directly in front of the victims, stepped forward and gestured with a cardboard cutout rifle, while another person banged on a piece of cardboard to simulate the sound of a shot fired. Each actor would drop quickly to the ground with her silhouette.44 Unlike the ACT UP die-­ins, where limp, ill, and healthy bodies amassed in a heap, chanting and responding to hecklers as they waited to be dragged off by police, the solidarity activists dropped singly, their prone bodies a silent testament to the victimized status of Honduran citizen-­subjects. This wooden, minimalist style speaks to the particular challenges of impersonating an “other.” To be too frivolous or boisterous risks that protester’s seeming to be playing with another’s life and robbing their death of the dignity it deserves.45 On the other hand, the group has no hecklers. Pedestrians hurry by on their way to the subway hardly registering that anything unusual is happening.

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In addition to drawing inspiration from the ACT UP die-­ins, SOAW die-­ ins reference a Latin American tradition of protest associated most publicly with the Argentine group Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, who, in the summer of 1977, began assembling at the plaza each Thursday at 3:30 p.m., with images of their “disappeared” children draped across their bodies.46 By the fall, they numbered in the hundreds, and five years later, they could marshal hundreds of thousands to march against the regime, reconjuring the fifteen thousand victims of Argentina’s “Dirty War” and offering community and support to their fellow sufferers.47 The mothers, as mothers, experienced their children’s loss as a personal injury. Some mother-­protesters were detained, even disappeared, once they left the protective spotlight of the central plaza. As their protest continued, year after year, the military barred them from the square. In response, they plastered the streets with the names and silhouettes of their children. Their objective was to make visible the brutality that the junta had endeavored to erase from public consciousness, eliminating bodies and other traces of the repression, denying the reality of what the state had done to its people. If the military would not supply the bodies, these mothers created visible public markers of their absence, persisting in their refusal to allow their physically disappeared children to be disappeared from collective memory.48 Like the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, the solidarity activists in Washington, DC, sought to make intolerable repression visible. They incorporated the silhouette of the martyr into their performance, but the silhouettes they held represented an absence without entirely embodying it. Instead, the silhouettes added a dimension of respectful distance to the tradition of the die-­in. Unlike the Mothers, of course, solidarity activists were not themselves injured by the massacre they sought to represent. Their bodies were not materially connected to the oppression they wished to unmask. Nor could they rely on an existing, underlying public awareness of the repression they were endeavoring to force into the open. In an atmosphere of state terror in Argentina, the Mothers redefined the disappeared victims as beloved children, not terrorists, when they draped their photographs over their bodies. In contrast, a US solidarity activist must first produce an awareness that someone elsewhere has been killed unjustly and then demonstrate that that killing is an effect of US foreign policy. A reenactment cannot convey suffering in the same way that the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo did.

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The Washington die-­in street performance asserted the fact of a massacre, but neither the victims’ innocence nor the culpability of the US government could be shown easily to passersby on the street. Instead, the activists had to resort to telling the story. A young man with the bullhorn addressed a fast-­moving crowd of apparently uninterested pedestrians, “These people were not soldiers. These people were not militants. These people are just people. They’re people like you and I. They’re people with families. They’re people with loved ones. They’re people who did not deserve to die.” Like the exhibition of Salvadoran children’s drawings of an earlier era, this representation repeated the form of an experience, and in the process codified and stylized it. It highlighted Hondurans as victims and, in the process, obscured their agency as a people resisting an unjust, undemocratic, and violent order. At this point, a policeman approached and was drawn into the performance. Insisting that the die-­in was located too close to the Metro entrance, he and his colleagues produced a measuring tape, and the activists wrangled with them about where the escalator entrance really was. An off-­camera activist can be heard saying, “They’ve brought in the riot squad.” Having allowed themselves to be nudged a few feet, the activists repeated the die-­in, and the young man with the bullhorn asserted, “The people you see here were killed by death squads funded and trained by the United States.” At this point in the roughly filmed, roughly edited video record of the action, text has been inserted into the image, explaining that “with their bluff called, the police took no further action. Protesters were able to finish and leave in peace.” A final shot shows the group filing away with their banner, chanting, “Hey, hey. Ho, ho. The SOA has got to go.” The performance as well as its videotaped record moves from a straightforward, minimalist-­style reenactment of the massacre to a strongly editorialized accusation of police repression at home. The focus definitively shifts from the situation of the massacred to the situation of the activists, who have successfully reproduced a trace, at least, of the repression that they assert exists.49 And yet, it appears they are mostly convincing themselves on this point. A policeman wielding a tape measure is not a death squad, and the conflation of the two situations serves the purpose of celebrating the North American protesters. The performance is earnest, respectful, and tied to an exercise of citizen power, but ultimately susceptible to the temptation of highlighting the solidarity activist’s agency over that of the Honduran resistance.

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The second text to be examined here builds on an ongoing SOAW awareness campaign. In partnership with their member-­artist César Maxit, who came to the United States as a child when his parents fled Argentina, SOAW developed a series of downloadable posters of people who were murdered by SOA graduates.50 Modeled on the posters one finds plastered on the walls of human rights organizations throughout Latin America, they provide the name and photograph of a victim and a short description of what happened to the person. In place of the usual human rights title “desaparecido” (missing), the SOAW posters deploy the word “MISSED” in bright red; they also include a short description of the School of the Americas in a box on the bottom half of the page. Each poster features a person whose murderer received counterinsurgency training from the School of the Americas/WHINSEC. On its website, the organization asks its supporters to put the posters up in their neighborhoods. In Washington, DC, a group of activists created a mural using the posters, and videographer Beth Geglia created a video of their process.51 This carefully crafted piece includes music, text, and other features that contribute to the overall techniques of identification of struggle. The piece opens with a high-­angle shot looking down on two women crouched on the sidewalk spray-­painting a stencil of the word “MISSED.” Cutting quickly to a text insert explaining that hundreds of thousands of people have been killed by graduates of the School of the Americas, the camera returns to one of the women, who is now holding up her completed poster. There follow a series of extreme close-­ups of hands working, assembling the posters and mixing glue, and of legs walking with a glue bucket. Ana Tijoux’s pounding, assertive “Somos Sur” plays in the background.52 The frame widens to show, from behind, four activists laden with their supplies, walking along the street. A close-­up shows a roller applying glue to a red brick wall, and then the frame widens to include the faces of those energetically coating the wall. The combined effect of quick cuts and music produces a feeling of hurried urgency. The video switches to a headshot of an activist holding the “MISSED” poster of perhaps the most recognizable martyr, Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was killed by a Salvadoran death squad in 1980 while saying Mass. The woman holding this photograph wears glasses, as does Romero, establishing a resemblance across race, gender, and time. Another quick scene change next shows activists plastering the posters, Romero’s among them, on the wall. Although the tight frame prevents a full view of the

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mural, the viewer can discern blue and white graphic elements—flowers, images of a girl—in addition to the posters. The rounded edges of these graphic elements break up the boxy regularity of the posters. A headshot of another activist follows, and she is holding the poster of the Chilean musician and composer Víctor Jara, whom she physically resembles. A third activist holds the poster of the third martyr in the series, Tomás García, a Honduran Lenca leader who was assassinated in 2013, and the details of his death are clearly legible in the shot.53 The video proceeds to cut back and forth from shots of the mural being assembled on the wall to a quick series of side-­by-­side headshots of unidentified victims and activists. A text insert reads, “Militarization and criminalization of dissent continues to be backed by the United States in much of Latin America,” followed by the statement: “We continue to take small risks in solidarity with those who are seeking justice.” The next scene shows the lead artist, the black female Romero lookalike, being handcuffed by two policemen in front of the mural. The music has stopped, and in real time, a participant explains, “Essentially the cops just showed up out of nowhere, basically because one of the building owners threatened to bash our heads in.” The scene changes to the activist herself, attempting to explain what happened, but a policeman intervenes and tells the videographer not to film. Over shots of parked police cars, the activist continues to give her account off-­screen. A male activist, handcuffed, yells to the camera, “The police don’t like art activities,” as the police lead him away. A policeman shot close-­up warns, “If you step any closer, you’ll be interfering, and you can be a part of this.” In a long shot, a policeman tells a group of boys who have stopped to look to keep moving. A pan of the completed mural follows, which shows a few passersby taking pictures with their phones. In a voiceover, an activist explains that they just wanted “to bring some liveliness to this boring, brown, brick wall here and to raise awareness.” The final scene intercuts a pan of the line of posters that form the middle of the mural with shots of passersby looking at and photographing the mural. In three months, this video generated fourteen hundred “likes,” which indicates a fair amount of traffic for an Internet video outside of the broadcast news arena that features no celebrities.54 Like the earlier, less polished video of the die-­in, this video and the symbolic action it documents assert the existence of state repression of protest in Washington, DC, thereby suggesting a link between victims of state violence in Latin America and solidarity activists in North America.

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However, by including the text statement, “We continue to take small risks in solidarity with those who are seeking justice,” this piece is careful to acknowledge the very different consequences of activism in different places. It simultaneously asserts the existence of activists, not just victims, elsewhere. A powerful technique of identification is the association of individual activists with disappeared individuals through general facial resemblances established in the tightly framed headshots of protesters shown next to posters in a serialized repetition that begins with an apparent juxtaposition: the first pair links two figures of different age, race, and gender, complicating unexamined notions of physical resemblance and identification. The piece emphasizes not only the number of victims, but the ongoing, continuous nature of the repression as well. Romero (d. 1980, El Salvador) and Jara (d. 1973, Chile) are followed in the series by the Lenca indigenous leader Tomás García, the date of whose assassination in Honduras, July 15, 2013, is clearly visible on the poster (fig. 2.5). The particular choice of representative martyrs highlighted—Romero, Jara, García—provides a clue to the film’s ideal audience. Rather than addressing a nonresponsive public, as in the case of the die-­in, this piece beckons to an audience of older solidarity activists and sympathizers, those who recognize Romero and Jara and remember the vigorous North American campaigns in support of the beleaguered citizens of El Salvador and Chile. If the extensive networks that formed around those campaigns can be reactivated to address the precarious situation of activists in Honduras, something might be accomplished. For solidarity activists, US support for and training of repressive military forces across Latin America is the problem. Human rights activist Tomás García’s particular struggle against the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project is an instance of that problem. By linking his death to martyrs from other eras and other countries, the artists suggest that it should provoke outrage and action equivalent to that provoked by those earlier deaths, which had, in fact, mobilized considerable popular support in the United States. José Manuel Zelaya’s and the LIBRE party’s attempts to recapture control of the Honduran state are tangential to this mission of remembering and expressing outrage on behalf of those who have died resisting oppression. In this sense, the goals and artistic performances of the Honduran resistance diverge significantly from those produced in solidarity with the Honduran resistance.

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Figure 2.5. Still from the video Not Forgotten: Street Art by School of the Americas Watch, by Beth Geglia, 2013.

The comparison of popular performances of resistance from the two movements, La Resistencia in Honduras and SOAW in Washington, DC, demonstrates that the latter is not merely a projection of Honduran representations of the Honduran struggle to a broader audience—it also highlights the particular challenges and potentialities of the arts of solidarity. Unmoored from the specific context of a political coup, solidarity activists can, and indeed must, move beyond partisanship and civic-­mindedness to a more general argument on behalf of hemispheric social justice. They can trace a pattern of state violence that crosses national boundaries, and they can implicate the US government in its continued concrete manifestations. Calling most specifically to other activists, they can energize them to reengage with the struggle—once in Argentina, Chile, and El Salvador, now in Honduras—to support democracy and human rights. As they assemble their texts, they confront at least three challenges: how to respectfully represent their Honduran counterparts; how to portray the agency as well as the victimization of those in resistance; and how to foreground their own struggle as a struggle with rather than on behalf of an other elsewhere and in a way that does not “eat the other,” to use bell hooks’s evocative phrase.55 If they experience greater freedom of motion— being able to travel beyond their immediate community, to exercise their free speech and assembly rights without too much fear of reprisal, their

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very responsibility to those for whom they advocate tempers their movement repertoire. Techniques of identification and a preference for the solemnity of memorialization over the irreverence of paradox and incongruity characterize these works. If they do not always successfully resist the temptation to appropriate another’s struggle for their own uses, and thereby obscure the agency and goals of Hondurans in resistance, they do the best they can to represent the Honduran crisis within a larger political context that elevates its importance to a North American audience. Action inevitably involves falling short of one’s mark; it is the activists’ awareness of this deficiency and refusal to submit that propels the struggle forward. Notes 1. SOAW was founded in 1990 by a Maryknoll priest, Father Roy Bourgeois, shortly after the massacre of the Jesuits in San Salvador by members of the Salvadoran armed forces. Its central purpose is to close the School of the Americas (now called WHINSEC), a US military training facility for Latin American personnel specializing in counterinsurgency techniques, including torture. SOAW research has shown that graduates of this training facility have been responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses in the Western Hemisphere. 2. The FMLN was an armed resistance movement in El Salvador. In 1983, 150 residents of the town of Copapayo were massacred by the army, and the remaining residents fled to refugee camps in Honduras but returned to rebuild in 1987, against the Salvadoran government’s wishes. The children’s drawings told the story of the 1983 massacre and subsequent army actions against the townspeople to solidarity activists who visited the new Copapayo in the late 1980s and early 1990s. 3. William Westerman, in “Central American Refugee Testimonies and Performed Life Histories in the Sanctuary Movement,” in The Oral History Reader, ed. Robert Perks and Alistair Thomson (New York: Routledge, 1998), 224–234, discusses the patterned way that the stories of Central American refugees came to resemble one another as groups sought to render their individual experiences that would be both intelligible and moving (rhetorically effective). Perhaps a similar dynamic is occurring here. 4. The Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN) is a militant anti-­neoliberal insurgency composed mostly of rural indigenous people based in Chiapas. Since 1994, it has successfully defended its territorial autonomy, partly as a consequence of its connection with international solidarity networks.

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5. Stephen Flutsy, “Portable Autonomous Zones: Tourism and the Travels of Dissent,” in Travels in Paradox: Remapping Tourism, ed. Claudio Minca and Tim Oakes (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006), 185–204. 6. Indeed, in 2005 the EZLN launched “The Other Campaign,” which successfully promulgated an alternative to electoral politics and campaigns in Mexico’s urban areas, emphasizing participatory democracy, careful listening, tolerance, and inclusiveness. See Jessica K. Taft, “The Rebel Girls of the Other Campaign: The EZLN and Teenage Activism in Mexico City,” in Cultural Politics and Resistance in the Twenty-­First Century: Community-­Based Social Movements and Global Change in the Americas, ed. Kara  Z. Dellacioppa and Clare Weber (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 49–60. 7. Enid Schildkrout and Donna Klumpp Pido, “Serendipity, Practicality, and Aesthetics: The Art of Recycling in Personal Adornment,” in Recycled, Re-­Seen: Folk Art from the Global Scrap Heap, ed. Charlene Cerny (New York: Abrams, 1996), 152–165. 8. Ibid., 159. 9. Barbara Kirshenblatt-­Gimblett, “Objects of Ethnography,” Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 17–78. 10. Mel Zelaya (2006–2009) belonged to the Liberal Party, which, along with the National Party, constituted the traditional political elite of the country. 11. In contrast to earlier Central American resistance movements in which clergy played a strong supportive role to groups opposing dictatorship and anti-­democratic rule, in Honduras most religious leaders tacitly supported the coup organizers. 12. The involvement of North American activists in Honduran solidarity grew out of networks that had been established during the 1980s anti-­ interventionist movement. During that time North American activists worked with politicized Central American immigrant communities, particularly from El Salvador, and with revolutionary organizations and governments in the region to make visible the human rights atrocities committed by the US-­backed Contras in Nicaragua and by US-­trained and funded repressive forces in El Salvador and Guatemala. Arising out of preexisting progressive and religious peace networks, the Central American solidarity and sanctuary movements achieved significant visibility and support in the United States, delivered over a million dollars of humanitarian aid to the region, harbored countless refugees, and successfully pressured the US Congress to cut military aid to the Contras. After the immediate threat of

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US military intervention in Central America was removed (roughly 1992), most North American solidarity groups either disbanded or shifted their focus to struggles in other regions. 13. NACLA, the North American Congress on Latin America, began publishing its journal even earlier, in 1967, with essays focused on autonomy and rights movements in Latin America as well as on the role of the US government in destabilizing democratic initiatives in the region. 14. An Afro-­descended group of Hondurans with their own language and culture, who occupy communally held territory on the Caribbean side of the country. 15. https://​www​.youtube​.com​/watch​?v​=​Q4ek26t​-­­dqo (35,083 hits as of May 1, 2016). Abiayala created the video on July 22, 2009, in conjunction with Luis Suárez of the Venezuelan group Los Guaraguaos, a leader in the Nueva Canción movement of the 1970s and 80s. 16. Composed by Sergio Ortega with lyrics by Quilapayún in 1973, and one of the most well-­known songs of the Chilean Nueva Canción movement, it combines traditional melodic elements and Marxist rhetoric. Quilapayún, “El pueblo unido” (1976), by Monitor Records, 33 rpm. 17. For the past decade at least, Honduras has vied with Nicaragua as the second-­poorest country in the Western Hemisphere (behind Haiti) in the Human Development Index. 18. See Tanya M. Kerssen, Grabbing Power: The New Struggles for Land, Food, and Democracy in Northern Honduras (New York: Food First Books/ Perseus, 2013). 19. An intergovernmental organization founded by Cuba and Venezuela in 2004, the Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América (ALBA) aims for the social, political, and economic integration of Latin American and Caribbean countries, based on the need for social welfare, bartering, and mutual aid. See, for instance, Thomas Muhr, “The Politics of Space in the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples’ Trade Agreement (ALBA-­ TCP): Transnationalism, the Organized Society, and Counter-­Hegemonic Governance,” Globalizations 9 (2012): 767–782. 20. Zelaya’s opponents claimed that he wanted to rewrite the constitution in order to prolong his presidency by eliminating term limits. From this perspective the coup was a preemptive measure to prevent dictatorship and preserve democracy. 21. http://​www​.cepr​.net​/index​.php​/blogs​/the​-­­americas​-­­blog​/were​ -­­witnessing​-­­a​-­­reactivation​-­­of​-­­the​-­­death​-­­squads​-­­of​-­­the​-­­80s​-­­an​-­­interview​ -­­with​-­­bertha​-­­oliva​-­­of​-­­cofadeh. 22. Javier C. Hernandez, “Cries for Justice amid the Tears in Honduras,” New York Times, Feb. 16, 2012: http://​www​.nytimes​.com​/2012​/02​

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/17​/world​/americas​/after​-­­honduras​-­­fire​-­­cries​-­­for​-­­justice​-­­amid​-­­tears​.html (accessed Sept. 2, 2014). 23. Sandra Cuffe and Karen Spring, “US Embassy, DEA Obstructing Investigation into Drug War Killings in Honduras,” Truthout, July 26, 2013: http://​www​.truth​-­­out​.org​/news​/item​/17759​-­­us​-­­embassy​-­­dea​-­­obstructing​ -­­investigation​-­­into​-­­drug​-­­war​-­­killings​-­­in​-­­honduras (accessed Sept. 2, 2014). The Miskitu are an indigenous group occupying the sparsely populated Mosquito Coast of Honduras and Nicaragua. 24. In April 2013 Cáceres had spearheaded a protest against the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam being built in Lenca territory; the event left one activist dead. By 2015 the project appeared stalled, and Cáceres was awarded the Goldman Prize for Environmental Activism. Other grassroots activists continue to be targeted by armed elites. The death toll among campesino activists confronting a land grab in the Aguán Valley was 88 in 2014; the African-­descended Garifuna of the Caribbean coast have suffered repeated violent attempts to remove them from their collectively held territories to make way for high-­end tourism projects. 25. http://​www​.cnn​.com​/2014​/04​/10​/world​/un​- ­­world​-­­murder​-­­rates. According to a CNN (March 28, 2013) report, San Pedro Sula in northern Honduras was the “murder capital of the world,” with 169 murders per 100,000 residents, or three murders a day. These figures reflect the country’s serious problem with drug trafficking, but government officials also use the trafficking problem as a cover for state repression of opposition groups. Since 2014 murder rates have dropped slightly, and El Salvador now holds first place for murders per capita. 26. http://​ w ww​ . npr​ . org​ / templates​ / story​ / story​ . php​ ? storyId​ =​ 204745378; http://​ w ww​ . hondurasweekly​. com ​ / national ​ / item ​ / 20432​ -­­street​-­­art​-­­against​-­­violence​-­­in​-­­tegucigalpa; http://​www​.laprensa​.hn​/csp​ /mediapool​/sites​/LaPrensa​/Vivir​/Cultura​/story.​ csp?​ cid= ​ 3 ​ 78047& ​ s​ id= ​ 9 ​ 63​ &​fid​=​98. 27. For images, see http://m ​ aeztrourbano.​ com/​ gallery/​ urbanoviolencia/. 28. https://​twitter​.com​/maeztrourbano. 29. Personal interview, Tegucigalpa, November 2012, during the Rights Action/Alliance for Global Justice delegation to monitor Honduran primary elections. Ginsberg-­Jaeckle is a grassroots activist and founder of the organization La Voz de los de Abajo in Chicago. Having worked and trained intensively with Berta Cáceres prior to the coup, he created the website “Honduras Resists/Honduras Resiste” (http://​hondurasresists​.blogspot​ .com) to publicize events on the ground in Honduras. 30. Doris Sommer, “Resistant Texts and Incompetent Readers,” Poetics Today 15 (1994): 547.

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31. See Wendy Hesford, Spectacular Rhetorics: Human Rights Visions, Recognitions, Feminisms (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011) for a critique of empathy in the rhetorics deployed in historical and contemporary human rights struggles. 32. Amy Shuman, Other People’s Stories: Entitlement Claims and the Critique of Empathy (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2005), 5. 33. Personal interview, November 2012. 34. Fernando Cardenal, SJ, Sacerdote en la Revolución: Memorias (Managua: ANAMA, 2008). 35. Van Gosse, “Active Engagement: The Legacy of Central American Solidarity,” NACLA 28.5 (1995): 10–17; Héctor Perla Jr., “Heirs of Sandino: The Sandinista Revolution and the US–Nicaragua Solidarity Movement,” Latin American Perspectives 36 (2009): 80–100; see also Roger Peace, A Call to Conscience: The Anti-­Contra Campaign (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2012); and Christian Smith, Resisting Reagan: The US Central America Peace Movement (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). 36. Héctor Perla Jr. and Susan Bibler Coutin, “Legacies and Origins of the 1980s US–Central American Sanctuary Movement,” in Sanctuary Practices in International Perspectives, ed. Randy K. Lippert and Sean Rehaag (New York: Routledge, 2013), 73–91; Héctor Perla Jr., “Monseñor Romero’s Resurrection: Transnational Salvadoran Organizing,” NACLA 43 (2011): 25–31; Héctor Perla Jr., “Grassroots Mobilization against US Military Intervention in El Salvador,” Socialism and Democracy 22.3 (2008): 143–159; Susan Bibler Coutin, “Enacting Law through Social Practice: Sanctuary as a Form of Resistance,” in Contested States: Law, Hegemony, and Resistance, ed. Mindy Lazarus Black and Susan F. Hirsch (New York: Routledge, 1994), 282–304; Susan Bibler Coutin, The Culture of Protest: Religious Activism and the US Sanctuary Movement (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1993). 37. Flusty, “Portable Autonomous Zones.” 38. See Sharon Erickson Nepstad, “Oppositional Consciousness among the Privileged: Remaking Religion in the Central America Solidarity Movement,” Critical Sociology 33 (2007): 661–688 for an analysis of how missionaries in the 1980s cultivated an oppositional consciousness among privileged North Americans that was founded upon a shared identity with Central America’s poor in the indigenous free space of religious practice. 39. The organization identifies this action as a citation or repetition of Chilean mourners’ response at a memorial service for Víctor Jara in 1973. 40. Neptstad, “Oppositional Consciousness.” 41. Susan Leigh Foster, “Choreographies of Protest,” Theatre Journal 55 (2003): 395–412. 42. Ibid., 411.

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43. Several home videos of this performance have been uploaded to the Internet. This one runs 3:37 minutes and had been viewed 1,838 times by the time this volume went to press. It is accessible at: http://​www​.liveleak​ .com​/view​?i​=​7ab​_1365549814. 44. This demonstration occurred simultaneously with congressional visits by an SOAW delegation advocating a legislative measure to close the WHINSEC training program at Fort Benning. As of 2012 they had also convinced the governments of Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Nicaragua to withdraw their soldiers from the program. In 2016 the closure of WHINSEC was endorsed as part of the Democratic Party’s electoral platform. 45. One YouTube documentation of this reenactment adds another level of verisimilitude by inserting in a small box in the lower right quadrant of the larger-­frame footage taken of the six bodies lying on a sidewalk in Villa Nueva, Honduras, presumably moments after the actual 2011 massacre. 46. This performance technique was adopted and used by individual mothers in the post-­2009 Honduran resistance marches as well. 47. Diana Taylor, “Trapped in Bad Scripts: The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo,” Disappearing Acts: Spectacles of Gender and Nationalism in Argentina’s Dirty Wars (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1997), 183–222. 48. Ibid., 188–191. 49. At an earlier SOAW die-­in, twenty-­five people were arrested for refusing to clear an area outside the White House. 50. Available here: http://​soaw​.org​/news​/organizing​-u ­­ pdates​/4202​ -­­poster​-­­campaign (accessed Sept. 30, 2014). 51. Not Forgotten: Street Art by School of the Americas Watch. The video is posted at vimeo​.com​/95829437 (accessed Sept. 15, 2014). Geglia is a graduate student in public anthropology at American University in Washington, DC, and codirector/producer with Jesse Freeston of the 2013 film documentary Revolutionary Medicine: A Story of the First Garifuna Hospital. She has a certificate in documentary filmmaking from Duke University and has fifty-­three video projects on VIMEO. From 2007 to 2009, she helped communities in Guatemala working to resist international mining concerns. 52. Ana Tijoux is a French-­Chilean hip-­hop artist who was nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2014 and 2015. “Somos Sur” is her collaboration with British-­Palestinian hip-­hop artist Shadia Mansour. The lyrics are stridently anti-­imperialist. 53. García, Berta Cáceres, and their community blocked a road to protest the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project that was slated to be constructed in their area. Protesters claimed the project would disrupt the river ecosystem to provide electricity for industrial projects elsewhere, leaving the Lenca

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bereft of resources. García and his son were shot by police who had come to disperse the protesters. Cáceres was arrested and jailed for several months. 54. In comparison, the LiveLeak home video of the New York police killing of Eric Garner in July 2014 had 184,598 views by December of that year. 55. bell hooks, “Eating the Other: Desire and Resistance,” in The Consumer Society Reader, ed. Juliet B. Schor and Douglas B. Holt (New York: Norton, 2000), 343–359.

Part II -

Resistance and Liberation, 1960–1974

3 Ignácio de Loyola Brandão’s Zero and the Aesthetics of Resistance in 1960s Brazil

-­ Javier González

In Brazil today . . . in order to have an active cultural position that counts, one must be against, viscerally against, everything that could be, in sum, cultural, political, ethical, and social conformity. . . . ON ADVERSITY WE THRIVE Hélio Oiticica, 1967

W

ritten between 1964 and 1973,1 Ignácio de Loyola Brandão’s Zero: Romance pre-­histórico (Zero: Pre-­historic novel) was the author’s artistic declaration of resistance to the state of affairs under Brazil’s military dictatorship.2 The novel was not published in Brazil until 1975,3 was soon censored, and was not liberated for publication until 1979, and there have been more than thirty printings since.

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The novel centers on the story of José Gonçalves, initially a completely average nobody but driven to despair and nihilism by the seemingly endless obstacles he faces living in the oppressive environment of the city of “São Maulo” in “num país da América Latíndia, amanha” (“in a country in America Latindia, tomorrow”) under a repressive military dictatorship. José becomes a thief and a cold-­blooded killer along the way, eventually joining a communist terrorist cell. The novel also includes subplots that depict his friends, their trials and tribulations, his ill-­fated wife, and other minor characters whose existence reflects the dark reality of late 1960s and early 1970s Brazil. The novel is both a document of the fear, anguish, and lack of hope endured by so many during the era and an avant-­garde artistic statement that has elements that link it to other avant-­garde movements, different media, and artists. The novel is also a visually engaging palimpsest that assaults literary conventions: composed of hundreds of fragments of different types of text, headlines, graphics, diagrams, unusual typography and punctuation, elements from concrete poetry, parodied advertisements, song lyrics, and obliquely placed Pop Art interjections (“POW!”), all presented in tones that range from the ludic and parodic to the darkest and most scatological. Separate boxes of text and the graphic interjections complement and interrupt the flow of the work in a fashion similar to how photos, advertisements, and other stories are arranged in a newspaper. The novel is a fearless statement that undauntedly challenges the taboos of the censors and seeks to provoke its audience with its graphic representations of violence, sex, and torture. Beyond being an important work of art in and of itself, as well as a document of the era, the novel gained notoriety from being censored shortly after it was published and had reached its initial audience. Its circulation in the underground in Brazil resonated with its readership and expanded the overall consciousness of the depicted era, reconstructing the very real struggle within its multifaceted narrative space. The numerous interviews given by the author in recent years provide key insights into his work and the creation of Zero while giving us a firsthand recounting of the context in which it was produced.4 Brandão recalls seeing his friends incarcerated, killed, disappeared, or tortured during the dictatorship. The armed struggle between the government and various guerrilla groups added to the chaos and fear, and the period saw terrorist acts, the armed robberies of banks by said guerrilla groups, and a seemingly ubiquitous police presence.

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One can safely say that few individuals were more aware of what was happening during the era than Brandão, thanks to his position as an editor and journalist at São Paulo’s Última Hora.5 Última Hora was a center-­left newspaper resistant to the establishment and the incursion of American imperialism, and supportive of workers’ movements, making it a dangerous place to work under the dictatorship. Brandão was watched and threatened, constantly living in fear that he would be the victim of fabricated accusations of being a Communist and would one day open his front door to find the police waiting to take him away; in the end, fortunately, this did not occur. As he told Vera Lúcia Silva Vieira in a 2010 interview, Zero came to be from these experiences: “O Zero foi um livro de indignação, um livro em que eu, não sendo da luta armada, da resistência pela violência, pensei: não é possível que as pessoas não saibam o que está acontecendo! [Zero was a book of indignation, a book in which I, not being one for armed struggle, of resistance through violence, thought: it shouldn’t be possible that people don’t know what is happening!].”6 His position as an editor at Última Hora gave him access to subject matter from all sections of the newspaper—information that began to be censored as soon as the military regime took over in the wake of the 1964 coup. Brandão collected the material censored by the authorities,7 filling drawers with interviews, reports, essays, photographs, cartoons, and caricatures that showed a Brazil to which the quotidian reader of Última Hora had no access. As Marcos Hidemi de Lima, quoting Antonio de Franceschi, adds, Brandão compiled further data using his journalistic training, recording testimonials, filming the streets and plazas as well as writing descriptions of areas of São Paulo, and poring through personal ads in compiling the “human archive” from which the episodes and characters that compose Zero emerged.8 Unable to publish such information as a journalist9 and trying to fool the censors, Brandão decided to transform that material into literature. As he recounted to Vieira: No fundo, Zero é um livro que não tem uma palavra inventada do ponto de vista de ficção, e ao mesmo tempo é uma ficção maluca, porque aquele era o clima do país, todo mundo com medo, todo mundo tenso, principalmente as pessoas que tinham alguma ligação com alguma coisa e uma lucidez e uma consciência. E aí eu pensei: olha, eu não sou de jogar bomba, mas o Zero é a minha bomba. O Zero é a minha maneira de atirar contra essa situação que está aí.

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[Deep down, Zero is a book that does not have a single word made up from the fictional point of view, and at the same time is an eccentric fiction, because that was the feeling in the country, everyone scared, everyone tense, mainly people who had any ties to anything and a lucidity and a conscience. And there I thought: look, I am not one to drop bombs, but Zero was my bomb. Zero was my way of firing back against that situation that is right there.]10

For Brandão—and as was the case for many emerging writers in 1960s Brazil—literature itself is political in that it engages with the plight of humanity and the conditions within which we live. His role as an engaged author was to reveal the situation the country was living in at the time and to convey a solidarity with a reading public whose experiences—or those of someone they knew—were being recounted within the novel. He accomplished this by drawing from actual experience and bringing together unreported fragments of reality. Brandão managed to do all this without falling into the trap of generating literature at the service of some of the pamphlet-­driven politics that permeated the left in the years preceding the coup and still existed, to the extent it could, afterward. This was also a position taken by other art movements of the time, such as the cineastes of the Cinema Novo movement, the Tropicalist musicians, and avant-­garde multimedia artist Hélio Oiticica, among others.11 Brandão was also conscious of the need for the novel to have an unconventional structure, to reflect the chaos of the time. He notes that the novel’s nonlinear, fragmentary construction was inspired by Federico Fellini’s 1963 film 8½, but, as we shall see further below, there are traces also of Brazilian literary precedents, the immediate influence of the journalistic medium, and his forays into the city, as well as concepts echoing the then-­contemporary avant-­garde in Brazil. According to de Franceschi, the process of organizing the large body of materials itself took a decidedly avant-­garde turn: as the source texts from which he wrote, along with the photos and other snippets, were first organized in folders and then randomly redistributed.12 The compilation of said material ballooned the length of the work to anywhere from eight hundred to four thousand pages, an estimate that varies depending on the source, before being edited down to the 301 pages in the original 1975 edition. Brandão’s work differs from much of the fiction of sixties and seventies Brazil. The use of a fragmentary form and the inclusion of headline-­type

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chapter titles, along with other types of text, interrupt the linearity of the narration.13 Zero itself was characterized as having been written in a “pop-­concreto” style by the Brazilian Veja magazine, highlighting its frequent interruptions, its fragments containing advertising slogans, song lyrics, asides with background information, transcriptions of official radio announcements made by the regime, Pop Art exclamations, graphics, and other types of text differentiated by headlines preceding each.14 These multiple types of text and the material therein link the novel to different artistic movements present in Brazil during the 1960s. As a result, from a cultural and artistic perspective, Zero provides us with a glimpse of the different aesthetic and political considerations concerning artists in Brazil in the late 1960s—ideas that carried into the 1970s. As a journalist, writer, and screenwriter in São Paulo, Brandão was at the center of what was happening among all the most forward-­thinking artists and movements in Brazil at the time: the concrete poets (brothers Haroldo and Augusto de Campos and Décio Pignatari) had been active there since the early 1950s; it was the scene of the important “Nova Objectividade” exhibition in 1967 (with participants who were among most influential avant-­garde artists of Brazil, such as Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Clark, among others); it was also the home of José Celso Martinez Corrêa’s Teatro Oficina (established 1958) and its provocative productions; and it was the home base for the Tropicália music movement, led by Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, and Tom Zé, among others, which revolutionized Brazilian music while establishing a lasting countercultural style. Brandão had direct ties with the Cinema Novo movement, having written the screenplay for the film adaptation of his 1968 novel Bebel, que a cidade comeu (Bebel, eaten by the city). The film, entitled Bebel, Garota Propaganda (1968), was directed by Maurice Capovilla, Brandão’s colleague at Última Hora. Elements of all of these movements are evident amid the multifaceted text that is Zero. Zero displays its theme of solidarity on three levels. First of all, the novel itself is an example of solidarity art that, to echo the thoughts on solidarity art of Jacqueline Adams, provides a vivid sense of lived experience under the regime, arguably, through its avant-­garde lens, extending this to a representation of the chaos present on a larger level. By virtue of its first circulation being in Italy, the novel also managed to further raise international awareness about the state violence and social problems that had existed in Brazil for nearly a decade at that point and as part of the larger pattern of repressive military dictatorships taking hold across Latin

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America from the mid-­60s and throughout the 1970s. While Brandão himself avoided being jailed and was not forced—nor did he choose to go—into exile, he arguably occupied the position of being an in-­xile, an individual exiled within his own country. This background to the underground circulation of the novel during the years it was censored leads us to the second point regarding the novel as a work of solidarity art. The novel also functions, as mentioned before, as a means of solidarity with the reader, by empathizing with the plight of those who lived through the era, documenting the zeitgeist of fear, violence, and nihilism that permeated some of the darkest years of the dictatorship, and leaving a literary testimony of an era never to be forgotten—Brandão’s goals in creating an engaged literature. Zero directly countered the official narrative shaped by the government and its censors, and was committed to communicating and exposing the tragedy of what was not being revealed by official channels. For much of its initial reading public, the novel was not some sort of elaborate artistic abstraction of dystopia that required an imaginative understanding of the perspective it was conveying. The experience conveyed within its pages reflected the readers’ own recent reality. And while the nihilism expressed may seem antithetical to establishing a sense of solidarity, on a different level it can serve as a galvanizing element. As the critic and philosopher Juan Herrero Senés has detailed, nihilism is not a monolithic concept with a single, all-­encompassing definition; rather, it has manifested itself historically in various nuanced notions, the important ones for this discussion including a rejection of the principles of modern civilization, the (apparent) lack of authentic values, violent revolution, and the experience of the absurd and the void of meaning within existence itself.15 Herrero Senés explains that the experience of nihilism “[s]upone una interrogación sobre qué significa vivir, trabajar y pensar en tiempos de ‘desencanto’; en definitiva, una incógnita a despejar acerca del valor de la propia experiencia vital frente a la desazón, la miseria o el vacío [entails questioning what it means to live, work, and think in times of ‘disenchantment’; ultimately, an unknown to be resolved regarding the value of one’s own life experience while facing anxiety, misery, or emptiness].”16 For conceptual artist Hélio Oiticica, it was crucial to put this questioning into a collective practice via the visceral resistance to all forms of conformity; an expression of nihilism would tear down what had been before and begin again within a new context where, in theory, anything would be possible. Within Zero, nihilism is at the root of the resistance and is an active

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component of questioning the meaning of “being” on a number of levels, as a citizen, as an individual, and as an intellectual, among others. Next, the third type of solidarity is evident in key concepts expressed by Oiticica and some songs from the Tropicalist movement. Artists resist the regime from within the same environment—in the process recognizing, practicing, assimilating, and transposing certain shared aesthetic innovations, ideas, and representational strategies, as well as the common imaginary from which they draw. Analyzing the evolution of key components of Brazil’s avant-­garde from its beginnings through its later iterations—including the concrete poets, Tropicália and Hélio Oiticica—reveals the foundations of an aesthetic of resistance in the Brazilian context of those years. T owa rd a F r a m e w ork f or an Ae st h e t ic of R e s i s ta nce i n 1 960s B r a zi l It would appear that from the time of the inception of the Brazilian avant-­ garde in the form of modernismo in 1922, there existed simultaneously an aesthetic of resistance—an aesthetic that reached full fruition during the latter half of the 1960s in reaction to the military dictatorship’s increasingly watchful eye and iron hand. One of modernismo’s foundational texts, Oswald de Andrade’s novel Memórias sentimentais de João Miramar (The sentimental memoirs of João Miramar) of 1923, is, according to Haroldo de Campos, the “ground zero” of contemporary Brazilian prose, having broken with all recognized conventions of its time.17 The novel predates de Andrade’s influential Manifesto da poesia Pau-­Brasil (1924) and Manifesto antropófago (1928), both of whose influence would reemerge in the re-­articulation of the Brazilian avant-­garde in the 1960s and figure into numerous intellectual discussions about Brazilian culture, art, and identity from that point forward. Memórias sentimentais de João Miramar consists of 163 nonlinear fragments, and its piecemeal construction is accentuated through the exploration of different textual strategies and styles and the use of parody, cinematic techniques, the influence of futurism, and the visual arts. Furthermore, the novel reflects critically upon itself and its own aesthetic novelistic intentions and results. The main character, like Brandão, abandons journalism to become a modern man of letters. The novel also engages in social criticism, alluding to the historical contradictions of Brazil and the then-­contemporary state of affairs, with the nation having always lived in

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a state of siege, as well as its feudal and fascistic tendencies and the “época do desconcerto,” or “perplexing times,” during which it then was making its entrance onto the world stage.18 Serafim Ponte Grande (Seraphim Grosse Pointe) from 1933 is, in his own words, an “Epitaph of what [de Andrade] once was,”19 because of the author’s turn toward Marxism following the rise of the Getúlio Vargas regime in 1930. As Earl Fitz notes, this novel is the result of de Andrade’s devoting himself “to writing avant-­garde literature with a social conscience and strong political commitment.”20 Again composed of nonlinear fragments, including cubist, parodic, and metafictional elements, as well as textual collage, the intentional assault on convention occurs within a more politicized context. De Andrade’s multifaceted oeuvre is an example par excellence of K. David Jackson’s assertion that the Brazilian avant-­garde does away with the boundaries between art and literature; he highlights as well its manipulation of literary genres, its exaltation of the diversity of expression, and its conceptual dynamism—proposing its potential use by artists and writers to initiate revolution.21 Fitz adds: While in the 1920s Americans and Brazilians traveled in Europe, studying in its salons and absorbing the intellectual ambience, the urgent social, economic, and political problems at home (and rising fascism abroad) drew these writers and artists, by the 1930s, back to the New World, where many would apply avant-­garde techniques to characterize societies greatly in need for reform.22

These latter points open the possibility, fundamental to our discussion of the 1960s, of the praxis of making art or literature as a political statement, particularly in the wake of the coup of 1964. Fomented mainly by the concrete poets of São Paulo, interest in de Andrade’s work and his ideas on Brazilian culture and art reemerged after his death in 1954.23 Like their Pop Art contemporaries appearing in Great Britain at the time, the Brazilian concrete poets acknowledged and made use of the new vernacular offered by mass media culture, recognizing its undeniable importance to the artistic expression of contemporary reality. To continue the use of the cannibalist trope, this vernacular was one to be consumed and reinvented in Brazilian terms as well. Carlos André Carvalho explains that for the concrete poets: “Não só os mass media, mas quase

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tudo passa a ser associado, seja . . . a linguagem popular, as gírias ou os slogans de marcas e produtos [Not only the mass media, almost everything comes to be associated [in this expression], . . . whether it is popular language, slang terms, or the slogans for brands and products].”24 In the work of the concrete poets, the importance of repetition and variation is paramount, as is the particular emphasis given to the graphic presentation of the words on the printed page—also an essential component in Zero. The focus on the layout of the printed page and the awareness of the different possibilities it allowed for presenting the text to the reader were also linked to the practice of abandoning traditional poetic discourse and themes and rejecting lyricism. Given Zero’s “pop-­concreto” style, this practice of assaulting convention and abandoning traditional notions of narrative, among other departures, becomes evident with even a cursory glance at its pages. Also important to this discussion is Tropicália, a movement, most often associated with pop music, that emerged in 1967.25 Spearheaded by Caetano Veloso,26 Gilberto Gil,27 and Tom Zé,28 among others, Tropicália was a quintessential expression of the zeitgeist experienced by a group of artists in their exploration of the meaning of Brazilian identity, culture, modernity, contemporaneity, and development (thinking of the last term in all its possible senses, social, artistic, and political). Even before the movement had begun coalescing as such, Veloso declared that he and the like-­minded musicians with whom he was associating sought to create the next evolutionary step in Brazilian music and thus to free it from the artificial labels and limitations that had developed in the industry during the 1960s.29 The movement also set forth a uniquely Latin American articulation of Pop Art, although, unlike the Pop Art movement, it did not ultimately serve the imperative of consumption as it did in the United States. The movement dispensed with traditional left/right dichotomies in politics as well, questioning both the right-­wing military regime’s vision and the proletarian-­populist, nationalist, leftist vision that existed during the presidency of João Goulart (1961–1964), before the coup of 1964. The movement’s dialogue and intellectual engagement with national history, identity, culture, and arts, as well as contemporary issues and cultural trends, point to its many ties with the historical avant-­garde and the modernistas of the 1920s (de Andrade’s Manifesto antropófago being a direct influence on their thinking), the concrete poets (who championed the movement in the press), and Cinema Novo (Veloso refers to his

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viewing of Glauber Rocha’s Terra em transe [Land in Anguish] in 1967 as an epiphany for him as an artist and in his approach to political engagement). The Tropicalists embraced Brazil for all its virtues, contradictions, and “backwardness,” as critic Roberto Schwartz has referred to it, creating unique statements of enduring artistic expression. These poignant representations of the times in which they were conceived are more than period pieces. They open up questions about aesthetics and the role of the artist in national discourse, and are clearly early expressions of postmodern sensibility. Caetano Veloso explains in Tropical Truth, his autobiography, that the Tropicalists eschewed seeking “a unified sound that would define the new style,” instead using “ready-­made” disparate clashing elements from different musical styles that worked together without necessarily resolving the tension produced by their juxtaposition.30 This use of varied, even clashing elements is the approach taken by Brandão in Zero, as the different types of text, graphic interjections, concrete constructions, frequent asides, and visually engaging layout create a multilayered palimpsest that reflects the chaotic reality conveyed in the novel. The Tropicália movement took its name from a penetrável (“penetrable”; in modern art-­historical terminology an “installation”) by the conceptual artist Hélio Oiticica (1937–1980) that appeared in the “Nova Objectividade” exhibition at the São Paulo museum in 1967. As Flora Süssekind describes it: Tropicália was a compilation, in the form of a labyrinth, of a group of “tropical ideas” (parrots, sand, plants, gravel), “real places” (Rio de Janeiro, Morro da Mangueira), and diverse “images” (geometric structures, shacks, favelas, inscriptions, wood planks, television). It was a penetrable whose path ended in front of a permanently turned on television and resulted, as the artist suggested, in the “terrible feeling” of “being devoured by the work, as if it were an enormous animal.”31

The work radically juxtaposed stereotypical images of Brazil as a tropical paradise with its reality of poverty. Its incorporation of varied media and its interactiveness were characteristic aspects of Oiticica’s work from the 1960s onward. Having been a key member of other movements in the 1950s (Grupo Frente, 1954–1956; the neo-­ concretists, 1959–1961), Oiticica was one of the most influential figures in Brazilian cultural life by the late 1960s, a

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conceptual artist who supported his bold vision of transformative art with detailed and well-­ articulated theoretical texts, manifestos, and declarations—many, though by no means all, of which were published and circulated among artistic circles during that decade. His relationship with the people of the favelas—including some notorious criminals, such as Cara de Cavalo32— of his native Rio de Janeiro was fundamental in shaping his views on politics and artistic engagement of the populace. As Mari Carmen Ramírez explains: “Although never tied to a political party or specific ideology, Oiticica considered art an anarchic form of revolt against all forms of oppression, whether intellectual, aesthetic, institutional, or above all social.”33 Oiticica meant for his art to engage all the senses, and he invited spectator participation. His three main conceptual contributions all did so. They were the Bólides (fireballs or nuclei): a gamut of different-­colored objects or structures made from quotidian materials filled with paint pigments and a variety of other materials that were set up to be activated and interacted with by the spectators; the Penetráveis (penetrables), environmental, multimedia maze installations, of which Tropicália was one; and Parangolés, capes and banners to be appropriated (worn) by the spectators as trans-­objects—an anti-­art, removing art from the museum setting— thus becoming catalysts for multisensory discovery by the wearers and with the intent of “overthrowing all moralities.”34 Though ostensibly non-­ ideological, Oiticica did create a “Guevarcália” parangolé, fusing the life of Che Guevara with the concept of his Tropicália penetrável, though this relationship is abstracted to the point that it avoids any of the stereotyped reactions of leftist artists eschewed by both Oiticica and Brandão. Other declarations would appear on other parangolés. Oiticica’s banner in homage of the slain bandit Cara de Cavalo stated, “Seja marginal, seja héroi” (“Be a criminal, be a hero”). This summed up one of his most controversial positions, which he explained in the “Position and Program” article he published in Opinão magazine in 1966: “Crime is actually a desperate search for true happiness in contrast to false, established, stagnant social values which preach ‘well-­being’ and ‘family life’ but only work for a small minority.”35 Paul Herkenhoff explains that, particularly in the authoritarian climate of the period, although arguably also a product of Brazil’s historic inequality, “for the marginalized, violent crime was essentially the only way out, which gave rise to a desperate articulation of impulses toward death, desire, and, to a certain extent, knowledge.”36 As we shall see in more detail in the following pages, the main character in Zero,

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José Gonçalves, evolves from a pusillanimous nobody into a cold-­blooded killer, having failed to find a way fit into society through the established, acceptable means—the very practices Oiticica criticized, and which he proposed overcoming through what would most likely be characterized as a justified nihilism in the name of revolution. This brief discussion of Oswald de Andrade and the Brazilian avant-­garde has laid out the fundamental components of the aesthetics of resistance as it manifested itself in the 1960s in a more general sense and more specifically within Zero. Drawing from different artistic and cultural sources, this aesthetic ignores boundaries between different types of art or media in making its statement. The artist invites audience/reader/spectator/listener participation through the form of the work—whether it be a labyrinthine text, conceptual art, interactive theater (as was practiced by Teatro Oficina), or the entrance of a song into the audience’s aural imaginary. Constructing a whole from fragments brings in a multifaceted/collage element that accentuates the multiple sources from which it draws. The artist’s or the work’s intent to question, discuss, concern and involve itself in the sociopolitical realm is, of course, fundamental to the context here. The use of often-­dark, parodic, and metafictional elements—presenting the artists within their creation, whether that be texts or not—is also present. De Andrade, as he relates in the prologue to Serafim Ponte Grande, eschewed the dichotomy of bourgeois/proletariat, instead opting for “bohemian” as the opposite of bourgeois, while lamenting the condition of the forgotten masses (Serafim, 3). While there are nuances to be discerned amongst the positions taken by the artists of the 1960s, there is the following common thread: the rejection of traditional right/left dichotomies, of rigid definitions of what is valid national culture, of the left-­wing populism propagated during the presidency of Goulart, and, of course, of the dictatorship. This position is, in a general sense, a bohemian stance. The palpable disillusionment among Brazilian artists and intellectuals, particularly regarding the power of the “povo,” the people, is articulated in Glauber Rocha’s seminal film Terra em transe (Land in Anguish, 1967).37 As Heloísa Buarque de Hollanda and Marcos Gonçalves explain about the film: “Guiado por uma sensibilidade estética moderna, alegórica, profética, Glauber voltava-­se para reapresentação extraordinariamente crítica do Brasil populista e do modelo intelectual revolucionário que aí se desenhara [Guided by a modern, allegorical, prophetic aesthetic sensibility, Glauber turned toward the extraordinarily critical representation of populist Brazil

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and the revolutionary intellectual model that it designed].”38 The message in the film was an epiphany of sorts for Caetano Veloso and an important catalyst for Tropicalist thought.39 Consistent with Brandão’s statements on propagandistic “arte panfletária” (pamphlet-­driven art), the dystopian representation of Brazil in Zero echoed the disillusion already present and expanded it to nihilistic levels when the subsequent repression by the military regime made a bad situation only worse. T he 1 9 6 4 C ou p, C e n s or sh i p, an d Ze ro After nearly two decades of democracy, a military coup brought down the government of João Goulart on March 31, 1964. Goulart’s populist leftward move during his years in power shook the confidence of the middle class, infuriated the dominant class in Brazil, and eroded his support amongst the upper ranks of the military. The coup was supported by the United States, wary of the left-­wing populism bolstering Goulart’s support and opposed to the further potential spread of communism in Latin America. Goulart’s nationalization of a number of key industries, including meat-­packing, pharmaceuticals, and oil refineries; strict regulation of multinationals sending profits abroad; and plans for urban reform, among other goals, brought together a coalition from the right and the middle, both fearing a loss of property rights as had occurred in Cuba, which ultimately supported the coup. What followed was more than two decades of military rule, of which the first years would be the bloodiest and most repressive, given the attempt to install the regime’s vision of conservative modernization. The new government immediately began to establish its control of the citizenry with the creation of the Serviço Nacional de Informaçoes (National Information Bureau, SNI), one of a number of agencies whose goal was a crackdown on internal subversion. Of course, censorship was implemented immediately and remained strongly in place through 1978. The regime furthered its power by installing and invoking “atos institucionais” (institutional acts, or AIs) that allowed the regime the leeway it deemed necessary to achieve its goals. The institutional acts, of which there were seventeen in total, passed from 1964 through 1970, expanded executive powers; stifled any and all types of dissent, such as strikes and demonstrations; abolished the Congress; and, for all intents and purposes, took away citizens’ rights of free expression. Harassment of intellectuals, students, labor leaders, and

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“anyone with ties to anything,” to paraphrase Brandão was, in essence, performed under the legal umbrella of the AIs. The regime brought about the exile, forced or voluntary—or some permutation in between—of many intellectuals and visible opposition figures, including Tropicalist music icons Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, who were in London from 1969 until 1972; their situation is caustically parodied in Zero. The coup was seen as a necessary step by a portion of the populace in its initial phases, to bring about the appearance of stability following the chaotic last year of the Goulart presidency; to preserve some key facets of the status quo, most notably the traditional, unequal socioeconomic structure; and to open the door for the Brazilian “economic miracle” fostered by now confident foreign investors. A climate of fear and betrayal overtook the country as it became clear that the regime was there to stay and its powers continued to advance. By 1966, the opposition had begun to take shape and, as occurred in so many places around the globe, exploded onto the scene in 1968 with larger protests,40 violent strikes in the interior and northeast, and the beginning of serious armed guerrilla activity by groups such as the Açao Libertadora Nacional (National Liberation Alliance, ALN), a pro-­Cuban leftist group whose methods included brazen bank heists, bombings, and kidnappings.41 The most infamous of the institutional acts is perhaps AI-­5, which went into effect on December 13, 1968. AI-­5 was an extreme measure intended to curtail the escalating violent resistance from guerrilla groups and further intimidate the public. The act abolished habeas corpus, suspended the few remaining political rights of citizens, closed the Congress, and purged universities and public institutions of potential dissenters while concentrating power in the hands of the information-­collecting community, stepping up media censorship, and further establishing torture as a viable practice for repression. As Baden succinctly explains, under AI-­5, “the President’s almost unlimited powers meant that what could not be resolved by decree [likely through powers provided by another AI] could be resolved by intimidation with an aim to prepare the country for a new era emphasizing security and development.”42 Fueled by foreign investment, the economy did thrive under the regime during the most tumultuous political times, with predictably uneven distribution of the benefits reaped from the “miracle” to the established middle class and the upper class, while the miserable status quo was maintained

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for the working class. The regime touted its views on the nation’s progress and other propaganda by means of radio, television, and the censored press. As Baden makes clear, the regime under Emílio Garrastazu Médici43 “succeeded in selling a positive image of Brazil at home and abroad by means of a skillful public relations campaign” and the public “appeared to acquiesce to the authoritarian system because they approved of the regime’s economic policies.”44 The challenge for those not acquiescing, including the artists and the protest movements—of which Brandão was also part—was to provoke this portion of the populace out of its apathetic state while navigating the difficult landscape created by the dictatorship and its practices of intimidation and censorship.45 The dictatorship also had a profound effect on literary production. As Fitz bluntly states, under the dictatorship the whole notion of being a “politically aware” writer changed: “The authors who came of age under the ditadura militar, for example, found the writing of fiction itself to be a subversive act that could have serious, even fatal consequences.”46 As Emir Rodríguez Monegal, Flora Süssekind, and Sandra Reimão, among others, have reiterated: the role of fiction and the novelist in dictatorial Brazil changed, as they now exercised a function normally executed by journalism and the mass media. As Monegal explains, the novelist’s role was to tell the Brazilian reader not only what the political censor wanted to suppress but also what the moral censor would prefer to sweep under the rug.47 He adds that censorship’s profound effect on the writer and his context forced the writer to alter the nature and purpose of his writing to conveying the news of what was happening, expressing opinions within an environment characterized by constant surveillance, and keeping citizens at large, not just their readers, informed.48 Süssekind adds, “In a sense, literature opens a window, affording us a view of perceptions, feelings, and ideas that could not be expressed elsewhere.”49 Also, as Fitz, citing Rodríguez Monegal, makes clear, even subjects that seemed to be nonpolitical would become so in such an environment.50 Because of this function as chronicler of the times, the novelists’ craft changes: no longer approaching their art in purely literary terms because of their new role as purveyors of a fiction that is the only place where the censored news can be obtained, albeit à clef. Brandão was keenly aware of this necessity and understood the importance of his role in documenting the atrocities of an era that well could have also been swept under the rug, so to speak.

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While the focus of censors was principally television, radio, and the press, publishing houses did not entirely avoid notice. As Reimão explains, the Decreto-­Lei no. 1.077 (decree number 1,077), passed on January 26, 1970, established guidelines for such censorship in broad moralistic terms such as preserving ethical values, asserting that publications that insinuate free love and threaten to destroy the moral values of Brazilian society were subversive and put national security at risk.51 Reimão details the inconsistent, arbitrary nature of the censorship of books— oftentimes censored books continued to sit on store shelves because of lack of government manpower to police the censorship decrees. These types of laws, coupled with the effect of the AI-­5, nonetheless had a chilling effect, shutting down publishing houses and bookstores and leading to a situation in which warehouses were full of banned books, as Brandão represents in Zero. It is likely that this decree had a direct effect on Brandão’s initial and subsequent troubles in publishing Zero in Brazil. In fact, the first Brazilian edition (1975) was soon censored, after the Ministry of Justice alleged that the novel was an “atentado à moral e aos bons costumes [assault on morality and good customs].”52 This censorship was not announced before the first edition sold out and a second was printed. The novel won various prizes in 1976 and began to circulate clandestinely in different illicit duplicated formats until it was finally “liberated” for full-­on publication and circulation in 1979.53 The reason given to the author for his later difficulties in getting the book published was the difficulty and cost involved in printing that particular text, with its innovative use of typography and page layout, incorporation of diagrams, onomatopoeic comic-­book exclamations drawn from Pop Art (e.g., “PAM!” or “BOOM!” in large, different, oblique type, as mentioned above), and extensive, mostly metafictional, footnotes. Mairim Linck Piva explains: “A recusa de algumas editoras pederia vir acompanhada da justivicativa de que, por implicar o uso de diferentes caracteres gráficos, o texto atingiria um custo de produção elevado, o que seria um inconveniente para a comercialização [The refusal by some publishers could be accompanied by the justification that, by necessitating the use of different graphic characters, the text would have high production costs, which would be inconvenient for its marketing].”54 These visually engaging aspects, as discussed earlier, are a direct link to Brandão’s career as editor and journalist for São Paulo’s Última Hora newspaper and the graphic palimpsest of signs

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conveyed by the printed newspaper page. The fragmentary and optically dynamic construction reflect the palimpsest of the urban experience represented in the novel as well, while linking it to its role as an artistic document of an era. Of course, the reasons for publishers’ hesitance and ultimate refusal to publish ran deeper—as self-­censorship was an expectation of newspapers, magazines, and publishers before the censors began deleting content. In the case of Zero, it was clearly not enough to transform Brazil into simply a “país da América Latíndia” and have São Paulo change to “São Maulo” to avoid the type of scrutiny the criticism contained in the novel that was it sure to attract. Its content was clearly drawn from the quotidian reality being experienced at that very time. The caustic criticisms of dictatorship, the mocking of the capitalist goals and mechanisms of said regime, the attacks on its hypocritical moral stance, and the tragically nihilistic representation of the dystopic reality experienced in Brazil were too risky for any publisher during the dark days of the Médici regime. Z e ro : T he R e a l i t y of Dy st opi a The setting of Zero is “São Maulo,” a fictional place name making no real effort to hide its referent. Brandão describes the city as a [s]elva de asfalto—cidade desumana—metrópole voraz—comedora de gente—antro de neuróticos—túmulo de vidro—floresta de cimento armado—cidade que mais cresce no mundo—locomotiva puxando vinte vagões—o maior centro industrial de América Latíndia (212) [asphalt jungle—inhuman city—a voracious metropolis—eater of people—a den for neurotics—a glass tomb—an armed cement forest—the fastest growing city in the world—a locomotive pushing twenty cars— the largest industrial center in América Latíndia]

This description establishes for the reader an imaginary similar to what Tropicalist Tom Zé’s song “São, São Paulo”—from his first LP, Grande Liquidação (Big Clearance Sale, 1968)—does for its listeners. Though there are no documented links between Brandão and Zé as of this writing, they were members of some of the same circles in São Paulo, they were the same age, and both had an affinity for the avant-­garde. Both the song and

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the novel document the difficult reality experienced in that period in the same locale. The song alludes to “quanta dor” (“so much pain”), those “que se agridem cortesmente,” (“who courteously assault each other”), “morrendo a todo vapor / e amando como todo ódio / se odeiam com todo amor / são oito milhões / aglomerada solidão” (“dying full speed ahead / and loving with all their hate / they hate each other with all their love [heart] / they are eight million inhabitants / Agglomerated solitude”), and even “uma bomba por quinzena” (“a bomb every fortnight”)—elements that are on display as well in the text of Zero. Other songs from this record can be connected to Zero in similar ways. The novel’s plot, only one of the many elements at work, as we have seen, can be summarized as follows: José Gonçalves, a former law student now living in “São Maulo,” cannot find a good job. The beginning of the novel finds him working as a rat exterminator in a movie theater, while later he finds work as a writer of captions for Coca-­Cola bottle caps. Despite the fact that he lives in a megalopolis, he finds himself, like the people in Tom Zé’s “São, São Paulo,” living in “aglomerada solidão,” alienated and isolated from the sea of humanity that surrounds him. He is able to finally meet his wife, Rosa, only through a service that places newspaper personal advertisements on their behalf—a clear example of the alienating, dehumanizing aspect of the megalopolis in all its cruel, obvious, inescapable splendor, but a variant of Tom Zé’s mocking of people marrying on television shows (“casam pela TV”), also found in “São, São Paulo.” As a result of their rushed and superficial courtship, it is plainly evident that, even before their marriage, they are undeniably incompatible. Rosa represents the consumerist mindset propagated by the mass media, wanting to be a housewife in her own house with all its trappings. José, while he does work to provide for them, is unmoved by such trappings, being a frustrated free spirit stymied by his own unrealized expectations as well as the consumerist tendencies imposed upon him by his wife. The main supporting characters in the novel serve as synecdoches for different sectors of society, the more specific effects the dictatorship has on them, and the different defense mechanisms they are driven to while living under the regime. This supporting cast provides more opportunities for showcasing different forms of resistance and critiques of the situation at hand. Each supporting character and their respective type would have been recognizable by the readers at the time, provoking emotions

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and opening a window on perceptions, feelings, and ideas that could not be expressed elsewhere. As such, and despite the apparent vacuousness of the nihilism being represented and experienced by the characters, there is the possibility for depicting solidarity and the unification of disaggregate social elements in a common goal—the visceral resistance to the imposed conformities propagated by the regime. The characters’ fight for survival within the urban environment, already full of challenges on its own terms, is exacerbated by the phantasmagoric reach of the military regime, whose presence daily encroaches more and more upon the lives of the citizens. José turns the aggressiveness and frustration that arise from the struggles of his day-­to-­day survival toward his wife, with whom he is in constant verbal and physical conflict. At other points in the novel, they are having copious amounts of graphically depicted sex or living a consumerist existence, going to movies and for pizza. These negative feelings toward his wife, incited by his sense of obligation and desperation to provide for her, soon turn him into a thief and later into a nihilistic murderer. Because of his criminal activity, he is pursued by the authorities and simultaneously attracts the attention of urban guerrillas who are robbing banks and committing acts of terrorism—the “uma bomba por quinzena” alluded to by Zé in “São, São Paulo.” Although José is ostensibly “apolitical”—representing another aspect of his nihilistic disposition, to be sure, as he resists the regime and refuses to commit to the cause of the “Comuns” (Communist urban guerrillas)—he does join them as a decidedly un-­idealistic mercenary/hit man who aids the guerrillas in their heists and hunts down police and government figures. Eventually, his friend Átila, his acquaintance Héroi, and his neighbor Malevil, a student, also join the cell led by former medical student Gê—an obvious, if slightly transformed, avatar for “Che” Guevara, recently deceased at the time of the novel’s writing.55 This allusion links the generic Comuns of the novel to the Cuban-­inspired Communist guerrilla group ALN and its practice of robbing banks. The fates the men suffer at the hands of the regime’s torturers (one ironically nicknamed “Ternurinha”—the little tender one), the unbridled cruelty and violence perpetrated by both sides in their ongoing battle, and Rosa’s fate at the hands of an anthropophagic cult take up the last third of the novel, as whatever playfulness at work in the first parts disintegrates into a hopeless, nihilistic dystopia that puts on display the hidden Brazil that so few knew at the time.

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José’s transformation into a brazen, violent outlaw is a remarkable metamorphosis from the pusillanimous, unmotivated, movie theater rat exterminator he is at the beginning of the novel.56 His alteration embodies Hélio Oiticica’s thoughts on crime being a desperate search for happiness when accepted methods of social assimilation will not suffice—an effort to somehow free himself from his existence. In the process, José becomes someone who resists and is opposed to everything, an embodiment of the “anti-­morality” that Oiticica refers to in the following quote from the “Ethical Position” section of “Position and Program” in 1966: Moral freedom is not a new morality but a sort of antimorality based on individual experience. Although it is perilous and brings with it great misfortune, it never betrays those who practice it—it merely gives everyone their own incumbency, their own individual responsibility— beyond good and evil. In a way, it justifies all individual revolt against established values and patterns (revolution, for ex.), including the most visceral and personal (that of the outlaw—one who exists on the margins of society—which is what we call those who rebel, kill, or steal).57

If we wish to distinguish this thought of Oiticica’s from the full-­fledged nihilism we initially outlined in the character, we can do so by highlighting the fact that for José it is a process, a series of failed attempts at life— aided and abetted by the oppressive dictatorial environment—that lead him to became an outlaw. Of course, Zero’s other characters also serve a key function by allowing the display of specific critiques of life under the regime, and their distinct natures provide us with the polyphony and subplots necessary to experience the incessant challenges posed within an urban jungle under siege by an ever more repressive and controlling government, as well as an ever more violent resistance. Regarding the treatment of the characters, there is a connection to be made with Christopher Dunn’s observation that Tropicalist songs reflect “the quotidian desires and frustrations of ‘everyday people’ living in the cities.”58 This point is, of course, taken to extremes in the novel to accentuate the allegorical mechanisms at work. The characters are, in fact, anti-­or infra-­heroes whose shortcomings, delusions, rage, and psychoses play out tragically within their dystopic existence to the point that they all fall into nihilistic patterns, which in

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turn differ from José’s embodiment of Oiticican anti-­morality. This point is key to an understanding of how the novel tears down institutions and their hypocrisy (military, church, state) as well as the various counter-­ institutional nemeses (the Communist guerrilla cells, other aspects of the urban jungle). The characters and society in Zero, even Gê, are lacking in real purpose, while most are also bereft of authentic values—placing them within a nihilistic sphere. Outside the realm of Oiticican anti-­morality, José also conforms to a more general definition of nihilism as having no real values, believing that there is no transcendent meaning or worth to our existence. The idea of anti-­morality suggested by Oiticica on some level functions as a justified nihilism to combat the conditions in which the marginalized subject finds himself. José’s lack of faith in humanity, a nihilistic trait to be sure, is clear in a conversation with Gê about his lack of full commitment to the guerrillas: “Olha, Gê, você nunca vai entender. Um grupo, pra mim, é um castelo de cartas. Soprou uma embaixo, vai tudo pro chão” (188, emphasis mine) (“Listen, Gê, you’re never going to understand. A group, for me, is a house of cards. I blow it down and it goes all over the floor”). José’s only potentially authentic value is an uncompromising individualism that is supported by Oiticican anti-­morality, repeatedly affirming some form of the phrase “Quero ser, eu” (178) (“I want to be, me”). Unfortunately, the potentially valuable uncompromising individualism and belief in self lead to nothing constructive within the restrictive confines imposed by an oppressive, iron-­fisted dictatorship. The relative meaninglessness of the individual on any significant level is accentuated by the opening sequence in Zero, in which José himself is contrasted with the vast universe. The comparison is executed in two columns, separated by a line, that break down just how average and small José is in the larger scheme as compared to the vastness of the universe and its diverse components. For all intents and purposes, José himself is practically a “zero” in comparison. Through this example and numerous other anecdotes of the indignities experienced by other “every men” types that are spread throughout the text, the implicit cry echoes once and again for solidarity in resistance to the common enemy of oppression and its process of reducing the average citizen into non-­agents within the country’s political context.

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The development of José into a criminal is reminiscent of another song by Tom Zé from Grande Liquidação: “Catecismo, creme dental e eu” (“Catechism, Toothpaste, and Me”). Zé’s lyrics echo José’s transformation from his fearful state to his criminal role: Nasci no dia do medo Na hora de ter coragem Fui lançado no degredo Diplomado em malandragem Caminho, luz e risco, Aflito, Xingo, minto, arrisco, tisco, E por onde andei Eu encontrei o bendito fruto em vosso dente, Catecismo de fuzil E creme dental em toda a frente.

I was born in the day of fear In the moment I needed courage I was thrown into exile A graduate in criminality A way, a light and a danger, Afflicted I curse, lie, risk, tisk [a play on words] And where I went I found a blessed fruit in your teeth The catechism of the gun And toothpaste all over the forehead.

Like the character in the song, José is exiled to marginality in his own land—his degree in criminality presumably informed by the catechism of the gun. Teeth are traditionally symbolic of aggressive and defensive power—their baring a sign of defense or threat in the wild. As symbols of power teeth were collected by shamans and warriors, in the hope of channeling the power of the animal from which they were taken or of the defeated enemy—and a parallel can be drawn to anthropophagic rituals in which the victim’s essence and strength are consumed and assumed. Given the urban, conflict-­filled context presented by the songs on the record, the symbolic meaning of aggressive and defensive power can figure into its interpretation, particularly because the catechism of the gun, the form of urban aggression par excellence, is what immediately follows in the novel. Teeth are also symbolic of vitality through their function in breaking down food for consumption. Transposed to the urban, consumerist context critiqued by Zé on the record, and the references to criminal activity, they can also be seen to symbolize that very context’s main means of survival: money. The toothpaste itself is an example of the modern accoutrements available to those with enough means, but by no means everyone in the urban jungle of São Maulo, as many of the asides in the novel make clear in the urban setting. The song goes on to say that

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the Brazilian family’s future will be one “do hálito puro” (“of fresh breath”) provided by the toothpaste—again a critique of the consumerist nonreality presented and sold by the media dishonestly promising “a better life” through consumption. This brings us to another recurring theme in Zero, the critique of the consumerism propagated by the regime in service to their vision of the conservative modernization of Brazil. In the novel, José’s wife, Rosa, has been brainwashed by the propaganda she takes in through the media. Brandão’s critique of consumerism is interwoven throughout the novel in its parodies of advertisements and, of course, as the underlying ideology propagated by the regime to foment their ubiquity. This critique links the novel to the realm of Pop Art and fleshes out the “pop-­concreto” description of its style that we mentioned before. And while Max Kozloff was one of Pop’s harshest critics, he was also, as Carol Mahsun makes clear, the first to specify the concerns, principles, and problems shared by the artists, many of which are echoed by the concrete poets, the Brazilian avant-­garde, the Tropicalists, and, of course, Ignácio de Loyola Brandão in Zero. Among these we can find: “the ironic use of transposed materials,” “the investigation of creativity, perception and subject/object relationship,” and “the theme of social implications.”59 Further connections between Pop Art and its Brazilian manifestations can be gleaned from Allan Kaprow’s description of the Pop mode: “‘pop’ subject matter, such as imagery found in newspapers, magazines, TV billboards, and movies”; he asserts that “the defining characteristic of a pop work is the immediate reference to its source.”60 Among the many Pop Art referents in Zero are commercials and the useless products that they peddle. This is an example from a long ­barrage of questions directed at José for many useless products: “¿O senhor não quer comprar o novo fogão à gás-­elétrico-­à-­lenha-­atômico?” (145) (“Sir, do you not wish to buy a new gas-­electric-­atomic-­wood stove?”). Later there is the nearly identical invitation to purchase “uma coleção de livros em branco. Assim não é necessário ler” (148) (“a collection of blank books. That way, it is not necessary to read them”). Each section with this type of parody contains a reference to bombs or bombardment in the headline that precedes it, accentuating advertising’s relentless nature. This is a small sampling of the multiple examples of resistance to advertising, and its ultimate source of propagation, the regime that is present in Zero.

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Along these lines, Tom Zé’s “Parque industrial,” also from Grande Liquidação and included on the Panis et Circensis album-­manifesto, is a poignant reflection on the changing times, mocking the regime’s idea of progress while resisting the imposed definition of what those terms actually mean. Zé’s own recording of the song is an outstanding example of pop music as Pop Art as well, putting into practice the points elucidated above. It also includes elements absent in the other rendition, including an errant circus music quotation of “God Bless America” that opens on xylophone but soon begins to clash with dissonant sounds produced by a rock band (Os Brazões). This parodic march section would be perfectly at home in a commercial jingle touting the ease of use of a new product and precedes a satirical recounting of “progress” with, among other things, pomp and circumstance under a “retouched” or “refinished” blue sky, a moralistic magazine enumerating a movie star’s sins, and the paperbound blood bank that is the omnipresent, sensationalist yellow press. É somente requentar, E usar, É somente requentar, E usar, Porque é made, made, made, made in Brazil. Porque é made, made, made, made in Brazil.

You just reheat it, And use it, You just reheat it, And use it, Because it’s made, . . . , in Brazil. Because it’s made, . . . , in Brazil.

Retocai o céu de anil Bandeirolas no cordão Grande festa em toda a nação. Despertai com orações O avanço industrial Vem trazer nossa redenção.

Retouch the blue sky Streamers on twine A big party in the whole nation. Wake up with prayers Industrial progress Is going to bring our redemption.

Tem garota-­propaganda Aeromoça e ternura no cartaz, Basta olhar na parede, Minha alegria Num instante se refaz

There is the woman in the ad Stewardess and tenderness on the poster, Just looking at the wall, My happiness In an instant is renewed

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Pois temos o sorriso engarrafadão Já vem pronto e tabelado É somente requentar, . . . etc.

Well, we have the bottled smile It comes ready and at a fixed price You just reheat it, . . . etc.

A revista moralista Traz uma lista dos pecados da vedete E tem jornal popular que Nunca se espreme Porque pode derramar. É um banco de sangue encadernado Já vem pronto e tabelado, É somente folhear e usar, É somente folhear e usar.

The moralist magazine Has a list of the movie star’s sins And the popular newspaper That you never squeeze Because you can spill. It’s a bound blood bank It comes ready and at a fixed price, You just leaf through and use it, You just leaf through and use it.

The reference to the “happiness” provided by “garota-­propaganda” on the wall also touches upon what Eduardo Subirats has termed “virtual culture,” within which forms of perception and communicative inter­ action are mediated by the mass media and electronic communication. As he explains: “No solamente trata del empobrecimiento de la experiencia humana o de la desrealización del sujeto. Se trata también de su sustitución por las técnicas y estéticas de producción de la realidad [It does not just deal with the impoverishment of the human experience or the lack of fulfillment of the subject. It has to do with the subject’s substitution by the techniques and aesthetic of the production of reality].”61 In the song, Zé observes and mocks a reality and culture being experienced in a fundamentally different way—a second-­hand, mediated reality in which notions of nationalist purity untouched by popular, urban media culture have been eliminated. Furthermore, the song satirizes the regime’s efforts to sell its own ideological wares, touting foreign, prepackaged forms of modernity to be adopted, reheated, and used, whether they are in fact “made in Brazil” or not. Eduardo Bessa states the following about Brandão’s thoughts on television and television advertisements: “A percepção deles está próxima da crítica contra a propaganda de [Max] Horkheimer e [Theodor] Adorno, que vêem nela um instrumento de dominação que vive apontando saídas falsas e usando a mentira como seu principal instrumento [The view of them (television and its advertisements) is similar to Horkheimer and A ­ dorno’s criticism of commercials, who see in it an instrument of domination that

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points to false escapes and use lies as their main tool].”62 Zero offers numerous examples of this critique of television and specifically the government’s use of the medium to convey a dishonest image about what the regime actually stood for and how it in fact acted. It is particularly critical of the group-­think type of brainwashing that television can bring about— which is one of the main problems which engaged artists in Brazil during the darkest phase of the dictatorship were attempting to overcome. René Ceballos argues that Zero is a “plurimedial” text whose juxtaposition and superposition of different types of text; its plurality of voices, diagrams, and concrete constructions; and its transversal quality and fragmentary construction not only dispense with traditional narrative form but also tie the work more directly to the mass media.63 The fact that these types of text are employed in conjunction with intertexts drawn from or parodying different media, Ceballos argues, are what make it a plurimedial text. The techniques and references Brandão employs also tie in to the transposition mechanism utilized in Pop Art and Tropicália—which are also plurimedial, given that they freely draw intertextually from different media, as well as their consciousness of art that engages the erudite and the popular. In so doing, the text enables the representation and engagement of multiple levels of resistance and solidarity, giving a fuller account of the times on multiple levels historically and aesthetically—as was the intent of the author. It also opens up different possibilities for further inquiry.64 C onclu s ion As both a journalist and an author, Ignácio de Loyola Brandão found himself in the unique position of being able to convey through literature happenings in Brazil that were hidden from the public during the most repressive years of the dictatorship. Not personally being of the disposition for armed struggle, Brandão used Zero as a weapon and statement of resistance, a call for solidarity against the dictatorship that could transcend the oppressive political environment. Because it incorporates material drawn from censored stories from Brandão’s work as a journalist as well as his own compilation of a “human archive,” Zero serves as an artistic document not only of the times, but of the avant-­garde artistic trends that were then present in Brazil, including ideas linked to Hélio Oiticica and the artists of the Tropicália movement, all of which had been influenced by the historical Brazilian avant-­garde

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and the writings of Oswald de Andrade. The links and parallels to be drawn from the relationships to other movements and artists demonstrate the existence in Brazil of a historical practice of an aesthetic of resistance and transgenerational solidarity that was artistically expressed by the avant-­ garde against social and political repression. Thanks to its author’s conscious effort to engage politically by creating a document of the times, against oblivion, Zero also demonstrates the praxis of this aesthetic of resistance while providing us a complex, enduring work of solidarity art. In so doing, it communicates and invites responses to, reflection upon, and questions about the dark reality it represents through a plurality of voices and techniques, echoing the pain, despair, and fear of those who lived through it. Notes 1. Though several critical sources place completion of the text in 1969, in recent interviews Brandão himself has repeatedly asserted the nine-­ year process of completing the novel. Several of the episodes recounted within the novel—including the moon landing and the strong presence of Communist-­armed guerrilla groups—do point to 1969. Also, 1969 was the first full year in which the 5th Institutional Act (passed Dec. 13, 1968), which stripped citizens of their few remaining rights, took its full effect and toll on the populace. Its existence serves as both a constant and an inescapable backdrop in Zero. 2. Ignácio de Loyola Brandão (b. July 31, 1936, Araquara, São Paulo) is one of Brazil’s most accomplished living authors, having published numerous novels, short-­story collections, plays, and screenplays and coedited state-­sponsored books on a variety of cultural and historical topics. 3. Because of censorship, Zero was originally published in Italy in 1974, the first of many translations, including Hungarian and Korean, in many languages. I will cover key details about its censorship and reception in the following pages. 4. Since 2008, a plethora of interviews with Brandão have become available through a variety of Internet sources. He has been interviewed by newspapers, magazines, and television programs (many of these conversations are available on youtube​.com). In discussions of Zero, consistent recurring themes are cited again and again, and I have synthesized these above. 5. Brandão, aside from being one of Brazil’s most renowned living authors, has had a long and distinguished career as a journalist. Beginning his career at the age of sixteen, Brandão continued in that field through

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the early 1970s, when he took a hiatus to dedicate himself exclusively to literature. Importantly, he was an active journalist during the first years of the dictatorship, facing firsthand all the hardships imposed by the regime on the profession. He returned to journalism in 1990 as director of Vogue magazine in Brazil and as a columnist for Folha da Tarde and later O Estado in São Paulo. 6. Vera Lúcia Silva Vieira and Márcia Regina Capelari Naxara, “Entre a literatura, a história e a memória: Entrevista com Ignácio de Loyola Brandão,” Uberlândia 13.22 (Jan.–June, 2011): 211. 7. Under the dictatorship, prepublication censorship of the press and magazines was the norm from 1968 until 1978. As Nancy T. Baden explains in The Muffled Cries: The Writer and Literature in Authoritarian Brazil, 1964– 1985: “The effects of suppression were far-­reaching because it occurred during a time when people could be imprisoned or kidnapped, or could mysteriously disappear without a trace. It was, in effect, one of the government’s instruments of control. The areas that came under close supervision were political opposition, terrorism, economic matters, political prisons, torture, student political activities and those orders designed to keep censorship a secret” (55). She adds that during the period of greatest activity (1969–1975) censorship was used as a punitive measure against publications not practicing the implied self-­censorship expected by the regime, which sent censors to monitor publications’ activities on a daily basis. From Brandão’s own recounting of the era, the government had censors in place immediately, from 1964 onward. 8. Marcos Hidemi de Lima, “Zero: Uma alegoria do Brasil,” Signótica 23.1 (2012): 88. 9. The idea of an activist journalist is present in “Camila numa semana” (“One week with Camila”), a short story from Brandão’s 1968 collection, Pega ele, Silêncio (Get him, Silêncio), which is narrated by a journalist-­ protagonist. The story itself relates the difficult, fearful environment for journalists as the regime began to crack down on dissent immediately after the 1964 coup—a situation that progressively deteriorated, particularly during the years 1969–1973. For a more detailed analysis of this story, see Baden, Muffled Cries, 37. 10. Vieira, “Entrevista,” 211–212. 11. This is a distinct break from prevailing attitudes regarding politically engaged art fomented on the left by the Centro Populares de Cultura during the Goulart era. As Heloisa Buarque de Hollanda and Marcos Gonçalves explain: “[A] idéia de que a arte é ‘tanto mais expressiva’ quanto mais tenha uma ‘opinão,’ ou seja, quanto mais se faça instrumento para a divulgaçao de conteúdos políticos; a idealização, um tanto problemática, de una aliança

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do artista com o ‘povo,’ concebido como a fonte ‘autêntica’ da cultura; e um certo nacionalismo, explícito na referência de indisfarçavel sotaque populista às ‘tradições de unidade e integração nacionais’ [The idea that art is ‘so much more expressive’ the more ‘opinion’ it has, that is to say, the more it is used for divulging political content; the idealization, a bit problematic to be sure, of the alliance of the artist with the ‘people,’ conceived as the ‘authentic’ source of culture; and a certain nationalism, explicit in the indecipherable populist accent in the ‘traditions of unity and national integration’]” (Buarque de Hollanda and Gonçalves, Cultura e participação nos anos 60 [São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1984], 22–23). 12. Hidemi de Lima, “Zero,” 88. 13. Baden, Muffled Cries, 38. 14. Malcolm Silverman, Moderna ficção brasileira: Ensaios, trans. João Guilherme Linke (Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 1982), 211. 15. Juan Herrero-­Senés, El nihilismo: Disolución y proliferación en la tardomodernidad (Barcelona: Montesino, 2009), 9. 16. Ibid., 13. 17. As a founding modernist, the novelist, poet, and playwright Oswald de Andrade (1890–1954) is a key figure in the history of the Brazilian avant-­ garde. Influenced by the burgeoning avant-­garde movements in Europe, de Andrade shaped the Brazilian avant-­garde with his novels, manifestos, and plays. His Manifesto antropófago (Cannibalist manifesto) (1928) served as a philosophical cornerstone for neo-­concrete artists in the late 1950s and the Tropicália movement in the 1960s, with both re-­articulating some of de Andrade’s arguments concerning Brazilian culture and art decades after its original inception. De Andrade’s manifesto focused on the syncretic nature of Brazil, discarding notions of a national essence while employing the anthropophagic tendencies of the Tupinambá natives as the root trope for expounding upon Brazil’s unique cultural reality, with all its seemingly irreconcilable contradictions. The cannibalist trope acknowledges the undeniable influence of metropolitan culture upon the national cultures in the periphery, making selective and critical absorption and incorporation of cultural products and technologies from abroad its fundamental component. De Andrade rejects notions of adopting or copying an intact, untouched, prefabricated/preconceived foreign cultural scheme, and his position can be seen as more aligned with Néstor García Canclini’s ideas on hybridization. García Canclini recognizes and explores the inherent contradictions brought about by a melding of cultural practices, defining hybridization as “procesos socioculturales en los que estructuras y prácticas discretas, que existían en forma separada, se combinan para generar nuevas estructuras, objetos y prácticas [sociocultural processes in which

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discrete social and cultural practices that existed in separate forms combine to generate new structures, objects, and practices]” (Culturas híbridas [Hybrid Cultures], 14). De Andrade’s conversion to and eventual abandonment of Marxist communism, and the political activity which came about from that, were also sources of controversy while informing his work during the 1930s through the mid-­1940s. 18. Oswald de Andrade, Obras completas, vol. 2 (Rio de Janeiro: Civilzação Brasileira, 1971), 32. 19. Oswald de Andrade, Seraphim Grosse Pointe, trans. K. David Jackson and Albert G. Bork (Austin: Nefertiti Head, 1979), 5. 20. Earl E. Fitz, Brazilian Narrative Traditions in a Comparative Context (New York: Modern Language Association, 2005), 127. 21. K. David Jackson, Bibliografia e antologia crítica das vanguardas literárias (Frankfurt: Vervuert; Madrid: Iberoamericana, 1998), xiv. 22. Fitz, Brazilian Narrative Traditions, 130 (emphasis mine). 23. The movement was initiated in 1952 by Décio Pignatari (b. 1927) and brothers Haroldo de Campos (1929–2003) and Augusto de Campos (b. 1931). It was they who were responsible for the subsequent publication of the magazine Noigandres, which brought attention to the movement. All three poets had important ties to artists from other fields, including Hélio Oiticica, and often published on arts and culture in the Brazilian press. 24. Carlos André Carvalho, Tropicalismo: Geléia geral das vanguardas poéticas contemporâneas brasileiras (Recife: Coleção Teses, 2008), 79. 25. There are diverging schools of thought on the limits of the term “Tropicália,” the time period it covers, and what art forms it constitutes. Christopher Dunn, the foremost American scholar on the subject, argues for a greater specificity, limiting its scope to the music produced in 1967 and 1968 and suggesting that the association of the term with film, literature, and other art forms has emerged after the fact. On the other hand, critics such as the Argentinian art historian/curator Carlos Basualdo, the Brazilian critic Ivana Bente, and Caetano Veloso himself have argued for a wider, more encompassing definition, extending its period of existence to 1972. 26. Composer, singer, writer, and overall cultural icon Caetano Veloso (b. Santo Amaro da Purificação, Bahia, 1942) should need no introduction to many. Veloso has been one of the key figures in Brazilian culture since the mid-­1960s and one of the founders, along with Gilberto Gil and the rock band Os Mutantes, of the musical wing of the Tropicália movement. A student of philosophy, film, and literature, Veloso brings an intellectual sophistication to his observations and opinions that is often missing in pop stars of his stature.

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27. Composer, guitarist, and cultural icon Gilberto Gil (né Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira; b. Salvador, Bahia, 1942) should also need no introduction. Gil helped spearhead the inclusion of rock in Tropicália upon discovering the Beatles in 1967. A gifted guitarist and singer, Gil has also been involved in politics on and off since the 1980s. He has been an important advocate for black racial issues in Brazil since the 1970s. Gil served as Brazil’s minister of culture from 2003 until 2008. 28. Composer, singer, and multi-­instrumentalist Tom Zé (né Antônio José Santana Martins; b. Irará, Bahia,1936) is perhaps the most avant-­garde of the Tropicalists. Zé studied music while at the University of Bahia alongside European exiles Ernst Widmer, Walter Smetak, and Hans-­Joachim Koellreutter, all of whom were composers versed in the twentieth-­century avant-­garde. Zé met Gil and Veloso while all were students in Salvador in the mid-­1960s. He continues to be active to this day. 29. Carvalho, Tropicalismo, 53. 30. Caetano Veloso, Tropical Truth, trans. Isabel de Sena (Cambridge, MA: Da Capo, 2003), 102. 31. Flora Süssekind, “Chorus, Contraries, Masses: The Tropicalist Experience and Brazil in the Late Sixties,” in Tropicália: A Revolution in Brazilian Culture (1967–1972), ed. Carlos Basualdo (São Paulo: Cosac Naify, 2005), 33. 32. Cara de Cavalo (né Manoel Moreira) was a notorious bandit from Rio de Janeiro’s favelas and a friend of Oiticica’s. Accused of murdering a detective in the summer of 1964, he was one of the first victims of death squad activity after the coup and was murdered in October of that year. The bandit was also the subject of short stories by Clarice Lispector in the 1960s. For more on this, see Marcelo Monteiro, “Olho por olho” at http://​ favelatemmemoria​.com​.br​/olho​-­­por​-­­olho/. 33. Mari Carmen Ramírez and Héctor Olea, eds., Inverted Utopias: Avant-­ Garde Art in Latin America (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004), 17. 34. Ibid., 322. 35. Ibid., 322. 36. Paulo Herkenhoff, “The Hand and the Glove,” in Ramírez and Olea, Inverted Utopias, 332. 37. Filmmaker, actor, and director Glauber Rocha (1939–1981) was a key figure in the development of Brazil’s Cinema Novo in the 1960s. His combination of political themes, Brazilian archetypes drawn from history and folklore, and incorporation of international trends in film helped define the Cinema Novo movement from its beginnings. 38. Heloísa Buarque de Hollanda and Marcos Gonçalves, Cultura e participação nos anos 60 [Culture and participation in the 1960s], 47–48. 39. Veloso, Tropical Truth, 61, 67.

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40. The largest protest was the Passeata dos Cem Mil (Protest March of the One Hundred Thousand), held in Rio de Janeiro on June 26, 1968, in reaction to the murder of a student, Edson Luis, by military police at a previous student protest. The government, instead of bending to the will expressed by the public during these protests, only hardened its stance. 41. In September 1969 the ALN kidnapped the American ambassador, Charles Burke Elbrick. They followed this in 1970 by kidnapping diplomats from Japan, Switzerland, and Germany. The hostages were exchanged for political prisoners, who were then flown into exile. http://​www​.intrinseca​ .com​.br​/blog​/2013​/08​/o​-­­sequestro​-­­do​-­­embaixador​-­­alemao​-­­ehrenfried​ -­­von​-­­holleben/. 42. Baden, Muffled Cries, 52. 43. Emílio Garrastazu Médici (1905–1985) was the third president under the dictatorship, serving from 1969 until 1974, following Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco (1964–1967) and Artur da Costa e Silva (1967– 1969). Médici presided over the most violent period as well as the most prosperous period of the dictatorship. This prosperity ended abruptly with the global oil crisis of 1973. 44. Baden, Muffled Cries, 53. 45. A common goal among the artists mentioned above and Brandão himself is that of provoking their middle-­class audiences to a greater consciousness of the situation at hand and snapping them out of their apathetic state. An obvious critique of this phenomenon is Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso’s “Panis et Circensis,” a song that was recorded twice in 1968, once on the Tropicália record-­manifesto of the same name and then on the first Os Mutantes (one of the seminal psychedelic Tropicália rock bands) record. This title is derived from the original Latin phrase “panem et circensis” (bread and circuses), which was coined by the Roman satirist Juvenal (AD 55–60[?]–127) in AD 100 in reference to how the ruling classes appeased the masses by distracting or diverting them from contemplating the real issue at hand: their own subjugation. The song subtly takes aim at the regime’s use of television as a means of distraction and appeasement of the general public to foster apathy. In addition to the public spectacles already present in Brazilian Carnaval and other local celebrations, the regime had at its disposal the ever-­growing television market, with its sensationalist yellow journalism, ongoing reports about the space program of the United States, and music variety programming, among other things, providing the necessary distractions on a daily basis. 46. Fitz, Brazilian Narrative Traditions, 133. 47. Emir Rodríguez Monegal, “Escribir bajo los ojos de la censura: Tres novelas brasileñas,” Vuelta 4.38 (1980): 38.

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48. Ibid., 37. 49. Cited in Baden, Muffled Cries, xix. 50. Fitz, Brazilian Narrative Traditions, 133. 51. Sandra Reimão, “Dois livros censurados: Feliz ano novo e Zero,” Comunicação e Sociedade 29.50 (2008): 153. 52. Maria Beatriz Sá, “A contemporaneidade em Zero de Ignácio de Loyola Brandão,” in A prática significante e vanguarda de Clarice Lispector, Ignácio de Loyola, Rubem Fonseca, Osman Lins, ed. Ivaldo Santos Bittencourt (Paraíba: Editora Universitária, 1980), 52. 53. Zero was one of several books by well-­known authors banned during the 1970s. For a more detailed analysis, see Baden, Muffled Cries; Rodríguez Monegal, “Escribir bajo los ojos de la censura”; and Reimão, “Dois livros censurados.” 54. Mairim Linck Piva, “Outras faces do Brasil,” Caderno Pedagógico, Lajeado 7.1 (2010): 55. 55. The description of Gê in the novel leaves little doubt about this association, for the Communist guerrillas “seriam comandados por um guerrilhero magro, barbudo, que fumava charuto . . . ele se formara em medicina e depois largara tudo” (83) (“were commanded by a thin, bearded guerrilla who smoked a cigar . . . he studied medicine and later dropped everything”). 56. As Ronald M. Harmon makes clear in his article comparing Zero and Graciliano Ramos’s 1936 novel Angústia (Anguish), José is not the first anti-­ hero character to appear in a critical politically oriented novel. Harmon points out the main similarity: “Ambos Angústia e Zero se estruturam ao redor de um protagonista complexo, frustrado, desajustado, vitimizado por uma sociedade defeituosa, e que, no seu desespero, se revolta e vitimiza a outros. Então, centralizando-­se num personagem nada convencional, a estrutura externa nos dois romances é caracterizada por um completo desprendimento do convencional [Both Angústia and Zero are structured around a complex, frustrated, maladjusted protagonist who is victimized by a defective society and who, in his desperation, revolts and victimizes others. So, focusing on an unconventional character, the external structure of both novels is characterized by a complete detachment from the conventional]” (“Angústia e Zero: Depoimentos da repressão,” Hispania 73.1 [1990]: 67). 57. Hélio Oiticica, cited in Ramírez and Olea, Inverted Utopias, 322. 58. Christopher Dunn, “Tropicália, Counterculture, and the Diasporic Imagination in Brazil,” in Brazilian Popular Music and Globalization, ed. Charles A. Perrone and Christopher Dunn (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2001), 3. 59. Carol Anne Mahsun, Pop Art and the Critics (Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press, 1987), 5.

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60. Ibid., 12. 61. Eduardo Subirats, Culturas virtuales (Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva, 2001), 13. 62. To these points we can also add a comment from the Manifesto antropófago illustrating de Andrade’s opposition to adopting foreign culture by simply reheating it for home (Brazilian) use. The last suggestion of “folhear e usar” in the song also goes directly to the problem posed by Roberto Schwarz years later in his essay “Misplaced ideas” (“Ideias fora do lugar”) regarding the basic shortcomings of the premises of the foreign thought upon which key portions of Brazilian culture are founded. Pedro Pires Bessa, Loyola Brandão: A televisão na literatura (Juiz de Fora: Editorial da Universidade Federal Juiz de Fora, 1988), 73. 63. René Ceballos, “Ejercicios de poder y memoria fragmentada en Zero: romance pre-­histórico, de Ignácio de Loyola Brandão,” Taller de Letras 49 (2011): 65–66. 64. For example, I have alluded only in passing to the use of techniques from concrete poetry here, though there are a plethora of examples within the novel that lend themselves to being studied as a whole or individually. There are other elements of the text that evoke the multisensorial experience of Hélio Oiticica’s work, among other aspects.

4 Canto Libre F ol k M u s ic a n d S ol i dari t y i n t he A m e ric a s , 1 967– 1974

-­ Ashley Black

I

n July 1967, the American blues and folk singer Barbara Dane and her partner, Irwin Silber, a radical journalist and stalwart supporter of American folk music, defied an order of the US State Department and traveled to Cuba. They went there to attend the first Encuentro Internacional de la Canción Protesta, a gathering of activist musicians from around the world who were invited to the island as part of a government initiative to share ideas, build networks of solidarity, and create new works in support of struggles for Third World liberation. Reflecting on the Encuentro three years later, Dane described the experience of watching revolutionaries from around the world splashing in the waves at Veradero, where, “for the moment, Europeans and Americans, Asians and Africans with such serious work at hand were indistinguishable from any group of rowdy tourists—with the difference that we were all conscious of the tremendous struggles waged to secure our right as peoples of all races and from the lower economic classes.”1

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For Dane and Silber, their experience in Cuba was profoundly influential; they had taken part in a meeting that brought together musicians and activists from across the globe, all of whom were committed to shared ideals and yet, up to that point, had known nothing of each other. Determined to carry on the objectives of the Encuentro when they returned home, the two founded Paredon Records, a label created with the explicit purpose of spreading awareness and fostering solidarity, through music, with revolutionary movements around the world.2 This chapter traces the paths of folk musicians from the global North who crossed borders and crossed paths with musicians from the global South between the first Cuban Encuentro in 1967 to the Chilean solidarity concert that was held at Madison Square Garden’s Felt Forum in May 1974. It draws upon varied and, at times, fragmented sources, ranging from album liner notes to personal interviews, newspaper articles, published biographies, and memoirs. Taken together, such sources provide valuable information about the movements and experiences of folk musicians who traveled between North and South, but beyond that, they carry important lessons about how the artists themselves perceived the meaning and the function of music and its ability to transcend cultural differences. Narrowing in on the experiences of two individual characters, Barbara Dane and Phil Ochs, and tracing the threads of their stories allows us to deepen our understanding of the role of culture in forming personal bonds of solidarity. The process of building personal bonds of solidarity differs from other forms of recruitment, engagement, and mobilization of social movements, which often rely more heavily on the identification of a common political position or a particular set of grievances. Within the theoretical literature, personal bonds are viewed either as part of structural conditions of mobilization or as part of rational choice in the formation of a sense of collective belonging.3 The tension between these two approaches was the impetus for the development of collective identity formation theory,4 which posits that a desirable social identity is cultivated through a social movement and brings together participants for whom attachment to this kind of identity is suitable. This theory has been critiqued, along with structural-­behavior models, for not being able to deal with the complexity of the individual. This chapter answers that criticism by examining the role of the individual, as artist and participant, within the construction of a solidarity movement.

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Mu s ic a n d S ol i da ri t y i n t h e Ame rica s In 1967 Dane and Silber were in the vanguard of US citizens who broke the embargo to visit Cuba, but they were also part of a growing group of people who found common cause between North and South America through the language and experience of folk music. I use “folk music” here as an umbrella term to cover a range of musical forms closely tied to the social and political upheaval of the 1960s, in particular the protest music of the United States and nueva canción of South America.5 Though each form has its own unique history and characteristics, they share three important qualities: first, both are derived from traditional, folkloric instruments and musical formations; second, the lyrics often reflect themes related to the common person; and third, they are used for the explicit purpose of speaking out against social, political, and economic ills—in this case, those often associated with capitalist modernity.6 For many who opposed the capitalist system and its violent underpinnings, the past provided a sense of comfort that could best be expressed culturally through a revival of traditional musical forms, music that hadn’t been “corrupted” by commercialization. Rooted as it was in the recovery of national folklores, folk music expressed an inherent sense of nostalgia for an idealized past and thus provided an outlet for those paralyzed by the injustices of the present. Folk music contributed to the formation of solidarity networks by providing a common language for activists in the North and South who sought solace from the injustices of capitalist modernity in the idea of an authentic past.7 If studies of solidarity must grapple with the question of how it is that distant “others” enter into our social consciousness “as [those] to whom responsibilities are owed,” as historian Jessica Stites Mor has noted, then music can be understood as one piece of a larger puzzle that is the creation of shared identities.8 Recent studies of transnational solidarity have stressed the importance of empathy, of developing “receptivity to the situation of other individuals and groups.”9 Directing our attention to the question of empathy enables us to move beyond conceptions of solidarity that focus on action and organization, and to recognize solidarity networks that take shape in more subtle ways, such as awareness campaigns and even through simple bonds of friendship.10 It is in this latter sense that folk music functioned as a means of solidarity: it provided a shared language and conveyed a sense of common values to people from disparate regions and cultures. Folk music enabled this particular “other” to enter

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into the consciousness of musical performers and their audiences as someone who shared a common identity. In his study of folk music in the United States, William  G. Roy compares the role of music in two separate but related social movements: the Old Left of the 1930s to 1950s and the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Roy argues that both movements carried out “cultural projects,” consciously using culture as a tool in the pursuit of their social and political goals. Old Leftists and civil rights activists strategically adopted folk music, but the different organizational styles of the two movements led them to use music in different ways. Whereas the Old Left was built in the mold of a political party and used music largely for the purposes of propaganda and recruitment, the church-­style organization of the civil rights movement meant that music was instead used to deepen bonds of solidarity between group members and to serve as a boundary marker, to clarify the distinction between those inside and those outside the movement.11 The Old Left thus relied heavily on lyrical content to express meaning, but for the civil rights movement, Roy argues, the power of folk music had more to do with the relationships in which it was embedded and in the collective act of making music.12 Roy’s model provides a useful starting point for an examination of folk music and North–South solidarity in the latter part of the “long sixties.”13 The North American actors at the center of this account, Dane and Ochs, both came out of the Old Leftist tradition in the United States of which Roy writes; both had connections to organized labor and, at the very least, expressed communist sympathies. Their lyrics were often overtly political and when performed to an English-­speaking audience, they functioned according to Roy’s model, primarily as a means of recruitment and propaganda. However, the language barrier that existed between North American and South American musicians and audiences changed the way that music functioned as a means of communication. Lyrics were no longer the primary source of meaning; instead the sonic quality of the music, with its use of traditional acoustic instruments and simple melodies, became the focus. Even more important, however, was the act of making and sharing music itself. The act of translation, for example, though it emphasized lyrical content, added a new element of shared participation to the performance. In other words, in their interactions with other cultures, North American folk musicians used music in a way similar to how civil rights activists use it: to

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convey a common identity and to bridge cultural differences, to express a sense of solidarity with people who share similar values.14 The liberation movements and revolutionary struggles that shook Latin America during the late 1960s and into the early 1970s were distinct from the powerful upheaval that was occurring in the United States at the time, and yet the struggles in both North and South were part of a larger, global movement that was taking place.15 The degree to which activists around the world were united in their response to global events is one of the most remarkable characteristics that define this era, and yet dissent in every country was shaped by the interplay of global forces and local conditions. While the United States was confronting its own demons, shaken to the core by a powerful movement that brought together civil rights activists and anti-­war protesters, “Third World” peoples increasingly reinterpreted long-­standing social and cultural conflicts through a Cold War lens.16 In Latin America, debates over extreme social inequality with deep roots in the colonial era transformed into a violent and devastating conflict that was fueled by political extremism on both left and right. Many on the left looked to the Soviet Union as a counterbalance to the region’s traditional hegemon and as a potential source of ideological and material support in their struggles against inequality and entrenched oligarchies supported by the North.17 Throughout the hemisphere, Cuba provided a model for revolutionary socialism, but not everyone on the left had given up on democratic change. As guerrilla insurgencies began to take hold in countries throughout the region, Chile attempted to prove that nonviolent revolution was still possible with the election of a socialist president, Salvador Allende, in 1970. Out of this atmosphere of upheaval and discontent, a new generation of folk musicians emerged in the United States and Latin America. Folk movements in the North and South developed in parallel, making music an ideal vehicle for North–South solidarity. Both regions experienced “folk revivals” during the 1950s that had evolved into protest music by the sixties.18 Artists such as Violeta Parra in Chile, Atahualpa Yupanqui in Argentina, and Pete Seeger in the United States played key roles in the early development of folk music. The folk genre represented a search for national identity that was rooted in the past, and in both cases folklorists looked to racial minorities as a source of “authenticity.” Whereas the folkloristas of South America looked for authenticity in an indigenous

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past, those in the North often sought the music of the common people in African American traditions.19 In both regions, the genre was defined by a sense of nostalgia that arose in response to the “onslaught of consumer culture” that exploded after the Second World War.20 As such, the genre maintained its communist associations even during a time of increasing anti-­communism. While the earlier generation of folk musicians had clear political ties to labor and international communism, the protest music that had evolved by the 1960s was a crucial component of struggles for social equality and Third World liberation throughout the Western hemisphere and beyond. In the United States, the movement today is most often remembered in the hands of figures such as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, but it was perhaps most clearly embodied by Phil Ochs, whose music was deeply rooted in the cause of the common person, and whose entire career was closely tied to the movement of the 1960s. In Latin America, protest music took many forms, but it too reflected socialist ideals. Musicians saw themselves not as individual artists in pursuit of personal glory but as representatives of something bigger than themselves. The Uruguayan musician Carlos Molina described the protest song as “more than the song of the professional artist. It must be the song of the people.”21 This sentiment was shared by many of the most committed folk and protest musicians of Latin America during this period, who increasingly saw it as their role to give a voice to the people and to actively engage their audiences in the production of culture.22 This was also an aspiration of folk musicians in the United States and would provide common ground upon which new relationships were forged in moments of contact between musicians and activists from North and South. Th e C a nción P ro t e s ta E nc uen t ro an d P a re d on R e cord s : T he M u s ic I s t h e Me ss a ge When Barbara Dane traveled to Cuba for the Encuentro Internacional de la Canción Protesta in 1967, it was not the first time she had traveled to attend an international gathering of left-­wing activists. As a young jazz musician singing labor songs in her hometown of Detroit, Dane became involved with a communist organization called American Youth for Democracy and traveled to Prague in 1947 for the first World Festival of Youth and Students, an experience to which she credits her early politicization.23 It was there that Dane came to see herself as part of a larger movement. In an

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interview with Smithsonian Folkways in 1991, Dane claimed that she realized what she was doing in Detroit was “connected to a worldwide impulse of putting your musical abilities at the service of a worldwide movement toward peace and understanding.”24 Dane was aware of two key facts from an early age: first, her role as a musician gave her the power to raise awareness of the political causes that motivated her work; and second, she was part of something not only bigger than herself, but that stretched beyond the borders of the United States, a network of people from vastly different cultures and backgrounds who nonetheless shared the same political ideals. This had a profound impact on the young musician, and in fact shaped the course of her life and her career thereafter. It was her relationship with Irwin Silber that eventually led Dane to Cuba. Silber was a devoted communist, a radical journalist, and a cofounder of the folk music magazine Sing Out!, which served as the most important voice of the US folk music scene throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s.25 Dane and Silber met as a result of their involvement in the civil rights movement, having traveled to Mississippi after the high-­ profile murder of three civil rights workers there in 1964. Afterward Dane returned to New York with Silber, where she first encountered Estela Bravo. As a New Yorker married to an Argentine, living in Cuba, and working for Radio Havana, Estela Bravo was herself a transnational figure, and one who would go on to become an accomplished documentary filmmaker. Since the mid-­1950s, Dane had been increasingly fascinated with Cuba, so when Bravo asked Silber if he knew any American musicians willing to travel to the island, Dane jumped at the opportunity. In 1966 she became one of the first US musicians to break the embargo and travel there. At that time, Cuba was still struggling to shape its new cultural policy. After 1959, the revolutionary government attributed great importance to the role of culture in the struggle against imperialism, making the promotion of art a central component of its policy during the early 1960s. Music and other art forms were viewed from a Marxist perspective, which posited that revolutionary art should be freely available to the masses.26 Music was valued for its potential to spread ideas, and the Castro administration created several institutions to promote musical development on the island and organized events designed to foster international cultural exchange. Just which countries should be the focus of such exchange was a source of tension, however. Despite a widely acknowledged flowering of creativity in the first years of the revolution, Cold War tensions ratcheted up after

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1961’s failed US invasion at the Bay of Pigs, and with increased anxieties came restrictions on cultural producers. As the government attempted to identify and promote music that was authentically Cuban, it censored what it believed to be corrupting foreign influences, namely those from the United States and other Western powers—a policy that was often counter to the will of both musicians and the listening public.27 Nonetheless, in its attempt to walk the fine line between censorship and cultural innovation, the Cuban government sponsored numerous international events aimed at fostering cultural exchange, but also as a means to promote a positive image of Cuba abroad.28 This was the inspiration for the First Encuentro Internacional de la Canción Protesta (International Festival of Protest Music) in 1967, an event that brought together musicians from all over the world in an expression of solidarity for Cuba. According to Dane, the goal of attendees was to “discover the ways in which [they] could better serve the powerful currents of history moving around us all.”29 Although more than fifty representatives of the US music industry were invited, only three defied the State Department to attend.30 This was perhaps not surprising, given the state of tension between the United States and Cuba at the time, as the Castro regime continued to support revolutionary movements throughout Latin America and the United States was providing training and materials for the repression of those very same movements.31 Dane and Silber boldly broke the embargo and in Cuba met with musicians from all over the world, including Italy, England, and even North Vietnam, alongside representatives from throughout Latin America. The Encuentro proved to be a formative event for many groups and individuals, including Dane. The conference was held at Veradero, the famous beach that had once been the domain of wealthy tourists but was now in the hands of the workers who had long been responsible for its maintenance. It was there that delegates from all over the world discussed the problem of communication: the challenge of how to reach a broad audience with their message, especially in those countries where repression was severe. The musicians also expressed their frustration at the lack of connections among them; they lamented the fact that despite being motivated by the same goals and ideals, most barely knew the others existed. For Dane and Silber, the solution was to create their own record label, and Paredon Records was born there on the beach, where some of the very first material produced by the label was also recorded.

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“Paredón” translates roughly as “big wall” in English, and according to Dane, the name reflected the project’s goal of tearing down the barriers that existed between US audiences and musicians from the global South.32 To those who struggled against the United States, Dane was a powerful ally, for she fought from within the belly of the beast. As such, she found herself invited to events around the world, where she was given the opportunity to meet artists associated with various revolutionary movements; she would often ask these musicians for material to release through Paredon. The more she traveled, the more frustrated Dane became with her inability to convey the enormity of her experiences to friends and audiences in the United States, but Paredon provided a means to get her message across. In a culture that was intent on “consuming itself”—shutting out foreign influences and constantly looking only inward for inspiration—Dane saw Paredon as a way to break through that isolation.33 The Paredon project was motivated by a powerful sense of idealism, and Dane saw herself as a key figure in the promotion of revolutionary music. Dane’s motives are apparent in the first album released by Paredon, meant as a tribute to the Encuentro, which had inspired the label. In its structure, Canción Protesta set the tone for the other albums that would follow. Each contains extensive liner notes intended to provide necessary background information for listeners who were generally unfamiliar with the political currents shaping the albums’ content. Dane was determined that the notes wouldn’t be superficial, that they wouldn’t serve merely as an “adjunct” to the music, but that they would be equally important, providing listeners with a lesson about the countries of origin of the music and the struggles faced by the artists.34 Although Dane occasionally wrote the notes herself, more often than not she enlisted the help of people with intimate knowledge of the subjects. Following the liner notes were the song lyrics, in both their original languages and in their English translations. Although their idea had initially been to adapt the songs to English, Dane and Silber decided the best approach was to leave them in their original form, to allow the listener to experience each song as it had originally been written. The Canción Protesta album tells the story of the Encuentro, but it also situates the event within the broader context of the protest song movement that was taking shape in Latin America at the time. Dane states explicitly that the artists who attended the Encuentro, and who would be represented in the Paredon collection, were those whose interests were

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driven by the movement rather than the pursuit of their own careers. “The singer of Canción Protesta,” she claims, “does not simply document history, but tries to affect it, and to this we dedicate ourselves.”35 This sentiment echoed the words of the Uruguayan musician Yamansu Palacio, who is quoted in the liner notes as stating, “Protest songs must do more than denounce. They must struggle against all injustice—political and economic. The artist must have a fighting attitude and must be prepared to accept the risks and consequences of his work.”36 Although artists such as Palacio and Dane saw themselves as part of a larger movement of protest song, other musicians felt constrained by that title. The Chilean musician Víctor Jara, for example, who was not present at the Encuentro, preferred that his own work be defined as “revolutionary song.”37 Jara’s claim reflects the tension that existed between the musicians of North and South. Many Latin American artists shared the Cuban government’s belief that popular music was a powerful tool of US cultural imperialism. In the words of Víctor Jara, the “cultural invasion” was “a leafy tree which prevents us from seeing our own sun, sky, and stars.”38 Although he respected artists like Pete Seeger and Malvina Reynolds, vocal opponents of US policy in Vietnam, Jara claimed that the commercialization of protest music in the United States had undermined the very meaning of the form, that it neutralized “the innate spirit of rebellion of young people.”39 Latin American protest song, on the other hand, was taken to be an authentic representation of South American cultures that should thus be promoted over foreign musical forms, particularly rock.40 While concern over cultural imperialism was common among the Latin American left, by no means did all share it. The Cuban musical form most clearly associated with the revolution is nueva trova, a genre inspired by the Nueva Canción movement in South America, but which deviated from folk music in its efforts to wed traditional musical forms with the modern and unabashedly adopted influences from foreign artists.41 In the late 1960s, the famous Cuban trovador Silvio Rodríguez was banned from performing in Cuba after naming the Beatles as an influence on his work.42 Cuba would eventually open up to the potential of foreign music as a source of inspiration, but for a time the Beatles were banned from the island altogether.43 This same ambiguity was expressed by Víctor Jara himself, who, despite his call to stop the spread of the cultural invasion, nonetheless also admitted to being a fan of the Beatles.44 What is apparent from this ambiguity is that artists of the global South felt the need to engage with new foreign

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musical forms while maintaining a sense of Latin American authenticity.45 Artists like Jara drew a fine line between “legitimate” protest music and the sanitized, commercialized product of northern protest “music idols.” Unlike much of the era’s commercialized protest music, the material that found its way onto the first Paredon album was unambiguously revolutionary. The first five songs were performed by the Cuban musician Carlos Puebla and recorded on the beach at Veradero.46 The first song tells the story of the beach itself, which had been a playground for wealthy American tourists in the days before the revolution but was now the domain of those who had once served them.47 The last selection by Puebla would undoubtedly have been significant to Paredon’s clientele, particularly by the time of the album’s release in 1970. “Hasta siempre, Comandante” was Puebla’s ode to Ernesto “Che” Guevara, written on the eve of his departure for Bolivia. It remains a popular ode to the Cuban revolutionary to this day. Guevara was killed only three months after the song was recorded at Veradero, and the tone of the song on the album is noticeably upbeat compared to later versions.48 The recording is scratchy and rough, but the celebratory tone of the song is clear and, combined with repeated references to Comandante Che Guevara, its meaning would have been unmistakable to northern listeners acquainted with the Cuban Revolution. While many of Puebla’s songs would likely have met with the approval of northern audiences, the album’s sixth track hit particularly close to home. “Death in the Ring” is a poem written and performed by Nicomedes Santa Cruz. The poem tells the story of Benny “Kid” Paret, a Cuban American boxer who was killed in the ring in 1962—an event witnessed by a live television audience. The poem is critical of US society and speaks to the racial disparities of which, by that point, the entire world was aware. And yet, Santa Cruz, who is himself a black Peruvian, connects Paret’s story to the problems faced by “the blacks, poor blacks, of this world.”49 By situating racial inequality in the United States within a broader framework, Santa Cruz spoke to an issue that was common throughout the Americas. US folk musician Gil Turner had taken up the same story in a 1963 recording called “Benny ‘Kid’ Paret.” Although Turner does not present Paret’s death as part of a global problem of racial disparity, he does interpret the events in much the same way as Santa Cruz. Both artists view Paret’s death as evidence of racial inequality, pointing to the limited options available to young black men at the time and alluding to the spectacle of a black man being beaten to death before a white audience.

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The remainder of the songs on the album speak to the revolutionary tone of the Encuentro, and the Paredon project as a whole, with titles such as “I Love the Students,” “Because the Poor Have Nothing,” and “Verses of Revolution.” It includes performances by key figures in the protest song movement, including Angel and Isabel Parra, children of the late Violeta Parra, and rising stars in the Cuban nueva trova scene, like Silvio Rodríguez and Pablo Milanés.50 The song that perhaps best captures the spirit of folk music throughout the Americas is Daniel Viglietti’s “Canción de mi América.” Although the title translates directly as “Song for My America,” Dane retitled it for the album to accompany her own lyrics, naming it instead “Give Your Hand to the Indian.” It is the only song on the album that Dane didn’t translate directly, instead writing her own lyrics, presumably because in many places Viglietti’s words don’t lend themselves to direct translation. Regardless of their minor differences, however, Dane’s lyrics remain true to the original meaning of the song. In both of its forms, the song draws upon the classic folk music trope of seeking authenticity in a traditional, or indigenous, past. The original version opens with the lyrics, “Give your hand to the Indian / Give it, it will do you well / You will find the road / As I found it yesterday.” Dane’s words deviate only slightly: “Give your hand to the Indian / He will show you the way / He will take you with him / Where he took me yesterday.”51 The path that both artists point to is the road to revolution. The song is a call for all to learn from the struggles of the indigenous peoples, and it is not specific to any one country, but addresses America as a whole. The song’s meaning easily applies to the North as well as the South, for it appeals to a shared history that unites both Americas as former colonies, where the original inhabitants have struggled for centuries to maintain their way of life. In the fight against imperialism, the indio is the original victim, who has managed to survive despite countless horrors and indignities. In a sentiment that echoed the ideals of the indigenismo movement of the previous half-­century, the song represents the belief that the solution to the challenges of both the present and the future could be found in the past.52 In choosing this song for the Canción Protesta album, Dane selected a work that was emblematic of the protest song movement (as this particular song was known throughout the region and sung widely at the time), and that would appeal as well to a US audience with its romanticizing of a past far removed from modernity, a past imbued with a sense of noncapitalist “purity.”

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Canción Protesta set the tone for a project that would last until 1985 and eventually result in the production of fifty albums. Although the Paredon Records collection was global in scope, giving a voice to left-­wing movements from Angola to the Philippines to Vietnam, Latin America occupied a central position in the Paredon repertoire, and Cuba in particular would be the focus of much of the work, as the subject of five different albums.53 Within the first three years after the release of Canción Protesta, Dane and Silber released three albums devoted to Cuba, two to Puerto Rico, one from Mexico, one from Uruguay, and another that addressed the plight of Latin American women in the United States. As with the first album, each successive release provided information on different artists and the movements they represented. Unlike Canción Protesta, however, most of the albums that followed were specifically focused on individual countries, and many highlighted the work of individual artists.54 The strategy of using the work of a single artist to illuminate a larger movement is best demonstrated by the case of the aforementioned Daniel Viglietti of Uruguay, to whom an entire album was dedicated three years after his inclusion in Canción Protesta. The label released Viglietti’s album, titled A Desalambrar (Tear Down the Walls) in 1973.55 The album had been recorded in Cuba and was released by Paredon in an effort to have Viglietti freed from prison following his arrest for alleged collaboration with Uruguay’s urban guerrilla movement, the Tupamaros.56 Paredon released Viglietti’s music without his permission, his recordings having been obtained by Dane from the French label Chant du Monde.57 The notes of the album are devoted to providing an account to US audiences of the Tupamaro movement in Uruguay, which began in 1964 as a response to the concentration of wealth in the hands of an entrenched oligarchy, as well as to United States imperialism. In the liner notes, Dane states: In countries struggling against imperialism, culture is a bitter battleground, since with US investment comes the dollar culture. Insistence on Latin American culture, in a moment when the North American colossus is trying to devour one’s nation, is an act of resistance. Daniel Viglietti, then, is a patriot . . . not just for Uruguay, but for all of Latin America.58

Dane and the artists she promoted shared a profound belief in the importance of music, and attributed to it a crucial role in the Cold War struggles that were taking place during the Vietnam War era. Many of the

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artists who attended the Encuentro, and who were later represented by the Paredon record label, were deeply influenced by the folk music of the previous generation and continued to express sentiments that had reverberated throughout Latin America since the indigenismo movement, confronting the challenges of modernity by appealing to the past. At the same time, this new generation saw themselves as an integral part of the revolutionary movements that were taking place throughout the hemisphere. Viglietti’s arrest and subsequent imprisonment were evidence that culture was, in fact, profoundly political and that musicians in the South faced risks far greater than many in the North could even imagine. Tr av e l i ng T roub a d ou r s : C ro s s - ­B orde r Sojourn s of t he M u s ic a l L eft Viglietti was not the only musician accused of involvement with the Tupamaros. On October 8, 1971, US singer and activist Phil Ochs was arrested at a student rally in Montevideo, along with his travel companion and fellow anti-war activist, David Ifshin. The rally was being held to commemorate the death of Guevara, but it also marked the anniversary of a battle in which Tupamaro rebels had been killed. The two Americans had been invited to attend the rally by a group of Uruguayan students, and Ochs had just begun to sing when shots rang out. A gun battle broke out between students and police, who demanded that the young people remove a banner honoring dead Tupamaro rebels. When a negotiated settlement brought the standoff to an end, the two thought they were free and clear, but when the police saw their foreign passports, they were arrested, accused of being Cuban infiltrators, and taken to an Uruguayan prison. After twenty-­four hours of interrogation, Ochs and Ifshin were put on a plane for Argentina, where they were again arrested and interrogated before finally being put on yet another flight to Bolivia. Advised by their fellow prisoners that the Argentine government was known to disappear dissidents in Bolivia, the two managed to enlist the help of their British pilot and were able to stay on board the plane all the way to Lima, where they made their escape.59 Montevideo wasn’t Ochs’s primary destination when he left the United States, but the trip had come about as the result of a chance encounter with Ifshin while the singer was visiting Chile. Ochs was a stalwart, like Bob Dylan, of the anti-­war movement in the United States that came out

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of the Greenwich Village scene in the early 1960s. While Dylan achieved fame as one of the era’s biggest stars, Ochs was much more a product of the times. As a topical singer, he used his music to spread awareness of the social and political challenges facing the United States at the time. Early songs, such as “Here’s to the State of Mississippi” and his ode to Medgar Evars, “Too Many Martyrs,” demonstrated Ochs’s support for the civil rights movement, although the singer is most often identified as a staunch opponent of the war in Vietnam. Ochs was a committed socialist who in many ways represented the idealism that characterized the earliest years of the movement in the United States. By 1971, however, he had become increasingly alienated by events at home and left for Chile, where he hoped to experience firsthand the democratic socialist revolution that had taken place and to “wash” America out of his system.60 Chile provided a counter to the reality that Ochs faced in the United States, proof that the world he longed for was possible. The United States, he claimed, “represents the absolute rule of money . . . to the total detriment of humanity and morals. . . . It destroys the souls of everybody that it touches.”61 Chile, on the other hand, was “a revelation,” a place where the people had elected a Marxist government.62 Having grown increasingly disillusioned with US politics in the wake of the Democratic National Convention in 1968 and the election of Richard Nixon that followed, Ochs went to Chile in search of a socialist utopia and the sort of authenticity that had been central to the US folk revival. Along with his travel companions, anti-­ war activists Jerry Rubin and Stew Albert, Ochs left for Chile in mid-­1971, and the three began a whirlwind tour that took them to jungles and deserts, factories and newspaper offices.63 But it was in a chance encounter in front of the Technical University in Santiago that Ochs found what he was looking for, in the form of Víctor Jara. Phil Ochs and his companions first met Víctor Jara on August 31, 1971, as the Chilean musician was catching a bus into the mountains to visit a copper mine and play for the miners. According to Jara’s wife, Joan, the group of young hippie activists had been trying to get on the bus, which was full of student volunteers headed to the mines to support workers facing a managerial strike. Wary of the tourists, the students refused to let them on board, but Joan introduced them to her husband, who convinced the volunteers to bring them along.64 What followed was, to Ochs, “the best serendipity of the trip.”65 On the bus, the students remained distrustful of the gringos, so Jara, who by that point had discovered that Ochs was

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a musician, suggested they sing some songs to show their good will. Jara began to strum the chords of a tune that was quickly recognized by his guests: Pete Seeger’s “If I Had a Hammer.” As Jara began to sing the words in Spanish, Ochs, Rubin, and Albert accompanied him in English. After winning over their hosts with their praise of Chilean socialism and wine, the three Americans joined Jara on a tour of the mine and attended a basketball game between the miners and the local college team. At halftime, Jara performed a number of songs and was followed by Ochs, who played his famous anti-­Vietnam War anthem, “I Ain’t Marching Anymore,” slowly singing the lyrics so that Jara could translate them into Spanish.66 This incident marks a point at which the almost-­parallel paths of these two musicians briefly crossed. Víctor Jara was a leading figure of the Chilean Nueva Canción movement, and his trajectory as a musician paralleled that of Ochs: both belonged to a genre of protest music that had evolved by the mid-­1960s out of an earlier folk revival, a socially motivated musical form with a clearly political message.67 Both men had been deeply involved in labor movements in their respective countries. Jara’s visit to the mine that day in August was an act of solidarity with workers who were not striking but instead were confronting mine owners trying to shut down operations in an effort to undermine the Allende government.68 This was not Ochs’s first visit to the mines, for the events of that day were reminiscent of his earlier activism with miners in Hazard, Kentucky, which he once described as “the most satisfying thing” that he had ever done as a musician.69 A further similarity was the direct involvement of both musicians in politics, Jara having campaigned for Salvador Allende in the lead-­up to his electoral victory in 1970, and Ochs for Eugene McCarthy in his failed bid during the 1968 Democratic primaries.70 Their divergent experiences in this last regard would mark the two men in very different ways, as Jara continued to be deeply involved in Chilean politics following Allende’s victory in 1970 but Ochs became increasingly despondent after the loss of 1968. Ochs was undoubtedly right in describing their encounter as serendipitous. The men represented two different manifestations of the same movement, characterized by similar sentiments. Jara would likely have been unsurprised to hear that Ochs had traveled to Chile to “wash” himself of the United States, for Jara himself had toured the United States in 1968 and observed the very same forces that left Ochs so disillusioned. It was a sentiment that, to Jara, seemed to characterize many on the North

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American left. In a letter written to his wife during his tour, Jara told her that he wasn’t shocked by his experience with American hippies—a group that had no equivalent in Chile at the time. “It seems to me,” he wrote, “that the hippies are a normal and justifiable reaction against this sinisterly hygienic and mechanised world. . . . The American people are imprisoned in a kind of plastic cage which crushes them with its own weight.”71 Jara’s interpretation of northern culture and society was not uncommon among leftists in Latin America at the time, particularly within the rising folk music scene, which was in many ways a reaction to the spread of American-­style consumption and culture.72 Resistance to capitalist modernity, and the consumer culture it entailed, is a common feature of folk music in both North and South, and is exemplified by the popular Malvina Reynolds song “Little Boxes”—a song that Jara had previously translated and that he performed that day at the mine. The song is a tongue-­in-­cheek ditty that laments the spread of suburban housing developments, described as “little boxes on the hillside / little boxes made of ticky-­tacky,” in a reference to their cheap construction. It laments the fact that “they all look just the same.” Pete Seeger made the song a hit in 1963, and it was his version that first attracted Víctor Jara, who, with the help of his wife, Joan, translated it into Spanish and adapted it to a critique of the Santiago neighborhood of Barrio Alto in which they lived. The song maintained its cheery tune, but Jara gave it his own spin, depicting the upper-­class residents of the barrio as mass consumers, driving Peugeots and watching television. His criticism takes on a sinister tone in the last verse, which describes right-­wing gangsters driving Austin Minis, who made a sport of murdering generals.73 The verse was a reference to the 1970 murder of the military commander in chief, General René Schneider, who was killed in a botched kidnap attempt after he upheld Allende’s victory and prevented a military coup. “Las casitas del Barrio Alto” was among the songs that Jara performed during the basketball game that he attended with Ochs. In recalling the events of that day, Stew Albert marveled at Jara’s interpretation of such a familiar song, describing it as “folk music in its truest form, created by local experience and need.”74 “Las casitas del Barrio Alto” provides a powerful example of music’s ability to create a common language. Although Jara translated the song and performed it in Spanish, the appeal of “Little Boxes” was its universal meaning, and a sentiment that was shared by folk musicians and left-­wing activists in both the North and the South. It was a critique of capitalist

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modernity that used humor and simplicity to spread a powerful message, and thus had a broad appeal. In this particular encounter, however, it also served as a source of common ground. Jara played a song that united himself and his audience to the foreigners in their midst, in the same way that he had on the bus when he sang “If I Had a Hammer.” By singing along, even in a different language, Ochs, Rubin, and Albert were able to express a shared identity, a common bond. Even though they were gringos, the fact that they too knew the words to these songs made it clear that they were allies. It is worth noting here the somewhat ephemeral presence of Pete Seeger in this incident. It was Seeger’s music that Jara chose to play on the bus, and it was his version of “Little Boxes” that inspired “Las casitas del Barrio Alto.” Though he wasn’t physically present, the events of that day speak to Seeger’s importance in breaking down borders through music. Although Seeger was not opposed to translating foreign music into En­glish, he often felt that it was impossible to write a translation that truly captured the meaning of the original.75 This was the case with “Guantanamera,” a song that took words from a poem written by the nineteenth-­century Cuban revolutionary José Martí and put them to music by Joseíto Fernández. Seeger popularized the tune in the United States in the early 1960s as song of peaceful protest after the Cuban missile crisis. Seeger felt something of the song was lost in translation, and he thus performed it in Spanish, often explaining the meaning to his English-­speaking audience as spoken word between verses. But his decision to learn and perform the song in its original Spanish form was also a powerful message of solidarity, for it demonstrated that Seeger recognized the cultural significance of language and showed Spanish-­speaking listeners a degree of respect that earned him a lasting reputation as an ally in the struggle against cultural imperialism. Given Seeger’s efforts to incorporate folk music from all over the world into his repertoire, not to mention the ideological sympathies that he shared with Cuba and Chile, it is not surprising that his music was used to forge solidarity between North and South, or that it played a key role in building a bridge between wary Chilean students and a group of long-­ haired gringos. When the Chilean military overthrew Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973, Víctor Jara was among the thousands of people who were rounded up and detained in the Estadio de Chile in the wake of the coup. After he was recognized by one of the soldiers, Jara was separated from

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the rest of the population and beaten badly by his captors. Legend has it that soldiers later cut off Jara’s hands before a crowd of horrified onlookers, taunting him to sing, at which point he raised his voice and sang the anthem of Allende’s Popular Unity Party, “Venceremos.” As thousands of prisoners sang with him, enraged soldiers shot him down in a hail of bullets. This is the story recounted by journalist Miguel Cabenzas, and it was excerpted by Stew Albert in the article he wrote commemorating Jara’s death.76 In contrast, the story uncovered by Jara’s widow, Joan, lacks the drama of Cabenzas’s account, but is probably far closer to the truth. A source that claims to have seen Víctor shortly before his death describes that he was separated from his friends and taken to the basement, where he was tortured, his hands not cut off but broken. It seems that one detail of the myth is true, however, for the witness claims to have heard Jara’s torturer “on the verge of hysteria,” taunting Víctor to sing. He did indeed find the courage to sing a verse of “Venceremos” before they killed him, although he sang it not before thousands of people but alone, his voice echoing through the dressing rooms that had become a torture chamber.77 Like so many others around the world, Ochs was devastated by Jara’s death, but he was also moved to action, and his experience in Chile manifested in one of the first benefits for Chilean solidarity to be held in the United States. By the time of the coup, Phil Ochs’s own career had reached a standstill and his mental and emotional well-­being had taken a turn for the worse. News of his friend’s death proved a powerful source of motivation, however, and Ochs organized an event that would pay tribute to both Jara and Allende. The concert, “An Evening with Salvador Allende,” was held May 9, 1974, at Madison Square Garden’s Felt Forum, and featured a long list of distinguished guests, including Joan Jara and Isabel Allende, the daughter of the fallen president. Pete Seeger opened the show with “Guantanamera” and was followed by numerous performances by Arlo Guthrie, including a musical rendition of a poem written for Jara by the English poet Adrian Mitchell. Also present was Dennis Hopper, of Easy Rider fame, who read to the crowd Allende’s last speech, and Bob Dylan, whose appearance toward the end of the evening proved crucial in selling tickets for the event. According to Stew Albert, who was in attendance that day, the highlight of the event was when Pete Seeger read Jara’s last poem, “Estadio de Chile,” which was smuggled out of the stadium where he met his death.78 Part of the poem reads:

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What horror the face of fascism creates! They carry out their plans with precision. Nothing matters to them. The blood is medals for them, Slaughter is the badge of heroism. Is this the world you created, oh, my God? Was it for this your seven days of amazement and toil?79

Having recently suffered damage to his vocal chords, Ochs opted not to perform, but he did get on stage at the end of the show to join a group performance of “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Altogether, $30,000 was raised to support Chilean refugees.80 C onclu s ion In 1973, Chile’s democratic socialist revolution came to a violent end, but the years immediately prior had been a time of unparalleled idealism, intense creativity, and political mobilization. Left-­wing activists throughout the Americas continued to look to Cuba as a source of inspiration, but the election of Salvador Allende in 1970 provided many observers with powerful proof that socialism could come through the ballot box. During these years, individual musicians played an important role in forging ties of solidarity. By creating a common language, music conveyed to listeners that they shared common interests, goals, and experiences. Though their immediate challenges were different, the left in both North and South ultimately rebelled against the same enemy: the injustices wrought by capitalist modernity and imperialism. In the United States and Latin America, folk music provided a voice to those dissatisfied with the status quo, and in doing so became a powerful vehicle for solidarity. The earliest folk musicians looked to the past for answers to the challenges of the present, while the generation that followed merged music with activism and put culture at the forefront of an ideological conflict that was global in scope. Despite the clear parallels that defined folk music in the United States and Latin America, the goals and values that united them were not immediately clear to folk musicians. Events like the 1967 Encuentro Internacional de la Canción Protesta played a key role in bridging the geographic and cultural divides that separated such artists, and in strengthening support not only for the Cuban Revolution but also

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for the left-­wing movements that were rising throughout the Third World at the time. The Castro administration’s cultural policies, though not free of conflict, reflected a clear awareness of music’s power to spread ideas and build support for their political project; in short, they mirror the use of music by the Old Left in the United States as observed by Roy. In bridging barriers of culture and language, however, the function of music had to go beyond lyrical content, beyond mere propaganda. The meeting between Phil Ochs and Víctor Jara in 1971 speaks to the importance of the shared act of making music; as Ochs, Jara, and their audience sang together in English and Spanish, as they translated the words to music they both knew, they used music to bridge the cultural and linguistic difference that separated them and discovered a shared identity and bond. In their search for authenticity, North American musicians like Barbara Dane and Phil Ochs looked toward the socialist countries of Latin America for answers. Their travels and their subsequent efforts to disseminate Latin American music and spread awareness to their US audiences carry key lessons for historians as we continue to refine and reshape our understanding of the Cold War in the Americas. The cases presented here speak to the potential for music to bring the “other” into our social consciousness, to create a sense of shared values and a common identity. But they also raise important questions about the process by which this happens and the need to recognize the social process of music as a shared experience. Finally, the experiences of figures like Barbara Dane, Phil Ochs, and Víctor Jara highlight solidarity movements as a tool to further our understanding of the global changes that defined the long sixties. Notes 1. Liner notes, Canción Protesta, various artists, Paredon Records, P1001. 2. Dane and Silber’s experience in Cuba is recounted in both the liner notes to the Canción Protesta album and an interview conducted by Jeff Place of Smithsonian Folkways in December 1991, http://​www​.folkways​.si​ .edu​/images​/from​_the​_archives​/10​/paredon​_interview​.pdf (accessed Feb. 2, 2013). 3. Debra Friedman and Doug McAdam, “Collective Identity and Activism: Networks, Choices, and the Life of a Social Movement,” in Frontiers in Social Movement Theory, ed. Aldon D. Morris and Carol McClurg Mueller (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992), 156–157.

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4. Karl-­Dieter Opp, Theories of Political Protest and Social Movements (New York: Routledge, 2009), 221. 5. For detailed political and historical analyses of folk music, see William G. Roy, Reds, Whites, and Blues: Social Movements, Folk Music, and Race in the United States (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010); Ron Eyerman and Andrew Jamison, Music and Social Movements: Mobilizing Traditions in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998); Robert Cantwell, When We Were Good: The Folk Revival (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996); and Ron Eyerman and Scott Barretta, “From the 30s to the 60s: The Folk Music Revival in the United States,” Theory and Society 25.4 (1996): 501–543. In a recent work on Chilean nueva canción, Patrice McSherry argues that music was not only a reflection of politics but also a catalyst for political change; J. Patrice McSherry, Chilean New Song: The Political Power of Music, 1960s–1973 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2015). Other works on nueva canción include Jan Fairley, “La nueva canción latinoamericana,” Bulletin of Latin American Research 3.2 (1984): 107–115; and Jane Tumas-­Serna, “The ‘Nueva Canción’ Movement and Its Mass-­Mediated Performance Context,” Latin American Music Review 13.2 (1992): 139–157. 6. Roy identifies the three main themes of North American folk music as “the political, the nostalgic, and the populist” (Reds, Whites, and Blues, 3). 7. Many proponents of the Nueva Canción movement in Latin America looked to the indigenous past as the source of an authentic national identity, despite the fact that many of the countries most closely tied to the movement maintained little to nothing of an indigenous present. The “authentic” was frequently cast in opposition to the influx of foreign, commercial musical forms, especially from the United States. In contrast, representatives of the US counterculture movement sought authenticity as an experience. To many, this could be found in Latin America, where they traveled in order to flee the trappings of capitalist modernity in search of an “authenticity” presumed to reside in the global South, leading many North American hippies to cross the border into Mexico. For a discussion of authenticity and nueva canción, see for example Fairley, “La nueva canción latinoamericana,” 109; Ericka Kim Verba, “To Paris and Back: Violeta Parra’s Transnational Performance of Authenticity,” The Americas 70.2 (2013): 277; and Robert Neustadt, “Music as Memory and Torture: Sounds of Repression and Protest in Chile and Argentina,” Chasqui 33.1 (2004): 128. The North American hippie movement and the search for authenticity is discussed in Eric Zolov, Refried Elvis: The Rise of the Mexican Counterculture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), 138–140; and Claudio Lomnitz, Deep Mexico, Silent Mexico: An Anthropology of Nationalism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001), 135.

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8. Jessica Stites Mor, “Introduction: Situating Transnational Solidarity within Critical Human Rights Studies of Cold War Latin America,” in Human Rights and Transnational Solidarity in Cold War Latin America, ed. Jessica Stites Mor (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013), 4. 9. Carol Gould, “Transnational Solidarities,” Journal of Social Philosophy 38.1 (2007): 160. 10. Margaret Power and Julie A. Charlip, “Introduction: On Solidarity,” special issue, Latin American Perspectives 36.6 (2009): 6. 11. For a discussion of the organizational structure of the two movements and their uses of music, see Roy, Reds, Whites, and Blues, 4–9. Roy defines two of the key functions of music within social movements as “bounding” and “bridging,” the acts of creating and sustaining “consequential categorizations and distinctions among people” and of creating relationships that cross existing divisions, respectively (Roy, Reds, Whites, and Blues, 18–20). 12. Ibid., 10–12. 13. The periodization of the “long 1960s” was first proposed by historian Arthur Marwick in 1998. Marwick approached the subject of the sixties from a decidedly social and cultural perspective, arguing that if we are to understand the enormous transformations of the decade, we must expand our frame. He identifies 1958 as the beginning of the era, when structural and economic changes put in place at the end of the Second World War began to take effect, and marks 1974 as the end point, when the effects of the OPEC oil embargo began to be felt and the anti-­war movement finally believed that an end to the Vietnam War was in sight. Arthur Marwick, The Sixties: Cultural Transformation in Britain, France, Italy, and the United States, c. 1958–c. 1974 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 7. 14. In their classic study of music and social movements, Eyerman and Jamison argue that music functions as what they refer to as “cognitive praxis,” as a means of knowledge production. They argue that “in the creative turmoil that is unleashed within social movements, modes of cultural action are redefined and given new meaning as sources of collective identity” (Eyerman and Jamison, Music and Social Movements, 6). 15. The global nature of the protest and countercultural movements of the 1960s has made the era particularly appealing to historians since the transnational turn, with a particular emphasis on the events of 1968. Jeremy Suri explores the interplay of grassroots protests and global geopolitics, arguing that the most important factor uniting protestors around the globe during the 1960s was the perception of “false promises,” as world leaders failed to meet the rising popular expectations that accompanied the wealth of the postwar era. Jeremy Suri, Power and Protest: Global Revolution

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and the Rise of Détente (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003), 165. More recently, a special issue of The Americas has called for increased scholarly engagement with the transnational nature of what has increasingly being referred to as the “Global Sixties.” Eric Zolov, ed., Latin America in the Global Sixties, special issue, The Americas 70.3 (2014). Other works exploring the subject of the Global Sixties include Carol Fink, Philipp Gassert, and Detlef Junker, eds., 1968: The World Transformed (Washington, DC: German Historical Institute, 1998); and Mark Kurlansky, 1968: The Year That Rocked the World (New York: Random House, 2005). 16. Odd Arne Westad, The Global Cold War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 3. Hal Brands points to the importance of Third World solidarity, or tercermundismo, during the Cold War, which began with an emphasis on nonalignment but increasingly grew to be associated with problems of underdevelopment that united former colonies. Hal Brands, Latin America’s Cold War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010), 18. 17. Brands, Latin America’s Cold War, 1–9; Gilbert Joseph, “What We Now Know and Should Know: Bringing Latin America More Meaningfully into Cold War Studies,” in In from the Cold: Latin America’s New Encounter with the Cold War, ed. Gilbert Joseph and Daniela Spenser (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008), 4–5. 18. In the United States, the folk revival was well under way by the 1950s. The collection of folklore began in earnest under the Roosevelt administration, as an early generation of folklorists, such as John Lomax and Charles Seeger, began preserving what were understood as dying musical traditions. A large body of literature has been written on the folk revival in the United States, from a diverse array of perspectives not limited to history, sociology, and ethnomusicology. A small sample includes Eyerman and Barretta, “From the 30s to the 60s”; Roy, Reds, Whites, and Blues; Cantwell, When We Were Good; Bruno Nettl, Folk Music in the United States (Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1976); Richard A. Reuss, American Folk Music and Left-­Wing Politics (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2000); Neil V. Rosenberg, ed., Transforming Tradition: Folk Music Revivals Examined (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993); and Ronald D. Cohen, Rainbow Quest: The Folk Music Revival and American Society, 1940–1970 (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2002). Literature on Latin America’s Nueva Canción movement is also diverse, with many scholars focusing on specific national formations. See McSherry, Chilean New Song; Fairley and Nancy Morris, “Canto Porque Es Necesario Cantar: The New Song Movement in Chile, 1973–1983,” Latin American Research Review 21.2 (1986): 117–136; Oscar Chamosa, The Argentine Folklore Movement: Sugar Elites, Criollo Workers, and the Politics of Cultural Nationalism, 1900–1955 (Tucson: University

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of Arizona Press, 2010); and Osvaldo Rodríguez Musso, La nueva canción chilena (Havana: Casa de las Américas, 1988). 19. For a nuanced account of racial tensions in the earliest years of the folk revival, see Roy, Reds, Whites, and Blues, 106–112. The association of racial minorities with “authenticity” has led to parallel observations in both North and South. Roy claims that folk music inverts both social and racial hierarchies in the United States by privileging musical forms associated with lower-­class and black communities. His argument parallels that of scholars such as Eric Zolov and Claudio Lomnitz, who have described the association of Mexican indigenous culture with “authenticity” as a “double mirror” effect or an inversion of the “hierarchy of tradition and modernity,” respectively. Roy, Reds, Whites, and Blues, 18–22; Zolov, Refried Elvis, 138; Lomnitz, Deep Mexico, Silent Mexico, 135. 20. Robin Moore cites this as a defining feature of nueva canción in Music and Revolution: Cultural Change in Socialist Cuba (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006), 136. Eyerman and Barretta, “From the 30s to the 60s,” 501 make the same claim about North American folk music. 21. Liner notes, Canción Protesta, Paredon Records. 22. McSherry, Chilean New Song, 12. 23. Smithsonian Folkways interview with Dane and Silber, 1991. In an interesting parallel, the Chilean folk singer Violeta Parra also participated in the World Festival of Youth and Students that was held in Warsaw in 1955. Verba, “To Paris and Back,” 288. 24. Smithsonian Folkways interview with Dane and Silber, 1991. 25. Eyerman and Barretta, “From the 30s to the 60s,” 526. 26. Nicola Miller argues that culture was fundamental to the legitimacy of the revolutionary government and that cultural policy in fact may have been the only successful element in the Cuban government’s attempt to “implement an alternative model of modernity” that was distinct from both the United States and the Soviet Union. Nicola Miller, “A Revolutionary Modernity: The Cultural Policy of the Cuban Revolution,” Journal of Latin American Studies 40 (2008): 675–696. 27. For a detailed account of Cuban policy toward music in the first decade of the Revolution, see Moore, Music and Revolution, chap. 2: “Music and Social Change in the First Years,” 57–79. Censorship of foreign music is discussed on 12–13 and 150–153. 28. Ibid., 71. 29. Liner notes, Canción Protesta, Paredon Records. 30. Dane notes that aside from herself and Silber, the third representative from the United States, Julius Lester, deserted the musical proceedings to spend all his time with Stokely Carmichael at the political meetings

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that were being held concurrently. Liner notes, Canción Protesta, Paredon Records. 31. Hal Brands presents a particularly balanced and nuanced account of the conflicts between foquista guerrilla groups and US-­backed regimes in Latin America’s Cold War, chap. 3, “From Crisis to Crisis,” 70–95. 32. This is the translation provided by Dane in the first Paredon album, but it has an additional meaning, of which she may or may not have been aware. “Paredón” was often the term used to refer to the wall against which people were executed by firing squad. In the context of repression during which the label was created, this title conveys an even deeper meaning than may have been intended. 33. Smithsonian Folkways interview with Dane and Silber, 1991. 34. Ibid. 35. Liner notes, Canción Protesta, Paredon Records. 36. Ibid. 37. Joan Jara, Victor: An Unfinished Song (London: Bloomsbury, 1998), 117. 38. Víctor Jara, quoted in Joan Jara, An Unfinished Song, 117. 39. Ibid. 40. Zolov, Refried Elvis, 225–232. 41. For a detailed account of nueva trova, see Moore, Music and Revolution, chap. 5: “Transitions in Nueva Trova,” 135–169. 42. Miller, “A Revolutionary Modernity,” 680. 43. This is pointed out by Dane in her 1991 interview and confirmed in Elliott Young, “Between the Market and a Hard Place: Ricardo Peréz’s Suite Habana in a Post-­Utopian Cuba,” Cuban Studies 38 (2007): 40. 44. Stew Albert, “The Last Song of Victor Jara,” Ann Arbor Sun, Oct. 11, 1974, p. 10. 45. Edward J. McCaughan notes a parallel phenomenon in the Mexican visual arts at the time, as student protesters adopted imagery that struck a complicated balance between the traditional, state-­sponsored social realism of Mexican artists such as Diego Rivera and dynamic new visual forms from abroad, “making room for aesthetic experimentation that reflected the democratic and post-­nationalist zeitgeist of the ’60s and ’70s” (Edward J. McCaughan, Art and Social Movements: Cultural Politics in Mexico and Aztlán [Chapel Hill, NC: Duke University Press, 2012], 103–115). 46. Moore provides a detailed account of Puebla’s connection to the revolution in Music and Revolution, 58–60. 47. Carlos Puebla, “Veradero,” Canción Protesta, Paredon Records. 48. This observation is made by Dane in the liner notes of Canción Protesta, Paredon Records.

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49. Nicomedes Santa Cruz, “Muerte en el Ring,” Canción Protesta, Paredon Records. 50. Despite their inclusion in the Encuentro, the first generation of trovadores had a troubled relationship with the Cuban government. Naturally rebellious, they were identified as troublemakers by communist authorities. Their position wasn’t helped by the fact that they openly acknowledged the influence of rock music on their art. The Encuentro occurred shortly before the onset of a period known as the quinquenio gris (gray period), which began around 1968 and lasted into the early seventies. This was a time of intense ideological repression and extreme censorship, during which trovador Pablo Milanés was incarcerated in a work camp for over a year. (The punishment was more for his sexuality than his music, although homosexuality was itself seen as the result of foreign influences.) In 1969, Silvio Rodríguez was fired from the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television, at which point he took a job on a commercial fishing boat, no longer able to make a living through his music. Only a few years later government policy underwent an abrupt shift, and the once-­embattled trovadores found themselves spokespeople for the Revolution. See Moore, Music and Revolution, chap. 5; Robin Moore, “From the Canción de Protesta to the Nueva Trova, 1965–1985,” Qualitative Studies in Education 14.2 (2001): 177–200. 51. Daniel Viglietti, “Canción de mi América,” Canción Protesta, Paredon Records. 52. Jorge Coronado locates the emergence of the indigenismo movement at “the intersection of nationalist, classist, and racial contentions and the difficult birth of a modern society.” He argues that the contradictions between the movement’s stated goals of improving the lot of indigenous peoples and the reality of the policies this engendered stem from the paradox that the movement’s proponents chose the most traditional aspect of society as a means to grapple with the challenges of modernity. Jorge Coronado, The Andes Imagined: Indigenismo, Society, and Modernity (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009), 11. 53. Also meriting five albums was the Puerto Rican independence movement. The Paredon collection was donated to Smithsonian Folkways by Barbara Dane and Irwin Silber in 1991. All of the album covers and the liner notes can be viewed on their website, at http://​www​.folkways​.si​.edu​/find​ _recordings​/Paredon​.aspx (accessed March 21, 2013). 54. While this was often the case, it wasn’t always so. The Paredon collection does include a number of compilations, including the three-­volume series What Now, People?, released between 1973 and 1977. 55. The term alambre refers to barbed wire fencing used for land enclosure, and thus the literal translation of the title is “cut the wires,” a reference

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to land struggles happening throughout Latin America at the time. The English title, Tear Down the Walls, was chosen by Paredon Records, taken from one of the album’s songs. Smithsonian Folkways interview with Dane and Silber, 1991. 56. Smithsonian Folkways interview with Dane and Silber, 1991. 57. Viglietti was not happy about the unauthorized release of his music when he later found out about it. Smithsonian Folkways interview with Dane and Silber, 1991. 58. Liner notes to A Desalambrar, Daniel Viglietti, Paredon Records, P1011. 59. This story is recounted by Ochs, as quoted in the introduction to Eric Blair, ed., Folk Singer for the FBI: The Phil Ochs FBI File (Raleigh, NC: Lulu, 2009), 44; it can also be found in greater detail in Michael Schumacher, There but for Fortune: The Life of Phil Ochs (New York: Hyperion, 1996), 244–252. 60. Interview with Phil Ochs, There but for Fortune (2010), DVD, dir. Kenneth Bowser (New York: First Run Features, 2011). 61. Interviews with Phil Ochs, Folkways Records. 62. There but for Fortune, dir. Bowser. 63. Schumacher, Life of Phil Ochs, 239. 64. Joan Jara, An Unfinished Song, 205–206. 65. Quoted in Schumacher, Life of Phil Ochs, 241. 66. The events of that day are recounted by Stew Albert in article written after Jara’s death, “The Last Song of Victor Jara.” 67. Juan Ramos claims that Jara’s musical evolution was deeply rooted in his involvement with the Chilean labor movement. Juan Ramos, “Latin American Decolonial Aesthetics: Antipoetry, Nueva Canción, and Third Cinema as Counterculture (1960–1975)” (PhD diss., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2011), 42. The parallel evolution of folk music in the United States and Latin America is noted by Verba, “To Paris and Back,” 275. 68. Joan Jara, An Unfinished Song, 205. 69. Ochs, quoted in Schumacher, Life of Phil Ochs, 74. 70. Joan Jara recalls the election campaign in Chile, An Unfinished Song, 133–141. For a detailed discussion of the association between the Allende government and the Nueva Canción movement, including Jara, see McSherry, Chilean New Song, chap. 4. Ochs’s experience at the Democratic National Convention in 1968 is described in Schumacher, Life of Phil Ochs, 195–201. 71. Ibid., 108. 72. This is a widely shared interpretation of the Nueva Canción movement: see Ramos, “Latin American Decolonial Aesthetics,” 51; Verba, “To

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Paris and Back,” 277; Zolov, Refried Elvis, 226; Fairley, “La nueva canción latinoamericana,” 107; Neustadt, “Music as Memory and Torture,” 128; and Tumas-­Serna, “The ‘Nueva Canción’ Movement,” 139. 73. Víctor Jara, “Casitas del Barrio Alto.” 74. Albert, “The Last Song of Victor Jara.” 75. Pete Seeger, The Incompleat Folksinger (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972), 532–533. 76. Albert, “The Last Song of Victor Jara.” 77. Jara’s death is recounted by Joan Jara in An Unfinished Song, 234– 243, while McSherry describes the public reaction, Chilean New Song, 167–170. 78. Albert, “Last Song of Victor Jara.” 79. An amateur recording of the show was made by an audience member and is available in its entirety online at http://​tech​.groups​.yahoo​.com​ /group​/globalresistance​/message​/8453 (accessed Feb. 11, 2013). 80. “Thousands Attend Chile Benefit, Raising $30,000 to Aid Victims of Junta,” Liberation News Service, May 11, 1974, p. 7. Ochs had been robbed while visiting Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 1973. During the attack he was strangled and suffered permanent damage to his vocal chords. Beyond the physical impact, the attack worsened Ochs’s already-­fragile mental state, leading him to attribute the attack to the CIA. For an account of the attack and the concert, see Schumacher, chap. 15, “An Evening with Salvador Allende,” 279–297.

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Part III -

Cultural Economies of Solidarity, 1970–1987

5 “¡Estamos Hartas!” F e m ini s t P e rf orm a nce s , P ho t o gr aph y, an d t h e M e a n i ng s of P ol i t ic a l S ol i dari t y i n 1970s M e x ico

-­ Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda

O

n May 10, 1976, en route to a meeting organized by several feminist collectives, more than fifty women walked toward the Motherhood Monument (El Monumento a la Madre) in downtown Mexico City singing a chorus of, “We are fed up with having illegal abortions that put our health at risk; our body is our property, and thus together we will fight to defend our rights [ya estamos hartas de tanto abortar, corriendo el riesgo de que nos puedan matar, nuestro cuerpo es nuestra propiedad y por eso juntas vamos a luchar].”1 At the monument, the women staged a theatrical farce entitled “Women’s Oppression” (“La opresión de la mujer”).2 Carrying full-­ body cardboard costumes configured to represent a drunken man, a soldier, a corporate executive, and a priest, members of the feminist collective La Revuelta (The Revolt) ridiculed the ways in which each figure oppressed women by dictating supposedly proper feminine values, virtues, and looks (figs. 5.1 and 5.2). As Eli Bartra, a member of La Revuelta, recalls, the song “¡Estamos hartas!” (We are fed up) was written by Italian feminists and had

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Figure 5.1. Performance of “La opresión de la mujer” by the Colectivo La Revuelta at the Motherhood Monument, Mexico City, 1976. Photo by Ana Victoria Jiménez. © Ana Victoria Jiménez. Courtesy, Archivo Ana Victoria Jiménez, Biblioteca Francisco Xavier Clavigero, Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México.

arrived in Mexico through the exchanges and travels of several activists.3 Similarly, the use of cartoon costumes as props in street theater had been introduced to Mexico via interactions with Italian militants. Certainly, as many argued in the aftermath of the first United Nations International Women’s Year conference (IWY), held in Mexico City in 1975, transnational relations and exchanges between feminist activists across the globe were strengthened by such encounters.4 These exchanges injected new energy into a generation of Mexican second-­wave feminists who organized lively street protests to demand the end of discrimination against women at all levels of society and the right to self-­determination for all women. They sought legislation on reproductive rights and the criminalization of violence against women. In this chapter I analyze how art—particularly songs, banners, objects, and street theater—was used in 1970s feminist protests as a means of building solidarity with other local and national calls for justice not necessarily linked with feminist demands. I suggest that by building visible connections with different forms of oppression and violence through art,

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Figure 5.2. “La opresión de la mujer”: women in between the soldier and the priest. Performance by Colectivo La Revuelta, Motherhood Monument, Mexico City, 1976. Photo by Ana Victoria Jiménez. © Ana Victoria Jiménez. Courtesy, Archivo Ana Victoria Jiménez, Biblioteca Francisco Xavier Clavigero, Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México.

feminist protesters contributed to the production of publics that would become increasingly aware of the relations between the different forms of violence used against gendered and sexualized bodies. I explore how publicly performed feminist artistic expressions conjured connections between apparently disparate forms of violence and oppression perpetrated against different kinds of bodies. In these performances, feminist activists were able to demonstrate the ways in which gender and sexuality

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intersected, revealing these traits as increasingly crucial aspects of claims to citizenship and human rights in the decades to follow. Beginning in the late 1960s, and throughout the seventies, in Mexico, as elsewhere in Latin America, students, workers, mothers, and civil rights and indigenous activists renewed the relationship between art and politics by resorting to all kinds of artistic expression as they took to the streets demanding justice for victims of state violence, the right of self-­ determination, and an end to authoritarian regimes and imperialist interventions. In performing songs and staging plays, Mexican second-­wave feminists were in dialogue with these movements and with the longer tradition of national and international social movements that used art (understood broadly as the graphics in flyers, posters, and mantas; the use of objects; and the performance of street theater, dance, music, and songs) to raise consciousness and communicate demands to the public. Between 1971 and 1979, as several feminist collectives were established and others dismantled, numerous street protests were performed throughout Mexico City. Songs like “¡Estamos hartas!” and street performances like “La opresión de la mujer” became indispensable artistic elements in these demonstrations. They were re-­performed on multiple occasions and in the process were adapted over time to resonate with other local demands for justice. By the end of the 1970s, feminist-­led demonstrations had turned into stages upon which violence against all kinds of bodies was denounced and made visible. Besides demanding an end to violence against women and fighting for women’s ownership of their own bodies, feminist activists and those who joined in their protests carried banners demanding justice in support of female workers’ unions and the rights of displaced urban and rural communities, and against the persecution and battering of gay men.5 Over the course of a decade, feminist collectives staged protests at the most visible and historical landmarks of Mexico City’s downtown core. Through these protests, they turned public monuments into stages for the enunciation of their demands. In the process, they also altered the cultural memory attached to such landmarks, producing new spatial configurations in which gender differences and sexual rights could be discussed, if not without violence. Considering these public protests not as passive reflections of the movement but rather, as Kirk W. Fuoss and Robert Schechner have argued, “as part of a complicated and dialogical process that creates change and in the process negotiates community,”6 this chapter proposes

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a more nuanced and broader understanding of the ways in which second-­ wave feminism(s) affected and effected politics in 1970s Mexico. S e t t i ng t he S ta ge Since Ana Lau Jaiven’s well-­known study La nueva ola del feminismo en México was published in 1987, scholars have continued to write the histories of 1970s feminism in Mexico. While these works made important contributions, most of them concentrate on articulating the histories of the movement in the singular and through a revision of its successes and failures in formal politics—particularly in respect to passing legislation on abortion and ending violence against women, both of which are still crucial and unresolved issues in Mexican society.7 These studies cite three major factors that prevented 1970s feminisms from becoming a more politically meaningful social movement: first, the failure to build significant coalitions with popular women’s movements and female workers’ organizations, despite their being a driving force of the movement in the eyes of many of the early activists; second, the reliance of many of the activists on an essentialized and victimizing discourse that deployed the category of women as universal, which is now seen to be a source of dispute between activists, not unlike criticism of the heterosexual, white female focus of early second-­wave feminisms in other parts of the world; and third, the quest of some activists to become autonomous from the state, which was an obstacle that prevented the building of wider political coalitions in the early 1970s. This attention to the overall formal political legacies of the movement— failures and successes—while extremely useful, has been a factor in silencing the wider cultural legacies of 1970s feminisms. This narrow focus has reproduced hierarchical systems of knowledge production that disregard the power of feminist art in street protests despite the long tradition of politically laden art practices within Mexican history. While studies on the important participation of second-­wave feminists as cultural critics, journalists, and filmmakers exist, it has only been in recent publications that the interdisciplinary artistic practices of feminist militants are being historicized and acknowledged as meaningful expressions of the movement.8 In the following pages, I contribute to these important efforts by broadening the interpretation of cultural aspects of the movement to include art in feminist protest as an important means through which feminists

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developed links of solidarity with other forms of oppression while raising awareness of feminist demands and producing potent critiques against powerful symbols of Mexican history. In doing so, I draw from and build on scholarship on Latin American social movements, art history, and popular performances in Mexico—disciplines that, until recently, have not paid sufficient attention to the art produced by second-­wave feminist activists as a site of inquiry. Scholarly research on Latin American social movements has long recognized the cultural dimensions of a movement as crucial elements in struggles related to discourse, representation, and meaning.9 As Sonia Álvarez, Evelina Dagnino, and Arturo Escobar point out, “Social movements have not only sometimes succeeded in translating their agendas into public policies and in expanding the boundaries of institutional politics but also, significantly, have struggled to resignify the very meanings of received notions of citizenship, political representation and participation, and, as consequence, of democracy itself.”10 Art plays a crucial role in making visible the social movement’s struggles related to meaning and representation. By walking through the streets of Mexico singing songs, carrying banners, and staging plays at the city’s important historical sites to demand sexual and reproductive rights, second-­wave feminist activists were able to deploy alternative conceptions of women, class, race, violence, and citizenship that unsettled dominant cultural meanings.11 While the role that art, broadly defined, plays in social movements has been thoroughly analyzed, only recently have Latin American scholars begun to consider how gender constructions (along with other categories of difference) are produced, reproduced, and contested through visual and performative practices.12 Most commonly, researchers have argued that art used in social movements helps to communicate a shared ideology among members of the group, allowing the group to communicate its demands more broadly and effectively to the public, develop continuity and a sense of community, and raise consciousness and foster new modes of thinking.13 Taking into consideration these roles of art in social protest and using gender as an important category of difference in social movements, I look at the use of art in feminist protests as a means of constructing solidarity among varied groups with different demands for social justice—in all of which notions of class, gender, and sexuality played a crucial role. Here I am referring to art’s capacity to make visible the connections between different forms of violence and oppression, and simultaneously to conjure up

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shared and empathic understandings among groups with otherwise different political ideologies. This sense of solidarity art departs, for example, from the recent work by Jacqueline Adams on the production of arpilleras during the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile.14 For Adams, solidarity art emerges out of the need both to overcome economic hardship or repression as a form of therapeutic release and to achieve monetary gains. In Adams’s model of solidarity art, institutions like the Catholic Church and expatriate interest in buying and promoting the purchase of arpilleras abroad played a crucial role. Unlike Adams’s solidarity art, the art produced as part of these feminist street protests did not create solidarity through circulation within a transnational economy of monetary exchange and institutional or expatriate support. Rather, the art used at protests created solidarity within a local and transnational economy of disputed definitions of what counted as violence against bodies (both physical and symbolic) and who could make these claims in the public space. The use of solidarity art in this chapter is in conversation with a long tradition of social movements that have used creative expression to raise consciousness and dispute the meaning of important historical symbols through humor and parody, and in the process built a sense of connection among different groups. In Mexico, the relationship between art and politics has a long history. Mexican visual artists have crucially shaped the politics and identities of social movements throughout the twentieth century.15 Beginning with the plethora of photographs, murals, and art collectives with links to workers’ unions that sprang up as a result of the 1910 Revolution, and continuing with the street graphics produced during the 1968 student movement, histories of art and politics have predominantly focused on the role of male artists.16 While advances have been made in recovering women’s places in the histories of art,17 the legacies of Mexican feminisms and women’s movements in the visual arts have been for the most part ignored.18 In comparison to other areas of the humanities, which adopted feminist theory and gender studies as crucial frameworks of analysis in Mexico from the early 1980s onward, an awareness of how these frameworks could collaborate in dismantling the structures of the art establishment has been slow to emerge and effect change.19 According to Karen Cordero and Inda Sáenz, one reason art critics and historians have been generally late to adopt feminist frameworks in studies of Mexico stems from the traditional function both art and art historiography played as symbolic supports for the hegemonic discursive practices of the groups in power.20 As in

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other societies, additional factors included the gendered divisions of labor, in which the high arts were deemed an exclusively masculine territory, while the lower arts or crafts were considered feminine ones. In Mexico, this division became more paradigmatic as popular culture and the pre-­ Hispanic past became the foundation for the development of a highly masculine school of art, Mexican muralism, that would not only contribute to the creation of a national imagery but also dictate the parameters of art criticism and historiography for most of the twentieth century. The situation has still not improved substantially, notwithstanding various efforts at analyzing works of art through feminist and gender lenses.21 Recent art-­historical revisions of post-­1968 visual culture continue to disregard the art produced at feminist protests as interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary art practices in and of themselves. This is particularly alarming in the context of recent scholarly attention to the work of many art collectives active in 1970s Mexico that incorporated strategies similar to those of feminist collectives, such as Los Grupos, albeit with a completely different understanding of politics.22 The movement around Los Grupos consisted of a diverse assemblage of artist collectives, which, beginning in the early 1970s and up to the mid-­ 1980s, attempted to reconstruct the relationship between arts and politics by taking art to the streets and experimenting with nontraditional aesthetic languages (performances, installations, street happenings, graffiti, everyday objects, video, and Super 8 film). These groups were responding to the particular context of Mexico City, where a vibrant and wide-­ranging counterculture movement had taken hold on the streets a decade earlier and struggled to regain terrain in the context of President Luis Echeverría’s violent crackdown on radical activity in the aftermath of the 1968 student movement. Los Grupos was further inspired by transnational proposals for a new definition of politically committed art that emerged throughout the Latin American region in the aftermath of the Cuban Revolution (1953–1959). What distinguished Los Grupos from earlier Mexican attempts to bring art to everyday life was its regional and international focus. Unlike previous art movements, Los Grupos was not concerned with a national framework, or with making art to construct a national identity. Instead, Los Grupos sought, and claimed, independence from state cultural institutions while working within the system.23 The politics of most, but not all, of the collectives that belonged to the Los Grupos movement were mainly geared

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toward fighting for workers’ rights, denouncing the forces of imperialism that oppressed Latin American countries—and that supported military dictatorships in many of them—and exploring the ways in which urban modernization had altered the lives of Mexico City’s residents. Although several self-­declared feminist artists collaborated in some Los Grupos movement collectives, women’s labor and living conditions, their depiction as sexual objects, and overall discrimination were seen as secondary problems.24 This attitude, critics charged, represented the way the left side of the political spectrum discriminated against women. Against this backdrop, feminist activists engaged in a wide range of collective activities that were deeply subversive and utilized a wide variety of artistic media (film, photography, theater, songs, and street graphics). This chapter builds on this recent scholarly research interested in recovering the histories of art and politics after 1968 by proposing to look at the art in feminist protests as valid forms of critical and theoretical expression and feminism(s) as a social movement.25 More significantly, it joins the body of work by Latin American scholars, including Karen Cordero, Inda Sáenz, Deborah Dorotinsky, Ana Paula Simioni, Maria Meirelles, and Andrea Giunta, who are interested in tracing the histories of feminist art in the region using gender as a category of analysis.26 It also hopes to respond to James N. Green’s call for the need to further scholarship on Latin American sexual liberation movements and their relation to demands for citizenship, transnational solidarity organizing, and human rights.27 In the following pages, I reconstruct four feminist-­led street demonstrations using detailed records, including descriptions of the plays staged, the songs sung, and the banners carried, all of which are included in the recently opened archives of the Mexican Secret Services, located at the Archivo Nacional de La Nación. These records on feminist activism were opened to the public in 2002 as part of the public access granted to documentation of Mexico’s 1970 Dirty War and 1968 student movement. I read these files while reviewing newspaper reports, interviews with some militants, and the photographs included in Ana Victoria Jiménez’s archive, a one-­of-­a-­kind collection of photographs and ephemera of feminist-­led demonstrations.28 As in the field of art history the legacies of feminist collectives within the disciplines of theater and/or performance have not been given sufficient attention, even though according to several scholars, a genre that could be labeled “Mexican feminist theater” was emerging during the

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1970s.29 In contrast, feminist demonstrations are, for example, regarded as an important aesthetic milestone in the diverse historical narratives of performance and theater.30 For instance, demonstrations against Miss America and Miss Universe pageants, staged by US-­and UK-­based feminist collectives from 1968 to 1971, are considered the first stage in the development of feminist theater in both countries.31 Performance scholars who look at the surge of Mexican feminist theater and queer performances in the 1990s, such as the work of Jesúsa Rodríguez or Astrida Hadad, for example, have concentrated on established screenwriters or popular forms of performance such as carpa to contextualize the practices of these artists. 32 This focus has disregarded the work of 1970s feminist collectives. The reasons for this neglect are multiple and intersected by many factors, including an apparent lack of sources documenting these street plays. Most studies on theater rely on the existence of scripts, since plays are mainly studied as a literary genre. Feminist street plays were ephemeral and spontaneous, and, to my knowledge, there are no records of written scripts. However, as is the case for other social movements that resorted to street plays to voice their demands, records exist in the form of photographs, oral testimonies from activists, and newspaper articles. As already mentioned, the recently opened Mexican Secret Service archives contain detailed reports of feminist street demonstrations. Throughout this analysis it is evident that the use of humor and parody in art emerged as an important strategy that enabled feminist protests to produce potent critiques of pivotal symbols and institutions in Mexican culture that dictated normative feminine values. In doing so, feminist street protest created instances in which the established social order was turned upside down. The use of humor as a transgressive public practice has a long history in Mexican popular performance traditions, but until the 1970s, it had yet to be adopted so publicly in demands for gender and sexual reproductive rights.33 In 1966 Mexican philosopher Jorge Portilla set out to define relajo (goofing off or creating disorder, an act of mockery pervasive in Mexican everyday life) as “a negation of the required conduct” that “constitutes a position of dissent vis-­à-­vis the dominant values of the social whole.”34 While mostly understood as a masculine public practice, the multivalent concept of relajo has been used by several scholars to explain humor and parody in various forms of cultural resistance and social movements, including the street performances of the Chicano Teatro Campesino (1965–1980);35 the protests

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enacted by the Madres de La Plaza de Mayo (Buenos Aires, 1977);36 and, in the Mexican context, student protests from 1956 to 1971.37 In this study, the category of relajo is also used to discuss how, through humor and parody, feminist-­led protests reclaimed public space as an arena in which to question normative feminine roles. In doing so, second-­ wave feminists continued the tradition of transgressive practices started by a previous generation of urban women, who, in the aftermath of the 1910 Mexican Revolution, embraced what modernity had to offer. These chicas modernas (modern women) were out on the street having vidas públicas (public lives), and, as Esther Gabara, Anne Rubenstein, and others have argued, their appearances in public inspired many discussions—in all kinds of media, particularly printed matter (comic books, newspapers, and magazines)—about proper feminine behavior.38 As Gabara notes, the attention given to the images of these feminine performances reveals the centrality of feminine virtues for the state’s national project.39 As Mexico endeavored to build a national project, contrasting ideas of invented pasts and imagined futures were played out through competing representations of urban modern women (chicas modernas) and traditional women.40 By the 1940s, the modernity espoused by chicas modernas had begun to lose ground as government leaders worked to uphold conservative social values. As Rubenstein notes, when the state shifted its rhetoric from an emphasis on progress to language that combined tradition and progress, the virtues and images of chicas modernas became unattractive in comparison to the virtues of the submissive and long-­suffering Mexican mother who never left her home.41 This shift would give preference to motherhood as the primordial signifier of feminine values, shaped by the virtues of the Virgin of Guadalupe and the beautiful traits of a mestizo woman dressed in traje nacional (the style of Tehuana or China Poblana, or a mixture of both). Second-­wave feminists reengaged in this public war of feminine virtues and images and reclaimed public space as a site from which to articulate their demands for self-­representation (visually and in formal politics). Reading the art produced at feminist-­led protests through the lens of relajo, I have found that turning the social order upside down allowed women to reimagine what a new participatory (or revolutionary) women’s citizenship would look like. Through their protests, they set out a vision of an embodied and engaged citizenship that would place women’s rights to control their own bodies at the center of the agenda for public debate. By “embodied citizenship,” I mean a broad range of daily activities through

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which diverse communities might claim a space in society and eventually their rights as gendered, racialized, and sexualized bodies differentiated by class structures, rather than a legal category or a government-­issued document.42 In this conceptualization, urban spaces were important, perhaps the most important, sites in which diverse communities congregated to enunciate distinct and competing claims to citizenship that increasingly incorporated sexual and gender dimensions. As Elizabeth Grosz notes, the urban landscape is “the condition and milieu in which corporeality is socially, sexually, and discursively produced.”43 According to Angel Rama and Jane Franco, the city (both physical and imagined) has been, since colonial times, the site of mediation, contestation, and articulation of power and claims to citizenship.44 The centralized cultural and political structure of Mexico, as well as its “apparent stability” (compared to other Latin American countries), made Mexico City a privileged capital for many in the 1970s and well into the 1980s. The feminist activists considered here not only lived in Mexico City but also understood that in Mexico during the 1970s, the fight for representation and struggle for meaning were occurring and were articulated against and within “the place where hegemonic meaning is established and from which it is disseminated.”45 By demanding their right to decide what happened to their bodies and denouncing violence against women, feminist activists proposed another way to engage with politics. They placed the personal at the center of public debates. By doing so, they altered and proposed different ways of experiencing and producing civic engagement in a highly contested urban landscape. “ S om o s M a dre s ¿ Y Q ué Má s? ”: A F ron ta l A t ta ck on P at ri arch y As early as 1971, a group of professionals, students, and militants from left-­ leaning groups began to organize lively street demonstrations throughout Mexico City to demand the end of discrimination against women at all ­levels of society and to fight for women’s right to self-­determination, including sexual freedoms. On May 9, 1971, inspired by an article written by Marta Acevedo, a self-­defined feminist and journalist, in which she called on Latin American women to become conscious of their social conditions and creative

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potential beyond motherhood, a group of fifteen women gathered at the Motherhood Monument in the Jardín del Arte in Parque Sullivan, at the crossing of Reforma and Insurgentes avenues in Mexico City.46 The women carried banners and distributed flyers and balloons printed with the question “Somos Madres ¿Y qué más?” (We are mothers and what else?). Their objective was to question women’s social roles and the ways in which the mainstream media manipulated Mother’s Day celebrations and objectified women. These women were aware of the historical relations between the institutionalization of Mother’s Day as a national celebration in Mexico and the fight for women’s rights, and they sought to rekindle this historical consciousness in the wake of a renewed international feminist movement and a populist turn within the Mexican government.47 In Mexico, the emergence of second-­ wave feminisms took place under the populist administrations of presidents Luis Echeverría Álvarez (1970–1976) and Jose López Portillo (1976–1982). Both presidents embarked on a series of reforms that opened up opportunities for the participation of women in public office and created political conditions that strengthened competing feminist agendas. However, their administrations had little tolerance for dissent. They continually used violence to dispel street demonstrations and brutally suppressed rural unrest and urban radical activity. President Echeverría’s administration began with a reformist campaign referred to as “democratic opening,” a populist strategy aimed at siding with disenfranchised and defiant sectors of the population in order to redeem his popularity and that of the ruling party, both severely damaged after the massacre of students in Mexico City in 1968. Echeverría implemented a series of wide-­ranging reforms that targeted economic, political, and cultural sectors, including reforms to Article 4 of the Mexican Constitution, granting equal rights legislation for women (1974), and a nationwide family-­planning campaign that promoted the use of contraceptives (1974–1982).48 In 1975, Echeverría’s administration hosted the First United Nations International Women’s Year (IWY) celebration in Mexico City, an event that placed the capital city at the center of international debates on women’s rights. A significant number of Mexican feminist activists were in disagreement with the objectives and organizational structure of the IWY celebration as well as with Echeverría’s reforms targeting women’s equality and family planning. Paradoxically, these initiatives prompted the establishment of wider feminist coalitions.49

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In 1979, President López Portillo’s political reforms allowed the legalization of various left-­leaning organizations, including the Frente Nacional por la Liberación y los Derechos de las Mujeres (FNALIDM, 1979), an alliance that united several feminist collectives with leftist political parties. Later that year the Frente proposed legislation on voluntary motherhood, which the Congress rejected.50 While their demands generally stood little chance of success in that predominantly Catholic and conservative society, the activities of feminist groups combined with the populist endeavors of presidents Echeverría and López Portillo to make women’s issues part of the agenda in public debates during the 1970s. Mother’s Day celebrations in Mexico had begun in 1922, at a time when the recently established revolutionary government of Álvaro Obregón (1920–1924) had embarked on major cultural and educational reforms. Mother’s Day was established as a national holiday to discredit and silence the feminist movement that had emerged in the southern states of the country.51 As elsewhere, these early feminists demanded suffrage rights, but they also discussed birth control and the incorporation of sexual education in public school programs, two highly controversial issues that were not well received by conservative sectors of the population. Feminist leagues had begun to emerge in the states of Yucatán and Tabasco during the first decades of the twentieth century. In Yucatán, the governments of Salvador Alvarado (1915–1918) and Felipe Carillo Puerto (1922–1924) provided an opening for the discussion of women’s emancipation. In 1916, a group of feminists organized the First Feminist Congress, and several feminist organizations (ligas feministas) were established in its aftermath. In 1922, a manual of sexual education written by Margaret Sanger, an American feminist nurse, began to circulate through Yucatán’s print media and schools as part of a program of sexual education. According to Marta Acevedo, this outraged many conservative sectors of the population. 52 The issue reached the federal level and was widely discussed in the newspaper Excelsior. The outrage caused by these discussions spilled over to the national level. To counter the perceived assault on “proper” feminine values, journalist Rafael Alducín, then head of the newspaper Excelsior, launched a national campaign to establish Mother’s Day.53 The revolutionary government and the nation in general warmly received the proposal and, since then, Mother’s Day has been celebrated every May 10. Like the institutionalization of Mother’s Day, the construction of the Motherhood Monument several years later coincided with important

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political events and urban developments that placed the female role of mothers at the forefront of Mexico’s modernization project. In 1948, a time when the Catholic Church and the state sought to reconcile with each other after a succession of revolutionary socialist and anti-­Catholic administrations, the newspaper Excelsior, along with several Mexico City governmental institutions, launched a call for proposals to construct a monument to honor Mexican mothers. The monument, designed by architect José Villagrán and sculptor Luis Ortiz Monasterio, both representatives of the Mexican modernist school in their respective disciplines, was inaugurated in 1949 by President Miguel Alemán (1946–1952). During Alemán’s tenure, as the Partido de la Revolución Institucional (PRI) began to shed its socialist revolutionary rhetoric for a more conservative tone and to embrace capitalism, Mexico embarked on a modernization program backed by the implementation of the import substitution industrialization (ISI) model. Part of this modernization program was visibly reflected in the architecture and urban planning of Mexico City, where a considerable urban transformation was led by the modernist urban designs of a new generation of architects. These architects embraced the use of concrete and the construction of high-­ density multifamiliares (housing complexes). The construction of the Motherhood Monument was part of this modernization program, during which neighborhoods developed in the French style of architecture favored during Porfirio Díaz’s (1870–1910) regime—such as Colonia San Rafael, where the Motherhood Monument is located—were transformed through the international modernist designs of Mario Pani, Luis Barragán, and Mathias Goeritz. The Motherhood Monument consists of three sculptures carved in stone, with a central female figure wearing a long dress and a rebozo and carrying a baby in her arms. The central figure is meant to embody female values and representations that both the Mexican state and the Catholic Church traditionally conferred on women: la madre patria, the working mother, and the indigenous virgin, representations that are constantly mobilized and promoted by various sectors of the population and the government in times of social crisis. Two smaller figures frame the central figure: a man in a writing position and a woman with a cornhusk in her hand. These figures symbolize education and fertility, two pillars of Mexico’s modernization project. Under the central figure, a plaque reads, “A la que nos amó antes de conocernos” (“to the one who loved us before knowing us”).

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Soon after its construction, the Motherhood Monument was made part of an official series of monuments located near and along the Reforma Avenue corridor, a place where official ceremonies take place and proper civic values are constantly re-­inscribed and performed. Parque Sullivan and the Motherhood Monument became popular gathering sites for all kinds of people. The park was known for its weekend art market, hence its popular name, Jardín del Arte (art garden). The Motherhood Monument became a cherished national landmark because of its popularization through hit movies like Víctimas del pecado (dir. Emilio “El Indio” Fernández, 1951). The appearance of the Motherhood Monument in this and other movies served to propagate sanctioned feminine roles and to popularize the monument as a national site both in honor of motherhood and as a shrine of redemption for fallen women, as in the film Víctimas del pecado. The new generation of feminists that emerged in the 1970s contested the cultural history and the sanctioned conceptions of motherhood embodied by both the monument and the Mother’s Day celebration. By staging demonstrations at the Motherhood Monument on Mother’s Day, second-­wave feminists turned them into sites of enunciation, enabling a process of change whereby the histories and meanings of the monument and the celebration would be continuously contested. In doing so, feminist activists actively collaborated in transforming the geographies of the city, coinciding with another wave of urban transformations that was taking place in the area—the construction of two major transit networks (Line 2 of the subway system and the Circuito Interior) and of high-­density housing projects known as Nonoalco-­Tlatelolco, with the latter becoming symbols of state repression rather than progress. By the time President Echeverría took office, Mexico City was already considered one of the world’s “mega-­cities,”54 with a population estimated at eight million. The city’s growth and development had started in the 1940s, as the Mexican government turned to the right of the political spectrum and the capital began to enjoy economic growth due to the adoption of ISI.55 Between the 1940s and the 1960s, Mexico City more than doubled in size and became the showcase of the country’s economic growth. Changes in population were accompanied by a large investment in urban infrastructure—expressways, tunnels, overpasses, subway systems, and concrete housing projects—aimed at turning the nineteenth-­century Haussmann urban plan into a city more in tune with an international modernist model.

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The spoils of the economic development acquired symbolic status as Mexico City was selected to host important international events—the signing of the Tlatelolco Treaty (1968), the Olympic Games (1968), and the FIFA World Cup (1970). This hosting of international events was an opportunity to invest in urban infrastructure, and, at the same time, such infrastructure showcased the modern standard of living in Mexico City. However, not all residents benefited from that improved standard of living. Rather, the public works altered the social fabric of the city. Many neighborhoods were bulldozed to give way to overpasses, and a network of interlocking freeways prioritized vehicle traffic over pedestrians, who needed to learn how to navigate the recently inaugurated subway system (1967–1969).56 At the same time, rural-­to-­urban migration caused serious overcrowding and the growth of slums and illegal settlements. A lack of employment accelerated male patterns of migration that altered the traditional arrangement of the Mexican family. More and more urban women became the sole providers for their families, many living in poverty and turning to informal work (prostitution, begging, or domestic work). By the time second-­wave feminists made Mexico City the stage for announcing their demands, the dreams of turning the city into a model of modernity had been seriously shattered. The ISI model began to show signs of exhaustion, and so did the city. Reports and studies warned that a series of catastrophes awaited the city if population growth and construction development were not halted.57 The dreams of progress and modernization were shattered, principally by the violent attack against students on Mexico City’s streets. On October 2, 1968, just days before the inauguration of the Olympic Games, government forces massacred hundreds of protesting students in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, located just north of the city’s downtown district, close to the Nonoalco-­Tlatelolco housing complex. The killings turned that flagship of modernization into a site of violence and bloodshed. The attacks against students revealed the amount of violence that the ruling party, the PRI, was willing to unleash in order to preserve the status quo and made visible a political and social crisis that had been brewing all over the country for decades. The Tlatelolco massacre unleashed a crisis that represented an overall disaffection with the dominant social, political, and cultural structures that ruled Mexican society, which were symbolically embodied and put into practice by the Mexican government.

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Three years later, on June 10, 1971, a second attack against students by the paramilitary group Los Halcones (The Falcons), now known as the Corpus Christi massacre, gave Mexico City residents a reminder of the continued state of violence in which they were living. The Corpus Christi massacre resulted in the killing of several students near the entrance of a subway station, modifying the symbolic meaning of the recently inaugurated Line 2 of the transit system (1970) and turning the subway station into a site of remembrance for the killings rather than a signifier of progress. These two events significantly altered the meanings attached to material symbols of modernity and progress. They unveiled the shallowness of the PRI’s inclusive revolutionary rhetoric and converted the already-­contested streets of Mexico City into a battleground, as a growing number of political and civil organizations, grassroots movements, and feminist collectives made it the site from which they would enunciate their demands despite their fear of repression. In 1971, as Marta Acevedo began to recruit more women to participate in the May 10 meeting, fears of state repression lingered three years after the student massacre.58 In order to secure participants’ safety, Acevedo and others solicited permission from the authorities to congregate at the monument. Although their petition was denied, which only fueled the fear of many, fifteen women decided to distribute flyers and propaganda. As it turned out, the denial of the permit to congregate at the Motherhood Monument was not part of a prohibition of public gatherings; the monument was simply already booked for another event: a delegation of candidates from the show Señorita México bringing an offering to the monument in honor of all Mexican mothers. As a television crew filmed the performance of the señoritas, members of what would become the first feminist collective, Mujeres en Acción Solidaria (MAS), took advantage of the situation to address the cameras themselves.59 The group grew from 15 to 150 women and, as Marta Acevedo recalls, this was the first time the demands of this new generation of feminists were broadcast on national television.60 A year later, in June 1972, another, more surreptitious, event was organized at the entrance of the Insurgentes metro station to protest the Father’s Day celebration.61 The modernist form of the Insurgentes metro station, opened to the public in 1969, was meant to represent the bell that Father Miguel Hidalgo rang in 1810 when he called the army of insurgents to fight for independence from Spain. Members of MAS constructed

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the torso of a man out of papier-­mâché and hung it like a piñata at the entrance of the metro station for passersby to see (fig. 5.3). The figure was covered with phrases alluding to fatherhood and its role in sustaining traditional masculine and feminine roles: “Father: Free yourself by liberating your woman! It is worth being a father but not a mother!” (fig. 5.4). In the aftermath of the 1968 student massacre, when patriarchal values were being simultaneously attacked and violently reinforced in the streets of Mexico City, this group of women had the audacity not only to mock the fact that historical symbols of masculinity and patriarchal values had silenced women’s participation in history but also to show how normative, gendered constructions were used as signifiers of appropriate moral and civic behavior. The Insurgentes metro station—in and of itself a symbol of Mexico’s path toward modernization and progress—honored symbols of patriotic masculinity (Father Hidalgo, his bell, and his army) that were constantly being mobilized to sustain a patriarchal pantheon of historical heroes and civic mores.62

Figure 5.3. Father’s Day demonstration at the Insurgentes Metro Station, Mexico City, 1972. Photo by Ana Victoria Jiménez. © Ana Victoria Jiménez. Courtesy, Archivo Ana Victoria Jiménez, Biblioteca Francisco Xavier Clavigero, Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México.

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Figure 5.4. Phrases on papier-­mâché figure hung up at Father’s Day demonstration, Insurgentes Metro Station, Mexico City, 1972. Photo by Ana Victoria Jiménez. © Ana Victoria Jiménez. Courtesy, Archivo Ana Victoria Jiménez, Biblioteca Francisco Xavier Clavigero, Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México.

The papier-­mâché man hung at the entrance of the metro station as a representation of the father (Hidalgo, the father of independent Mexico) was deployed as a reminder that a violent patriarchal state had turned the symbols of modernization into sites of violence. It accomplished this by serving as a gruesome reminder of the bodies of the students who had been killed during the Corpus Christi and Tlatelolco massacres. However, simultaneously, as a trunk with no limbs—essentially a piñata of a man— the father was represented as a dismembered body no longer able to mobilize its extremities when faced with an emergent civil society taking to the streets in greater numbers to criticize the patriarchal order of things and, in so doing, imagining and constructing new ways of experiencing an embodied citizenship. The two events organized by MAS and Acevedo’s article were catalysts for the emergence of what some label second-­wave feminism in Mexico.63 Crucially, these two events were also key moments in a wider process of transformation that had begun decades earlier: a process in which

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patriarchal values and established structures of power began to be questioned and attacked by Mexican civil society.64 This change reflected generational shifts and political and social transformations occurring all over the world but was particular to the Mexican situation. The reemergence of feminism and, in particular, the presence of feminist militants in the streets of Mexico City played a vital role in the search for alternative models of an embodied and engaged citizen. This model followed a long tradition of street performances, including protests, strikes, street art, and picket lines, as well as public demands for social justice. The two events organized by MAS formed part of a broad range of everyday life practices by which urban dwellers experienced the city. Such performances leave a mark on their audiences and actively shape the sense of self as embodied: gendered, racialized, sexualized, and differentiated via social class. Like other public performers of dissent, members of MAS invited passersby and their audiences to imagine change and the terms through which change could be articulated while enabling the negotiation of competing ideas of community.65 However, by placing emphasis on women’s right to their own bodies, feminists differentiated their claims of citizenship from the long tradition of street performances. The performative practices of second-­wave feminists made visible the ways in which gender and sexuality intersect, proving that they are crucial aspects of any claim to an embodied citizenship. Th e B at t l e f or R e p re s e n tat ion: Fe mi n i st Col l ec t i v e s, G ov e rn m e n t R e f orm s , a n d t he Fi rst Un i ted N at ion s In t e rnat iona l W om e n ’ s Ye ar Con fe rence While women in Mexico have fought for women’s rights and interrogated normative gender roles since the early twentieth century—and in some cases even earlier—radical alteration of the role of Mexican women began in the aftermath of World War II. By 1955, after gaining the rights to vote and to be elected to office, Mexican women held posts as ambassadors, magistrates, and high-­level bureaucrats. By the time second-­wave feminists began to demonstrate in the streets of Mexico City, the government had already set out a family-­planning media campaign to promote the use of birth control.66 In combination with the advent of new audiovisual technologies and advances in the broadcasting industry, these events unleashed a sexual revolution that not only granted independence for

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some women but also altered the ways female bodies were construed and represented in public discourse. When more than twelve hundred delegates from all over the world landed at the airport in Mexico City in the summer of 1975 to attend the first United Nations International Women’s Year conference and parallel NGO meetings,67 Mexico City residents were polarized about the roles women should aspire to and the rights they should have in the coming decades. This renewed interest in women’s rights was attributable to several factors particular to the Mexican context, but it was also consistent with international developments in the field of women’s rights, population, and development.68 Before the IWY celebration and the subsequent declaration of the United Nations Decade for Women (1976–1985), women’s increased enrollment in universities and participation in social protests, along with a state campaign that promoted the use of contraceptives and chastity, intensified the development of a critical mass of awareness of the gender imbalances in Mexican society,69 including the double standards in state discourse with regard to women’s bodies and sexuality. On the one hand, the state promoted family planning while, on the other, it criminalized abortion.70 Women’s competing roles were discussed publicly through different media as the Mexican government aligned itself with international policies regarding population control and women’s rights, forcing a transformation of the traditional role conferred on women by the state and the Catholic Church—that of loving mother, often represented as the Virgin of Guadalupe, and always the keeper of fertility responsible for populating and protecting the nation. In conjunction with family-­planning campaigns, and in preparation for the IWY celebration, the government of President Echeverría secured equal-­rights legislation for women in 1974 through the modification of Article 4 of the Mexican Constitution, marking an important milestone in the pursuit of the still-­unmet goal of gender equality. Media attention leading up to the passing of the legislation brought attention not only to the impending international conference but also to the emergent new-­wave feminist movement in Mexico.71 Modifications to Article 4 granted women juridical rights equal to men and established that individuals had the right to choose how many children to conceive. While they were quickly proved wrong, many feminist activists understood the modification of Article 4 to be an opportunity to demand the decriminalization of abortion as a way to exercise the right to freely decide how many children to have.72 Aware of

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the disconnect between the rights granted on paper and the realities faced by most Mexican women, several collectives and consciousness-­raising groups began to demand reproductive rights more publicly. According to Ana Lau Jaiven and Carmen Ramos Escandón, the feminist collectives active in Mexico City in the 1970s were roughly divided into two ideological currents: liberal feminists, represented by such organizations as MAS and Movimiento Nacional de Mujeres (MNM, 1972); and social feminists, represented by La Revuelta (1976), the Movimiento de Liberación de la Mujer (MLM, 1976), Lucha Feminista (LF, 1976), the Colectivo de Mujeres (1976), and the Coalición de Mujeres Feministas (CMF, 1977).73 Their members were primarily middle-­class and university-­ educated women.74 Despite these distinct ideological tendencies, Martha Zapata notes that two trends of feminism—some have labeled them “feminism of equality” and “feminism of difference”—influenced the establishment and drove the goals of these collectives.75 The first group demanded the equality of women in relation to men under the law in all spheres of economic, sexual, and political life. The second trend emphasized the existence of sexual difference and how this difference acted as a source of inequality. All these groups identified violence against women and the decriminalization of abortion as their main concerns.76 The collectives that sought to be completely autonomous from the state, a third trend of feminism that would be labeled feminismo autónomo (autonomous feminism), began to voice their opposition against the IWY celebration,77 while others saw the international event as an important venue for making their demands known. In the midst of the Cold War period and as Jocelyn Olcott has argued, the IWY celebration also served as a stage for voicing a multitude of interests, including pitching feminism as an imported imperialist ideology that placed emphasis on women’s sexual liberation—including the legalization of abortion, open discussion of lesbianism, and the rights of prostitutes—over concerns such as poverty, health, and access to education.78 The open discussion of sexual rights not only shocked the largely conservative, Catholic Mexican population, but also distressed many to the left of the political spectrum, who preferred to frame women’s issues as a class struggle rather than the sexual and self-­determination emphasis espoused by feminists.79 To make their point, several feminist militants—those self-­defined as autonomous—decided to organize a counter-­congress to boycott the IWY

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conference and parallel events; it took place at a theater in Coyoacán, a neighborhood located in the southern part of the city.80 Meanwhile, the main events of the IWY celebration took place in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Tlatelolco, the site of the 1968 student massacre. From these two different locations and the interstices between them, different approaches to women’s rights, feminism, and political solidarity were launched throughout Mexico City’s streets, placing women’s rights and living conditions on the public agenda in the decades that followed. One of the ways in which these different approaches were expressed was through the organization of street demonstrations, a practice second-­wave feminists, in spite of their differences, had used since 1971 but that intensified in the aftermath of the IWY celebration. ¡ V i va M i s s R e volución ! A N e w C oncep t of B e au t y, E q ua l i t y, a n d J u s t ice a n d W ork f or Al l ! In the aftermath of the 1975 IWY celebration and in spite of the differences among feminists, more collectives, broader coalitions, and additional exchanges with feminists from other nations were established.81 Feminist demonstrations became livelier as several collectives began to stage street-­theater performances, while other militants performed songs during their gatherings.82 Most famous were the performances of Las Leonas, a group of musicians lead by Marta Lamas, and the presentations of Amparo Ochoa, a popular singer and songwriter, who also performed in various feminist events.83 By 1976, several collectives and small consciousness-­raising groups had joined forces to establish a broader coalition, the Coalición de Mujeres Feministas, in Mexico City, with the purpose of giving more weight to their demands.84 CMF organized yearly national campaigns to raise awareness on abortion and promote its decriminalization and legalization—signaled by their slogan “por una aborto libre y gratuito,” as well as the criminalization of violence against women and a demand for sexual freedoms.85 These national campaigns were animated with different kinds of presentations and activities, including the organization of conferences, book presentations, film screenings, and street protests, as well as the publication of a periodical, Cihuat/Voz de la Coalición de Mujeres.86 All these acts helped to call attention to the coalition’s demands.

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Although their claims would continue to center on the right to own their female bodies, CMF militants began to denounce other forms of oppression. They sought alliances with gay and lesbian activists and continued to seek more meaningful relations with workers’ unions.87 They would even gain the support of the Mexican Communist Party.88 While these alliances were sought as part of a strategy to give more weight to CMF demands, the ways in which these protests left a mark on their audiences and transformed the urban landscape of the city are also important aspects of CMF efforts that need to be recognized as part of the long-­term and unexpected change brought on by these public actions. In 1978, two years after the staging of “La opresión de la mujer” at the Motherhood Monument, two beauty pageants were scheduled to be celebrated in the tourist town of Acapulco in the state of Guerrero. The Señorita México and Miss Universe pageants were sponsored by Televisa, Mexico’s largest private media conglomerate, in collaboration with state and regional governments. At the time, feminist activists all over the world were demonstrating against beauty pageants, and CMF militants were likewise opposed to these events.89 In anticipation of the celebrations of Señorita México and Miss Universe in Mexico, more than one hundred feminist militants, including lesbian activists, gathered outside the Auditorio Nacional on May 28, 1978, to protest what they perceived to be these contests’ sexual objectification of the female body.90 Some women carried banners that read, “Not a decorative object or a sacrificed mother.” They also demanded that sexual violence and the objectification of women be denounced and legally prosecuted.91 In addition to focusing on the alleged objectification of the señoritas in such contests, feminist militants distributed flyers with information about the violence perpetrated against peasants in the state of Guerrero, including the rape and torture of various women.92 In the literature they disseminated, feminists defined an alternative beauty standard, one that regarded feminine beauty as a body without traces of violence. As Alexander Aviña has noted, at that time the region of Guerrero was a site of state-­supported violence because of the presence and persecution of members of peasant guerrilla organizations.93 The CMF flyers provided information about several military attacks and invasions perpetuated during the month of April against fourteen ejidos in the state of Guerrero, where women had been tortured and raped.

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On April 15–26, the army abused and killed people in fourteen ejidos in the state of Guerrero. Men were tortured and women were raped. To date, there has been no justice. Nonetheless, the port of Acapulco is being prepared to host a masquerade that would serve to showcase an image of this country: During the month of July, the contest “Miss Universe 1978” will be hosted in Acapulco. Women with slim bodies, with no traces of violence, will be paraded in order to secure profits and to obscure and silence the real conditions that women in the state of Guerrero, in Mexico, and around the world face every day.94

CMF’s highlighting of the violence in Guerrero brought home the ways in which beauty contests objectified female bodies. By making a direct connection between divergent forms of oppression and cultures of violence toward female bodies, CMF reframed its highly politicized demands (decriminalization of abortion, prosecution of domestic and sexual violence, and an end to media objectification of female bodies) by invoking more recognizable, if not more visible, forms of violence and oppression. These connections allowed CMF militants to reach wider audiences and may have generated in those audiences stronger associations between the forms of oppression and the potential disruptions those acts represented. They not only demanded that their audiences bear witness to silenced practices of violence, but, by making visible those connections, they also demanded some accountability from the structures of power that were invested in obscuring them. Elaine Scarry, Diane Taylor, and other performance theorists have argued that performing trauma (making visible a personal or communal form of pain) makes both the personal pain and the mode of resistant citizenship visible to the structures of power that refuse to see them.95 Scarry asserts that the ability to injure others comes from the inability to see them, to witness such injury.96 Hence, performing trauma in urban public spaces makes obscured forms of violence visible and potentially has the power not only to cure trauma but also to promote forms of participatory citizenship and practices of remembrance that are in themselves powerful means of demanding accountability. While CMF activists did not ground their performance in their personal pain, they used the pain of others to make visible divergent forms of oppression. A second demonstration was organized at the Auditorio Nacional, where a Miss Universe swimsuit contest was scheduled to take place on

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June 14, 1978. As it turned out, the swimsuit contest was abruptly canceled; nonetheless, more than 120 people attended the planned protest.97 During the event, several women performed a theater farce in which they disguised themselves as Miss Mexico, Miss USA, Miss Italy, and Miss India and performed domestic chores like washing clothes, as a means of showing that away from the contest the beauty pageant contestants continued to be slaves to their domestic lives (fig. 5.5).98 They also carried banners that ironically played with the concept of “revolution,” which was particularly resonant in twentieth-­century Mexico, with its memories of the 1910 Revolution and its unfulfilled promises, symbolically embodied by the ruling party, PRI. Members of the CMF proposed “Miss Revolución” as a new standard of female beauty in which sexual pleasure was the main weapon against women’s oppression, an illustration of their argument that feminism was the only route for liberation and change. Miss Revolution, a new concept of beauty, equality, and justice and work for all; we are women when we feel the ecstasy of an orgasm, and the armed woman will never be raped; down with the mirror and long live the rifle; free choice and economic support to perform abortions; take charge of the word and take over the street; feminism means freedom and change. Feminism is the fight against sexism in all terrains—the juridical, the cultural, the socioeconomic.99

Through the use of humor and parody, members of the CMF questioned and subverted established definitions of highly gendered masculine concepts like revolución (revolution) and fusil (gun/firearm) while transforming Emiliano Zapata’s famous phrase Tierra y Libertad (Land and Freedom) into Feminismo significa libertad (Feminism means freedom). Mexican feminist activists inverted Mexico’s most recurrent cultural trope and myth of modern nation-­building—the Mexican Revolution—along with its pantheon of male heroes, imagery that powerfully haunts all narratives of Mexican twentieth-­century history. In doing so, the notion of “Miss Revolución” turned the social order upside down by making female sexual pleasure (defined in female terms) the new definition of an engaged and revolutionary citizen. By resorting to humor in public performances, the activists loosened the reins of the existing social order by inviting spectators and passersby to step back from the normal rules of everyday life and interrogate their

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Figure 5.5. Colectivo La Revuelta performing outside Mexico City’s Auditorio Nacional, 1978. Photo by Ana Victoria Jiménez. © Ana Victoria Jiménez. Courtesy, Archivo Ana Victoria Jiménez, Biblioteca Francisco Xavier Clavigero, Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México.

own roles within public civic life.100 As noted earlier, the use of humor and parody, relajo, as a transgressive public practice has a long history in Mexican popular performance traditions, but until the 1970s it had not been adopted publicly for the purpose of demanding gender and sexual reproductive rights. Feminist-­led street plays and demonstrations, such as the ones enacted by CMF activists, gave an alternative and indeed revolutionary

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form to the ways in which Latin American women envisioned the parameters of political engagement for the female population. Through their banners and songs, feminists appropriated the masculine practice of relajo and, in the process, called different publics into being. As Michael Warner has argued, certain publics are not created a priori but come into being in relation to the particular discourses and events that address them.101 The use of humor, parody, and relajo was brilliantly continued in the 1980s by the feminist art collective Polvo de Gallina Negra.102 As in previous years, competing and divergent images and notions of female bodies circulated in the media, influencing public opinion about the role women were to play in society. Hence, according to the family planning campaigns of the 1970s, Mexican women were expected to exercise sexual restraint in the name of progress rather than be fertile mothers. In protest, women could defend their right to look as they pleased, parading without bras in the streets while demanding their right to abortion and sexual freedom; or they could try to conform—by being slim, wearing high heels, and perhaps dyeing their hair blond to secure a spot in the Señorita Mexico contest. Those were the visible bodies. The other bodies—the ones that both mainstream media and the state were not willing to reveal—were those of battered, tortured, and raped women. Through street demonstrations and the distribution of flyers, feminist activists collaborated in shattering the invisibility of these and other silenced bodies. In the face of mainstream and official media distortions that ignored police violence and state repression, feminist protests also provided an alternative means of communication for the residents of Mexico City. Y e s , Y e s , Y e s , L e t ’ s A b ort t h e PRI ! During the 1970s, all kinds of artistic coalitions seeking to place their work at the service of diverse social justice causes were being established throughout Mexico City. Many employed aesthetic strategies similar to those used by feminist collectives, including street theater, demonstrations, community organizing, and other forms of spontaneous improvisation. For instance, in 1978, several art collectives active in Mexico City joined forces and established the Frente Mexicano de Trabajadores Culturales (FMTC, 1978–1982); its purpose was to develop relations and facilitate interactions with workers struggling all over the country and across

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Latin America and thereby to put their multidisciplinary aesthetic practices at the workers’ service.103 To this end, they developed manuals on how to create banners and paint murals; they organized conferences, exhibitions, and street theater plays; and they participated in street demonstrations. The Centro Libre de Experimentación Teatral y Artística (CLETA, 1973 to present) is another coalition established at that time. At the initiative of a group of students from UNAM’s faculty of philosophy and literature (filosofía y letras), many of whom had participated in the 1968 and 1971 student movements, their aim was to develop cultural activities in marginal zones of the city and thus to support their demands for a better quality of life.104 CLETA staged plays at Casa del Lago and collaborated on various feminist street plays beginning in 1978 (fig. 5.6). Galvanized by the establishment of other collective fronts, on March 8, 1979, Frente Nacional por la Liberación y los Derechos de las Mujeres brought together members of several of the initial feminist collectives (CMF, MLN, and Lucha Feminista), the Mexican Communist Party and the Revolutionary Trotskyist Party (PRT), the Union of Workers from UNAM (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la UNAM, STUNAM), the Independent Union of Workers of Colegio de Bachilleres (SINTCB), the Teachers’ Revolutionary Movement (Movimiento Revolucionario del Magisterio), and MNM (which later left when some gay and lesbian collectives joined FNALIDM).105 One of the main objectives of FNALIDM was to elaborate a project on voluntary motherhood legislation that revisited the previous objectives presented by the CMF. By building alliances with various left-­leaning organizations, FNALIDM sought to present its project to Congress by December of 1979.106 In order to raise awareness of their goal, FNALIDM militants organized a series of events at which they continued to showcase links between different forms of oppression by resorting to humor and parody. On March 31, 1979, FNALIDM militants organized their first meeting outside the Chamber of Deputies, at which 250 women gathered outside the building to demand the right to free and legal abortions. Events were organized in other parts of the city as part of the International Day of Action.107 The lyrics of the Italian feminist hymn “Stiamo stufi” (“We are fed up”) were translated as “¡Estamos hartas!” and were printed on a flyer entitled “Estridencias y desafines,” which was handed out to the public. Not only did the title of the flyer resonate with earlier Mexican avant-­ garde art movements, such as Los Estridentistas (1920) and Los Hartos

Figure 5.6. “Obra sobre el trabajo doméstico, la pareja y el aborto I and II.” La Revuelta and CLETA performing at Casa del Lago, Mexico City, 1978. Photo by Eli Bartra. © Eli Bartra. Courtesy of Eli Bartra.

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(1960), but the lyrics of the song were transformed to attack Mexico’s ruling party.108 As the demonstrators began to march through the streets of downtown Mexico City toward the Chamber of Deputies, they sang: “Yes, yes, yes, let’s abort the PRI,” and “Look, Hank González, the streets are not yours.”109 At the time, Hank González was Mexico City’s mayor, and several months prior to this demonstration he had ordered the removal of the Campamento 2 de Octubre, a group of women who demanded justice after state officials burned their illegal settlement in the outskirts of the city, killing their sons and daughters while they were at work.110 The banners also made reference to the persecution and battering of gay men, illuminating further links between different forms of policing and state repression carried out on the streets of Mexico City: “Not only gay [men] are victims of persecution: We demand an end to all forms of policing [redadas] and an end to police repression.”111 On this occasion, feminists’ interests in re-­signifying the use of and rights to their own bodies were joined with destitute mothers’ calls for justice for their children’s burnt bodies and with the deviant masculine bodies of gay men, as both of these groups demonstrated alongside the FNALIDM women. Feminist-­led demonstrations became an important stage on which unacknowledged violence against all kinds of bodies was denounced and made visible during the late 1970s. In doing so, the feminist motto of making the personal political gained political traction as women built links between private forms of violence and public expressions of state repression. C onclu s ion: T he M ou rn i ng R i t ual an d I t s Re mai n s At stake for Mexican feminist activists during the 1970s was the challenge of bringing issues from the private sphere into the public sphere in order to articulate political demands that would ultimately redefine their status as citizens. These claims were based on both the discursive and the material status of their bodies. Their practices tackled embodied encounters and the terms through which their bodies were discursively constructed by laws, social mores, and images. The discursive status and the material status of their bodies were conceptualized as interconnected and dialogically produced, not as two separate realms.

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While neither their demands nor their legislative proposal were passed by Congress or well received by a mostly Catholic and conservative society, and although feminist militants and those who supported them were the targets of varied forms of defamation, feminist street protests organized between 1971 and 1979 resulted in the production of empathetic and supportive publics, if not generations of militants, which would view violence against bodies through a lens that was more sensitively attuned to the ways in which gender and sexuality were mobilized to justify cultures of violence against all kinds of bodies. In performing songs, staging plays, making graphics, and constructing objects to raise consciousness and communicate their demands to the public, these early feminist activists developed solidarity through the arts. They developed an aesthetic of resistance that made visible the perpetration of violence against bodies that were—and still are—largely unrecognized. Their performances against silenced cultures of violence also left important tangible traces throughout Mexico City as the remains of feminist-­led protests were inscribed onto the urban landscape. On May 10, 1979, around two hundred women, all dressed in black, walked from El Angel de la Independencia and along Reforma Avenue toward the Motherhood Monument to mourn the deaths of women who had died as a result of illegally performed abortions.112 These women carried a huge funeral wreath made not of flowers but of objects utilized to induce abortions: knitting needles, clothes hangers, turkey feathers, and natural herbs (fig. 5.7). At the end of the march, the funeral wreath was placed at the Motherhood Monument (fig. 5.8). This march of the mourning mothers became a feminist ritual in the decades that followed.113 In 1991, a group of women close to Esperanza Brito de Martí, the founder of MNM, added a plaque to the Motherhood Monument that read, “Because her maternity was the product of her own will” to follow the initial inscription, “To the one who loved us before we were born.”114 This plaque remains an enduring symbol of struggle, as it has been removed and replaced several times (fig. 5.9). By placing it at the Motherhood Monument, feminist activists ensured that their history had a place in the official pantheon of heroes that adorn the streets of Mexico City. Moreover, it showcases the process through which feminist protests made visible diverse cultures of violence against bodies and became meaningful stages on which political solidarity was—and continues to be—forged.

Figure 5.7. Funeral wreath, Mother’s Day demonstration, May 10, 1979. Photo by Ana Victoria Jiménez. © Ana Victoria Jiménez. Courtesy, Archivo Ana Victoria Jiménez, Biblioteca Francisco Xavier Clavigero, Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México.

Figure 5.8. Mother’s Day demonstration, May 10, 1979. Photo by Ana Victoria Jiménez. © Ana Victoria Jiménez. Courtesy, Archivo Ana Victoria Jiménez, Biblioteca Francisco Xavier Clavigero, Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México.

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Figure 5.9. “Detail of the plaque with additional text at the Motherhood Monument.” Photo by Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda. © Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda. Courtesy of Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda.

Notes 1. Unless otherwise noted, all translations by the author. MLM, “Protesta 10 de mayo” (flyer): Archivo General de la Nación (AGN), DFIPS, box 1634-­B “Generalidades 1965–1981,” file 7, folder 867, 203. 2. “Las Liberadas se burlan de la madre Abnegada ante el Monumento a la Madre,” El Universal, May 10, 1976: AGN, IPS, box 1634-­B “Generalidades,” file 8, 207–208. 3. E. Bartra, interview with the author, Mexico City, July 30, 2011 (unpublished). 4. A.  L. Jaiven, La nueva ola del feminismo en México: Conciencia y acción de lucha de las mujeres (Mexico City: Editorial Planeta, 1987); M. Lamas, Feminismo: Transmisiones y retransmisiones (Mexico City: Taurus, 2006), 16. 5. Report of the meeting organized by FNLADM held on March 31, 1979, outside the Chamber of Deputies: AGN, IPS, box 1634-­B “Generalidades,”

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file 9, 92–96; “Informe Marcha Mitin Hemicilo a Juárez, 9 Septiembre, 1980”: AGN, IPS, box 1339-­A , 1971, file 36, 1–57. 6. Quote from Robert Schechner, Performance Theory (London: Routledge, 1988), 123. See also Kirk W. Fuoss, Striking Performances/Performing Strikes (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1997). 7. These studies include the following: Lamas, Feminismo; M.  Zapata Galindo, “Feminist Movements in Mexico from Consciousness-­R aising Groups to Transnational Networks,” in Feminist Philosophy in Latin America and Spain, ed. M. L. Feminías and A. Oliver (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007), 1–15; E. Bartra, A. M. Fernández Poncela, A. L. Jaiven, and A. Mastretta, Feminismo en México, ayer y hoy (Mexico City: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, 2000); audio recordings, “Conferencia sobre los cuarenta años del feminismo en México, 2011,” organized by M. Lamas and M. Acevedo, May 11, 2011, Mexico City; A. R. Sánchez Olvera, El feminismo méxicano ante el movimiento urbano popular: Dos expresiones de lucha de género (1970–1980) (Mexico: Plaza y Valdés, 2002); N. Nínive García, M. Millán, and C. Pech, eds., Cartografías del feminismo en México, 1970–2000 (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México [UNAM], 2007); G. Gutiérrez Castañeda, Feminismo en México: Revisión histórico-­crítica del siglo que termina (Mexico: UNAM, Programa Universitario de Estudios de Género, 2002); G. Espinosa Damián, “The Fruitful and Conflictive Relationship between Feminist Movements and the Mexican Left,” Social Justice 42.3–4 (2015): 74–88. 8. See, for example, I. Sáenz, “Impresiones feministas en la plástica en México,” 444–461, and M. Millán, “Feminismo(s) y producción cultural,” 431–441, both in Gutiérrez Castañeda, Feminismo en México; Mónica Mayer, “De la vida y el arte como feminista,” in N. Ninive García et al., Cartografías, 377–397; M. Mayer, Rosa chillante: Mujeres y performance en México (Mexico: CONACULTA/FONCA, 2000). 9. S. E. Álvarez, E. Dagnino, and A. Escobar, Cultures of Politics/Politics of Cultures: Re-­Visioning Latin American Social Movements (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1998). 10. Ibid., 2. 11. Ibid., 7. 12. E. McCaughan, Art and Social Movements: Cultural Politics in Mexico and Aztlán (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012); J. Adams, Art against Dictatorship: Making and Exporting Arpilleras under Pinochet (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2013); D. Taylor, Disappearing Acts: Spectacles of Gender and Nationalism in Argentina’s “Dirty War” (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1997). 13. L. Chaffe, Political Protest and Street Art: Popular Tools for Democratization in Hispanic Countries (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1993); R. S. Denisoff,

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Sing a Song of Social Significance (Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1983); J. Adams, “The Makings of Political Art,” Qualitative Sociology 24.3 (2001): 314–315. 14. Adams, “Makings of Political Art.” 15. D. Craven, Art and Revolution in Latin America, 1910–1990 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002); A. Hijar, Frentes, coaliciones y talleres: Grupos visuales en México en el siglo XX (Mexico City: Casa Juan Pablos, Centro Cultural, 2007). 16. Ibid. 17. L. Cortina, Pintoras mexicanas del siglo XIX (catalogue, Museo de San Carlos) (Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, 1985); R. Tibol, Frida Kahlo: Crónica, testimonios y aproximaciones (Mexico: Ediciones de Cultura Popular, 1977). 18. Some exceptions include C. Arias, M. Bustamante et al., “¿Arte feminista?,” Debate Feminista 23 (2001): 277–308; R. Blanco Cano, Cuerpos disidentes del México imaginado: Cultura, género, etnia y nación más allá del proyecto posrevolucionario (Madrid: Iberoamericana; Frankfurt am Main: Vervuert; Mexico City: Bonilla Artigas, 2010); K. Cordero and M. Mayer, Mónica Mayer: Sí tiene dudas . . . pregunte: Una exposición retrocolectiva (Barcelona: RM Verlag, 2016); S. Goldman, Dimensions of the Americas: Art and Social Change in Latin America and the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994); E. McCaughan, “Gender, Sexuality, and Nation in the Art of Mexican Social Movements,” Nepantla: Views from South 3.1 (2002): 99–143. 19. For a historical account on the emergence of gender as a disciplinary field of study, see M. Lamas, “Género: Algunas precisiones conceptuales y yeóricas,” in Feminismo, 91–114; M. T. Fernández-­Aceves, “Imagined Communities: Women’s History and the History of Gender in Mexico,” Journal of Women’s History 19.1 (Spring 2007): 200–205; E. Urrutía, Estudios sobre las mujeres y las relaciones de género en México: Aportes desde diversas disciplinas (Mexico: El Colegio de México, 2002); E. Bartra, “El movimiento feminista en México y su vinculo con la academia,” La Ventana 10, 200–205, 214–232; W. E. French and K. E. Bliss, “Introduction,” in Gender, Sexuality, and Power in Latin America Since Independence (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006), 1–30. 20. K. Cordero and I. Sáenz, Crítica feminista en la teoría e historia del arte (Mexico: Universidad Iberoamericana y UNAM-­PUEG, 2007), 6. 21. For instance, see A. Velázquez Guadarrama, “‘El amor del colibrí’ de Manuel Ocaranza” and “Escena familiar,” in Memoria 7 (Mexico: MUNAL, 1998), 134–136, 103–107; E. Bartra, ed., Museo vivo: La creatividad femenina (Mexico: Casa Abierta al Tiempo, 2008); B. L. Zamora, El imaginario femenino en el arte: Mónica Mayer, Rowena Morales y Carla Rippey (Mexico: CENIDIAP,

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2007); S. A. Barbosa, Arte feminista en los ochenta en México: Una perspectiva de género (Mexico: Casa Juan Pablos, 2008); M. Millán, Derivas de un cine en femenino (Mexico City: M. A. Porrúa, 1990); C. Pech, Fantasmas en tránsito: Prácticas dicursivas de videastas mexicanas (Mexico: UACM, 2009); A. Zavala, Becoming Modern, Becoming Tradition: Women, Gender, and Representation in Mexican Art (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2010). 22. O. Debroise, La era de la discrepancia: Arte y cultura visual en México, 1968–1997 (Mexico City: UNAM, 2006); B. Campbell, Mexican Murals in Times of Crisis (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2003); C. Híjar, Siete grupos de artistas visuales de los setenta (Mexico City: Casa Abierta al Tempo, UAM, Unidad Xochimilco, 2008). 23. McCaughan, Art and Social Movements, 135–151. 24. Ibid.; Mayer, Rosa chillante. 25. Campbell, Mexican Murals in Times of Crisis; Debroise, La era de la discrepancia; McCaughan, Art and Social Movements. 26. Cordero and Mayer, Sí tiene dudas . . . pregunte; G. Aceves, “‘¿Cosas de Mujeres?’: Feminist Networks of Collaboration in 1970s Mexico,” Artelogie: Recherches sur les arts, le patrimoine et la littérature de l’Amérique Latine 5 (Sept. 2013), http://​cral​.in2p3​.fr​/artelogie​/spip​.php​?article230. 27. J. N. Green, “Desire and Revolution: Socialism and the Brazilian Gay Liberation Movement in the 1970s,” in Human Rights and Transnational Solidarity in Cold War Latin America, ed. J. Stites Mor (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013), 239–268. 28. Ana Victoria Jiménez’s archive was bequeathed to the special collections of the Francisco Xavier Clavijero Library of the Universidad Iberoamericana in 2011. “Mujeres ¿y que mas? Reactivando el Archivo de Ana Victoria Jiménez,” http://​archivoavj​.com​/creditos​-­­y​-a­­ gradecimientos (accessed April 5, 2011). 29. A.  L. Jaiven, “Emergencia y trascendencia del neofeminismo,” in Un fantasma recorre el siglo, 158; C. Larson and M. Vargas, Latin American Women Dramatists: Theater, Texts, and Theories (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998); Y. Flores, The Drama of Gender: Feminist Theater by Women of the Americas (New York: P. Lang, 2000); K. F. Nigro, “Inventions and Transgressions: A Fractured Narrative on Feminist Theater,” in Negotiating Performance: Gender and Sexuality in Latin/o America, ed. D. Taylor and J. Villegas (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1994), 135–158. 30. L. Goodman, Contemporary Feminist Theater: To Each Her Own (New York: Routledge, 1993). 31. Ibid. 32. Taylor and Villegas, Negotiating Performance.

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33. W. H. Beezley, Judas at the Jockey Club and Other Episodes of Porfirian Mexico (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1987); W. H. Beezley, C. E. Martin, and W. E. French, Rituals of Rule, Rituals of Resistance: Public Celebrations and Popular Culture in Mexico (Wilmington, DE: SR Books, 1994). 34. J. Portilla, Fenomenología del relajo (Mexico: Ediciones Era, 1966), cited in Y. Broyles-­González, El Teatro Campesino: Theater in the Chicano Movement (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1994), 25–29. 35. Broyles-­González, El Teatro Campesino. 36. E. Klein, “Staging Latina Performances of Pain,” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 32.1 (2011): 102–124. 37. J. Pensado, “Political Violence and Student Culture in Mexico: The Consolidation of Porrismo during the 1950s and 1960s” (PhD diss., University of Chicago, 2008), 94–95. 38. A. Sluis, “Bataclanismo! or, How Female Deco Bodies Transformed Postrevolutionary Mexico City,” The Americas 66.4 (April 2010): 469–499; A. Rubenstein, “The War on Las Pelonas: Modern Women and Their Enemies, Mexico City, 1924,” in Sex in Revolution: Gender, Politics, and Power in Modern Mexico, ed. J. Oclott, M. K. Vaughan, and G. Cano (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006), 57–80; A. Rubenstein, Bad Language, Naked Ladies, and Other Threats to the Nation: A Political History of Comic Books in Mexico (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998); E. Gabara, “Essay: Las Bellas Artes Públicas, Photography, and Gender in Mexico,” in Errant Modernism: The Ethos of Photography in Mexico and Brazil (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008), 145–194. 39. Gabara, Errant Modernisms, 150–152; J. Hershfield, Imagining la Chica Moderna: Women, Nation, and Visual Culture in Mexico, 1917–1936 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008). 40. A. Rubenstein, “Home-­Loving and without Vices,” in Bad Language, 46. 41. Ibid. 42. E. Grosz, Space, Time, and Perversion (Routledge: New York, 1995). 43. Ibid. 44. N. García Canclini, Hybrid Cultures: Strategies for Entering and Leaving Modernity (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989); J. Franco, The Decline and Fall of the Lettered City: Latin America in the Cold War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002). 45. Franco, Decline and Fall, 266. 46. In the article, Acevedo also described the experiences and tactics of the women’s movement in San Francisco, CA. Marta Acevedo, “Nuestro sueño esta en escarpado lugar: Crónica de un miércoles santo entre las

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mujeres (Women’s Liberation—San Francisco),” Siempre! La Cultura en México, no. 901, Sept. 30, 1970. 47. M. Acevedo, “10 de mayo . . . ,” in Gutierrez Castañeda, Feminismo en México, 39–51; C. Martínez Asad, audio recording, 40 años de feminismo en México, Conferencia del feminismo en México, organized by Marta Lamas and Marta Acevedo, May 4, 2012, Mexico City. 48. D. Cosío Villegas, El estilo personal de gobernar (Mexico: Cuadernos Joaquín Mortiz, 1974); J. Agustín, Tragicomedia mexicana 2: La vida en México de 1970–1980 (Mexico: Editorial Planeta, 2007), 11–120; S. Schmidt, The Deterioration of the Mexican Presidency: The Years of Luis Echeverría (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1991). 49. Jaiven, La nueva ola del feminismo en México. 50. Zapata Galindo, Feminist Movements. 51. Acevedo, “10 de mayo . . .”; Martínez Asad, 40 años de feminismo. 52. Ibid. 53. The reference to “propaganda grotesca” is in response to M. Sanger’s bulletin. Ibid. 54. By the 1970s, Mexico City and São Paolo were considered the only mega-­cities in the Latin American region. N. García Canclini, Imaginarios urbanos (Buenos Aires: Eudeba, 1997), 74. 55. D. E. Davis, Urban Leviathan: Mexico City in the Twentieth Century (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994). 56. Ibid. 57. For instance, see J. N. Rosales, “Llevense la Capital a otro lado pero ya!” Siempre!, no. 1106, Sept. 4, 1974. 58. Antonieta Rascón and Antonieta Zapiaín, also journalists, contacted Acevedo after the publication of her article in Siempre! The three women met with other women’s groups to see if there was interest in organizing a meeting on Mother’s Day. They were joined by Nancy Cárdenas, a theater director, and Amparo Ochoa, a popular singer and songwriter, who took charge of organizing the music and theater performances at the meeting. Neither Cárdenas nor Ochoa attended because they felt the denial of the permit was connected to the wave of repression unleashed after 1968. M. Acevedo, “Lo volvería a elegir,” Debate Feminista 786 (October 1995): 4–15. 59. Rascón, 40 años del feminismo en Mexico. 60. A. E. Ávila G., “Maternidad elegida: Recuerdos, ficciones y olvidos del movimiento feminist,” in Cartografías del feminismo, 247. 61. Ana Victoria Jiménez, interview with the author, Mexico City, Aug. 2, 2010 (unpublished). 62. Ironically, the Insurgentes Metro station would also be used as ground zero for male gay action in the late 1970s and 1980s.

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63. For debates related to the naming of 1970s feminism, see E. Bartra, “Tres decádas de neofeminismo en México,” in Feminismo en México, ayer y hoy, 45–81. 64. Herrera Calderón and A. Cedillo, eds., Challenging Authoritarianism in Mexico: Revolutionary Struggles and the Dirty War, 1964–1982 (New York: Routledge, 2012); E. Zolov, Refried Elvis: The Rise of the Mexican Counterculture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999). 65. Fuoss, Striking Performances/Performing Strikes; Schechner, Performance Theory. 66. G. Soto Laveaga, “Let’s Become Fewer: Soap Operas, the Pill, and Population Campaigns, 1976–1986,” Sexuality Research and Social Policy Journal 4.3 (Sept. 2007): 19–33. 67. “International Women’s Year World Conference” documents (New York: UNIFO Microfiche Edition Publishers, 1975). 68. During the 1960s, demographic growth became a problem for developing nations, and in 1973, a law that prohibited the use of contraceptives was removed from the Código Sanitario and a new law that required a decrease in population growth was established. E. S. Guevara Villaseñor, “Las políticas públicas de salud,” in Feminismo en México, 374–399. 69. Soto Laveaga, “Let’s Become Fewer.” 70. Guevara Villaseñor, “Las políticas públicas de salud.” 71. E. Sánchez Navarro, “Liberación femenina en el Senado,” Crucero, Sept. 20, 1974: AGN, DFIPS, box 1634-­B “Generalidades 1965–1985,” folder 867. 72. “La iniciativa es un primer paso a la emancipación femenina. Proponene importantes medidas complementarias,” El Día, Sept. 26, 1974. 73. Jaiven, La nueva ola del feminismo en México, 143; Ramos Escandón, “Women’s Movements, Feminism, and Mexican Politics,” 199–221. 74. While this is generally true, a closer look at the lives and careers of some of the feminist activists suggests a different narrative of the social class and educational background of those who participated in the movement; see Aceves Sepúlveda, “‘Mujeres Que Se Visualizan’: (En)gendering Archives and Regimes of Media and Visuality in Post-­1968 Mexico” (PhD diss., University of British Columbia, 2014). 75. Zapata Galindo, Feminist Movements in Mexico, 16–17. 76. Ibid.; Ramos Escandón, “Women’s Movements, Feminism, and Mexican Politics,” 207; Lamas, Feminismo, 16. 77. Jaiven, La nueva ola del feminismo en México, 112. 78. J. Olcott, “Cold War Conflicts and Cheap Cabaret: Sexual Politics at the 1975 United Nations International Women’s Year Conference,” Gender and History 22.3 (Nov. 2010): 733–754.

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79. Many activists with links to the Mexican Communist Party (PCM) were not welcoming of feminist demands at this stage. Some PCM militants accused Mexican second-­wave feminists of being agents of US imperialism. However, feminists submitted a proposal to Congress in alliance with this party to legislate on abortion in 1979. Lamas, Feminismo, 19. 80. Ibid., 17. 81. See M. Acevedo, Marta Lamas, and A. L. Ligurí, “México: Una bolsita de Cal por dos de Arena,” in 10 años de periodismo feminista, 111–148; González Alvarado, “El espíritu de una época,” in Cartografias del Feminismo, 65–115; MAS (Dulce Maria Pascual, Rocio Peraza, Antonieta Rascón, and Rosalinda Tovar), “Un punto de vista sobre las reformas a los articulos 4 y 5 de la constitucion: Hacia la dualidad,” Siempre!, no. 1114, Oct. 30, 1974, v–ix; “Hoy de las 10:35 a las 13:25 horas, con una audiencia de 200 mujeres se llevó acabo el segundo día de audiencias públicas, en el salon de actos de la gran commission”: AGN, DFIPS, box 1634-­B “Generalidades 1965–1981,” file 7, folder 867, 176–180. 82. Interview with Ana Victoria Jiménez and various documents in AGN, DFIPS, box 1634-­B “Generalidades 1965–1981.” 83. Ibid. 84. CMF was established at the initiative of three ex-­MLM militants, Lourdes Arizpe, Mireya Toto, and Yan María Castro, then members of Movimiento Feminista Mexicano (MFM). They were joined by members of MNM, including Esperanza Brito and Anilú Elías; members of Colectivo La Revuelta, including Eli Bartra, María Brumm, Chela Cervantes, Bea Faith, Lucero González, Dominique Guillemet, Berta Hiriart, and Ángeles Necoechea; and members of Lesbos, the first lesbian collective in Mexico. R. González, “El espíritu de una época”; Jaiven, La nueva ola del feminismo en México. 85. Ibid. 86. Ibid. 87. Lesbian involvement with 1970s feminist activist in Mexico can be traced to the establishment of MAS, as Nancy Cárdenas, a lesbian activist and theater director, participated in MAS. For a state report that details the collaboration of Lesbos in feminist demonstrations, see “Coalición de Mujeres Feministas, tiene programado para el próximo 9 de julio en las afueras de la Secretaria de Turismo a fin de protestar por la celebración del certamen Miss Universo”: AGN, DFIPS, box 1634-­B “Generalidades 1965–1981,” file 7, folder 867, 264–265. For a study on the emergence of LGBT collectives as social actors, see Rafael de la Dehesa, Queering Public Space in Mexico and Brazil (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010). For contradictions within the feminist movement regarding relationship

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to the lesbian movement see N. Mongrovejo, “Sexual Preference, the Ugly Duckling of Feminist Demands: The Lesbian Movement in Mexico,” in Female Desires: Same-­Sex Relations and Transgender Practices across Cultures, ed. E. Blackwood and S. Wieringa (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999); N. Mongrovejo, Un amor que se atrevió a decir su nombre: La lucha de las lesbianas y su relación con los movimientos homosexual y feminista en América Latina (Mexico City: UNAM, 1998). 88. Lamas, “El feminismo mexicano y la lucha por el aborto.” 89. Goodman, Contemporary Feminist Theater; R. Morgan, Sisterhood Is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings from the Women’s Liberation Movement (New York: Random House, 1970). 90. “Miss Universo; o, La Obligación de Ser Bellas” (flyer): AGN, DFIPS, box 1634-­B “Generalidades 1965–1981,” file 7, folder 867, 16. 91. “Sin incidents aproximadamente 100 activistas de 5 organizaciones feministas, hoy efectuaron un mitin en la explanada del auditorio nacional en protesta por la realización del evento Señorita Mexico.” 92. “Violencia en Guerrero” and “Miss Universo; o, La Obligación de Ser Bellas”: AGN, DFIPS, box 1634-­B “Generalidades,” folder 867, 14, 16. 93. A. Aviña, “Seizing Hold of Memories in Moments of Danger: Guerrillas and Revolution in Guerrero, Mexico,” in Challenging Authoritarianism in Mexico, 40–59. 94. “Violencia en Guerrero” and “Miss Universo; o, La Obligación de Ser Bellas”: AGN, DFIPS, box 1634-­B “Generalidades,” folder 867, 14, 16. 95. D. Taylor, “You Are Here,” Drama Review 46.1 (2002): 149–169. 96. E. Scarry, “The Difficulty of Imagining Other Persons,” in Human Rights in Political Transition: Gettysburg to Bosnia, ed. C. Hesse and R. Post (New York: Zone Books, 1999), 282. 97. “La Coalición de Mujeres Feministas, tiene programado un mitin para el proximo 9 de julio en las afueras de la Secretaría de Turismo a fin de protestar por la celebración del certamen Miss Universo”: AGN, DFIPS, box 1634-­B “Generalidades,” folder 867, 264–267; “El Auditorio Nacional, explanada, La Coalición de Mujeres Feministas efectuo un mitin en defense de ese sexo”: AGN, DFIPS, box 1634-­B “Generalidades,” folder 867, 19–22. 98. “El Auditorio Nacional, explanada, La Coalición de Mujeres Feministas efectuo un mitin en defense de ese sexo.” 99. Ibid. 100. Taylor, “You Are Here.” 101. M. Warner, Publics and Counterpublics (New York: Zone Books, 2002). 102. McCaughan, Art and Social Movements; Mayer, Rosa chillante; Blanco Cano, Cuerpos disidentes del México imaginado.

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103. Members of FMTC included Grupo MIRA, Grupo SUMA, Grupo TIP, Taller Cine Octubre, Grupo TAI, Grupo Proceso Pentagono, Grupo Germinal, El Taco de la Perra Brava, and many others. See “Declaración del Frente Mexicano de Grupos Trabajadores de la Cultura” (flyer), Feb. 5, 1978, in Fondo Los Grupos, folder “Carpeta Frente de Los Trabajaodres de la Cultura FMTC,” CENIDIAP, Mexico City. Other events that sought to build solidarity through the arts included “Festivales de Oposición,” public gatherings where music was performed to raise funds for the Mexican Communist Party. See C. Espinoza and A. Zuñiga, La Perra Brava: Arte, crisis y políticas culturales (Mexico: UNAM-­STUNAM, 2002). 104. http://​www​.cleta​.org/ (accessed Jan. 28, 2013). 105. González Alvarado, “El espíritu de una de época.” 106. Zapata Galindo, Feminist Movements in Mexico. 107. Report of the meeting organized by FNLDM held on March 31, 1979, outside the Chamber of Deputies: AGN, DFIPS, box 1634-­B “Generalidades,” file 9, 92–96. 108. Los Estridentistas was group of Mexican avant-­garde writers who, inspired by Italian futurism, rebelled against established cultural institutions and intellectuals. Los Hartos was led by Mathias Goeritz and José Luis Cuevas, who, in the early 1960s, also sought to criticize the art establishment by claiming themselves to be the “fed-­ups” (los hartos). A. Hijar, Frentes, coaliciónes y talleres. 109. M. Lamas and D. Cardaci, “Dossier”: AGN, DFIPS, box 1634-­B “Generalidades,” file 9, 126. 110. “Informe Marcha Mitin Hemicilo a Juárez, 9 septiembre, 1980”: AGN, IPS, box 1339-­A , 1971, file 36, 1–57. 111. Ibid. 112. H. Tapia López, “Manifestación de mujeres en pro de que se legalice el aborto,” El Día, May 11, 1979. 113. M. Lamas, “El feminismo mexicano y la lucha por el aborto.” 114. In 1998, the plaque was officially put in place by the PRD administration led by R. Robles. M. Lamas, “Cuerpo y política: La batalla por despenalizar el aborto,” in Un fantasma que recorre el siglo, 183–212.

6 “Amor Solidario” R e volu t iona ry L e s b i a n i sm i n M e x ico Ci t y, 1977–1987

-­ Lucinda Grinnell

You who knows how to love other women, who rises above your presumed servile role, who proudly and defiantly expresses your sexuality, you lesbian, are an indispensable arm of The Revolution. Oikabeth–Lesbianas Comunistas poster, ca. 1978

T

he words of the epigraph, a “call to arms” for lesbians to join the “revolution,” appeared on a red and black silkscreened poster circulated by Mexico City’s autonomous lesbian group Oikabeth circa 1978. An image of two women holding machine guns and dressed in long skirts with rebozos covering their faces accompanied the above message. Such depictions of women holding rifles alongside slogans that proclaim lesbians as authentic revolutionaries feature prominently in literature and flyers distributed by Mexico City–based lesbian feminist organizations in the late 1970s and 1980s. According to Yan María Yaoyólotl Castro (Y. Castro), a leader of many of these groups,

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the central figure featured on this poster was an image of herself.1 In recent correspondence with the author, she reflects on the significance of this poster’s message: The image communicated that the struggle of lesbian feminists should be organically linked to the armed guerrilla struggles that during this time were militating in the Third World against imperialism and capitalism. The idea being that the lesbian movement should never be reduced to a sexual struggle. Above all, it was a political movement to emancipate all women. That’s why it couldn’t be separated from other social struggles.2

She went on to explain that she and her friend wore skirts for the picture in order to show that women could be both feminine and powerful. Their power and bravery were also represented by the machine guns they held, as well as by the indigenous rebozos they wrapped around their shoulders. By portraying themselves as guerrillas, they claimed their solidarity with revolutionary struggles prominent in Latin America during this time. James N. Green’s recent self-­reflective essay on his experiences working within both gay liberation and the Brazilian and US left “highlights the need for further scholarship related to sexual liberation movements in Latin America and their relationship to political change.”3 This chapter seeks to answer that call by analyzing the usefulness of activist artwork displayed on movement ephemera such as posters, flyers, and pamphlets to the construction of ideological positions and expressions of solidarity. In discussing the significance of Latin American poster art to social change, Russ Davidson states, “The simplicity and directness of the political poster made it (or so it was assumed) a powerful instrument for capturing the mood of the moment, transmitting messages, and mobilizing popular support.”4 Yet, as Edward McCaughan has found, “artwork produced in the context of social movement mobilization is often ephemeral, undocumented, and poorly preserved.”5 Despite such marginalization, McCaughan reveals that artwork used in various Mexican and Chicano social movements has been integral to the construction of movement ideology.6 Drawing from McCaughan, I argue that lesbian activists depicted lesbians as revolutionaries both to express South–South solidarity with transnational revolutionary movements and to radicalize lesbian activism within Mexico. By portraying themselves as revolutionaries, they also sought empathy for their own struggles against state surveillance and

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harassment. At the same time, such images, the majority drawn by Y. Castro, shed light on her personal battles to merge her own revolutionary and lesbian activism, particularly considering the rampant homophobia within the left. Thus, this chapter at once tells Y. Castro’s story as well as offering a perspective on Mexico City’s autonomous lesbian movement and its attempt to forge and express solidarity with both the Mexican and the Latin American left. The Mexican lesbian and homosexual movement as it emerged in 1978 aligned with the left.7 Over time there have existed numerous sectors of the lesbian feminist movement with varying political tendencies. This essay will focus on the movement artwork created by Marxist feminist lesbian organizations in Mexico City during the 1970s and 1980s. Y. Castro initiated and led the vast majority of these organizations, including Oikabeth, Lesbianas Feministas Comunistas, and El Seminario Marxista Leninista de Lesbianas Feministas. In contrast with other mixed-­gender groups and autonomous lesbian organizations that during this time focused primarily on cultural development and allying with leftist and liberal political parties, the Marxist groups I examine tended to reject electoral politics in favor of extending anti-­imperialist solidarity.8 Y. Castro has claimed that the trajectory of autonomous lesbian feminist organizing is distinct from other Mexican LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) histories and has been ignored and/or marginalized.9 It is true that most historians and other academics who discuss LGBT Mexican activism have either subsumed or marginalized Marxist feminist lesbian organizing within histories of both LGBT and lesbian specific activism. Because Marxist feminist organizations have not received much scholarly attention, artwork produced by these activists has not been analyzed or included in historical works on Mexican LGBT history. By interpreting movement artwork, this chapter seeks to provide a more complex analysis of the historical trajectory of autonomous Marxist lesbian feminism than other works thus far have. As was common internationally, Marxist feminist lesbians in Mexico City proclaimed lesbianism to be a “subversive” lifestyle necessary for the destruction of the patriarchy and capitalism. As well as organizing for the constitutional rights of lesbians and homosexuals within Mexico, lesbian activists mobilized in solidarity with working-­class struggles and anti-­imperialist movements. Solidarity was manifested through local coalition building with working-­class and Marxist social movements,

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by attending and leading demonstrations against US interventions in Latin America, and by creating educational tools such as pamphlets and posters.10 To form their ideological positions, they combined Latin American–based Marxist theories of class inequality with transnational second-­wave feminist positions, particularly those of US women of color. Adapting these theoretical positions to fit the realities of Mexico’s political context during the end of the Cold War and the onset of neoliberalism, these lesbian organizations strove for Marxists and feminists (particularly Marxist feminists) to adopt the lesbian struggle as integral to their own. Thus, their political artwork sought to create empathy for their social position as oppressed peoples. Activists involved with the broader lesbian and homosexual movement both expressed and requested solidarity in various forms: organizational statements and individual letters condemning human rights abuses and/ or expressing solidarity with workers and revolutionary movements, petitions, demonstrations, and the organizing of events and conferences. Falling in line with the division between reformist and revolutionary politics that divided the lesbian and homosexual movement, I differentiate between what I refer to as rights-­based, anti-­imperialist, and economic solidarity. These three kinds of solidarity were not necessarily exclusive of one another, and at times all three were expressed at once. As a result of global economic inequities, Mexican activists often sought financial assistance from Northern organizations in order to run their programs and maintain community spaces. When activists appealed for rights-­based solidarity, they were generally seeking the liberalization of state structures to defend the rights of lesbians and homosexuals. Finally, anti-­imperialist solidarity was requested and extended in condemnation of authoritarian governments and in support of democratization and revolutionary struggles in Latin America.11 The latter was the form of solidarity most often used by Marxist feminist lesbians during the time period under study. Utilizing images that visually portrayed lesbians as workers and as militant revolutionaries was integral to this strategy. Though Marxist lesbian organizations did not take official positions on guerrilla warfare, Y. Castro and other individuals supported revolutionary armed struggles and visual rhetoric that they used during this time period can be seen as backing armed struggle against the government. However, while individuals such as Y. Castro supported Third World revolutionary movements, neither she nor other movement activists were

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actually involved in armed struggles. Thus, the frequent use of images of female guerrillas with guns also can be interpreted as a romanticism of revolutionary struggles on the part of Mexican lesbian activists.12 Furthermore, while these images can help us understand the ideological positions and rhetoric of Marxist lesbian feminist organizations, they can’t speak for the effectiveness of their organizational strategies. As scholars such as Ana Patricia Rodríguez have argued, solidarity can never be “a leveled and equal social field and empathetic space” because it is “critically shaped by borders, power, and unequal hierarchal relationships.”13 Drawing from Rodríguez, I consider whether, by portraying themselves as female guerrillas, lesbian activists appropriated experiences very different in scope from their own, in turn detracting from their goals of fomenting solidarity across struggles. M e t hod ol o gy For this research, I have consulted various archival collections created and held by activists and institutions within Mexico, as well as police surveillance documents found at the Archivo General de la Nación.14 During the summer of 2010, I also spent approximately forty to fifty hours with Y.  Castro, both interviewing her and consulting her archive. Since this time, I have maintained regular communication with her. As Horacio N. Roque Ramírez contends in relation to queer Latino history, “For communities excluded, outcast, and marginalized, voice can speak to power: it is literally a weapon of evidence against historical erasure and social analysis that fails to consider the experiences of individuals and communities on their own terms.”15 Due to the severe lack of written sources that do not criminalize and condemn homosexuality, the use of oral testimony has been necessary in reconstructing the diversity of LGBT histories that have been silenced due to oppression and prejudice. At the same time as the “overtly political function and . . . liberating quality” of queer histories is acknowledged, the limitations of the oral history method need to be considered. In a recent article on the subject, historian Nan Alamilla Boyd contends with critiques of the presumedly stable subject of oral history brought about by queer theory.16 Boyd considers questions of how historians should represent a subject who only becomes knowable through discourse and modern understandings of identity. Arguing that history and queer studies can draw from one another, she posits that oral

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histories, while not stable, can still be a reliable source for the historian or ethnographer if understood as contingent, constructed, and discursive.17 In this case, my use of interviews and correspondence has allowed me to convey subjectively how Y. Castro remembers the motivations behind her political artwork, which of course do not necessarily mirror her original objectives. Just as important as analyzing the motivation of the artist is a consideration of interpretations of movement artwork, as well as an assessment of the effectiveness of solidarity expressed through art. O i k a b e t h a n d t he E m e rgence of M i l i ta n t L e s b i an i sm In order to analyze what motivated lesbian activists’ affinities with transnational revolutionary movements, we must consider the nature of Cold War politics, the emergence of neoliberal economics, and the restriction of self-­expression and activism associated with these politics. As Gilbert Joseph has contended, the Cold War further internationalized life in Latin America as Latin American states used Cold War rhetoric to justify repression of citizens.18 The Mexican government enacted what has been termed a “Dirty War” against the left during the 1970s and early 1980s. According to the National Security Archive’s Mexico Project, the politics of the Cold War upheld surveillance and frequent repression, ­manifested in both violent and more subtle forms, of those considered leftist or deviant, including gays and lesbians.19 While it does not seem that repression of lesbians and homosexuals was always politically motivated or linked to their revolutionary participation, it is clear that Cold War ideology allowed governments throughout Latin America to stigmatize all members of society considered “dissident” due to differences of race, gender, sexuality, and political affiliation.20 Many of the individuals who became part of the sustained, political lesbian and homosexual movement beginning in the late 1970s were participants or supporters of the 1968 Mexico City student movement that the government brutally repressed on October 2 of that year. Mexico City’s first homosexual organization formed soon after, in 1971, and activists met in consciousness-­raising groups throughout the decade. However, a movement did not come together until the late 1970s. The political environment in which Mexico’s lesbian and homosexual movement emerged publicly in 1978 can be characterized as both one of democratic reform

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and one in which the left continued to face intimidation and repression from the government.21 All segments of the left opposed prevailing authoritarian politics in Mexico. On July 26, 1978, the Homosexual Front for Revolutionary Action (FHAR) became the first Mexican homosexual or lesbian group to demonstrate publicly, marching as a contingent in a commemorative march for the Cuban Revolution. After reading in the newspaper about the FHAR’s participation in the July 26 demonstration, Y. Castro and Luz María Medina contacted the men and decided to form a lesbian contingent called Oikabeth as part of the larger group. According to Y. Castro and Medina, the term “Oikabeth” derives from Mayan words that roughly mean “a guerrilla women’s movement that opens a path to grow flowers.”22 In conjunction with the group’s name, early images from Oikabeth flyers depicted lesbians rather romantically, as unclothed indigenous warriors holding spears.23 Arguably, with the use of a Mayan name and the imagery associated with it, the group sought to communicate the idea that lesbians were legitimate Mexican guerrilla militants. Such visual rhetoric complemented the organizational goals of building solidarity against imperialism, sexism, capitalism, and homophobia. Like other lesbian and homosexual liberation organizations of its time, Oikabeth sought to unite the lesbian feminist movement with local and international Marxist struggles. Significantly, the slogan at the end of their mission statement and frequently rearticulated by movement leaders is “We claim the right to participate in the construction of socialism.” Artwork displayed on posters, flyers, and pamphlets was an essential means by which lesbian feminists sought to convey their revolutionary credentials. Oikabeth split with the FHAR at the end of 1978 after activists became tired of the multiple instances of sexism they experienced from their male counterparts, including verbal assault from certain members.24 According to Y. Castro, Oikabeth decided to organize autonomously, because they realized that gay men were part of the patriarchy and thus not naturally inclined to support lesbian struggles.25 Thereafter, Oikabeth centered their efforts on creating coalitions with heterosexual Marxist feminists and with the broader working class.26 Like other Mexican lesbian and homosexual organizations, leaders recruited members by using street graffiti and flyers announcing meetings, as well as through participation in leftist and feminist demonstrations and conferences. Banners and slogans employed by Oikabeth in demonstrations articulated their intersectional and anti-­imperialist

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ideology and included such statements as “Lesbians with the people of El Salvador,” “Lesbianism is a Dignified Lifestyle,” “Machismo Represses Lesbianism,” and “People, Lesbians are in the Struggle with You.”27 These slogans were often recounted and the images reproduced in newspaper articles, thereby communicating the group’s messages to the broader public. According to Y. Castro, in Oikabeth’s first year more than two hundred women from the group participated in union and anti-­imperialist marches and distributed twenty thousand flyers and four thousand posters educating the public about the group’s goals and beliefs and seeking solidarity for their struggle. The silkscreened poster of two women militants described in this chapter’s introduction was distributed during this time. Art historian David Craven contends that “the 1960s to the 1990s have been called the ‘golden age of the poster’ in Latin America” and the majority of such posters expressed ideals of anti-­imperialism and transnational solidarity.28 According to Craven, images of the revolutionary “new woman” circulated widely, the most well-known being an image of a Nicaraguan Sandinista militant nursing her child while carrying a rifle. Considering that Oikabeth’s politics were inspired by Latin American revolutionary movements, including the Sandinistas, this image could be interpreted as conveying the message that lesbians should be included in understandings of the revolutionary “new woman.” On the other hand, the image might also be read as romanticizing female guerrillas since Oikabeth members were not actually militating in revolutionary struggle. Oikabeth used a similar image on a pamphlet made for distribution to students and labor unions entitled Lesbianism and Society. The pamphlet explained their political principles and pictured two women with rifles holding hands. Drawing from the writings of Marx and Engels and more recent Marxist feminist theories, Oikabeth argued that because lesbians did not perform the economic function of “woman,” they were inherently subversive in the threat they posed to patriarchy and the very structure of capitalism. According to the authors of this pamphlet and others distributed by the group, when lesbians adopted a socialist perspective opposing all forms of oppression, they would become revolutionaries working toward the defeat of US imperialism. Thus, through written and visual rhetoric, Oikabeth both extended anti-­imperialist solidarity and sought empathy by encouraging their fellow Marxist and heterosexual feminists activists to understand lesbians as fellow revolutionaries acting in resistance to capitalism, imperialism, and patriarchy.29

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Many Oikabeth participants, including leaders Y. Castro and Patría Jímenez, were artists and firmly believed in the potential of art to transform society. To advertise the group and promote lesbian visibility among the left, Y. Castro and other artists within the group, including Jímenez, often created artwork to help get their Marxist feminist messages across. For example, after receiving a donation from a university affiliated union, Y. Castro and Jímenez made a poster advertising the second national gay pride march featuring a picture of a female figure and the slogan “Lesbianism and revolution.”30 The flyer included a copied image of a Cuban revolutionary and called for women to “choose lesbianism,” to stop living in silence, and to claim their space in the world.31 On other posters, such as that analyzed above, the longer message, although using the word “revolution,” did not overtly ask lesbians to join a militant revolution. Considering that Mexicans lived in postrevolutionary state, the use of the term “revolution” on this poster could also suggest identifications with citizenship and appeals for their constitutional rights to be recognized. Despite their general support for Latin American revolutionary politics, Mexico City’s lesbian and homosexual movement spoke out against the mistreatment of homosexuals and lesbians during the Cuban Revolution. For example, in May 1980, in response to the Mariel boatlift—a voluntary migration to the United States that included a mass exile of lesbians and homosexuals—Mexico’s lesbian and homosexual movement held a demonstration in front of the Cuban embassy and sent a letter of protest to Cuban president Fidel Castro criticizing a “lack of freedom of political dissent . . . and marginalization and persecution of homosexuality.”32 While most Mexico City activists did not experience the same level of state repression as lesbians and homosexuals in Cuba, they did often face intimidation and harassment from the police. According to Y. Castro, Oikabeth activists posted the above-­described flyer throughout many working-­class neighborhoods and in the process were constantly running from the police. If activists were caught hanging posters or writing graffiti advertising their group’s activities, it was common practice for police to extort money and/or threaten to publicly humiliate lesbians and gays through such measures as publishing compromising photographs of them in Mexico City’s daily tabloids. Essentially, the Mexican state treated lesbian and homosexual organizations as they did other movements on the left, monitoring and harassing individuals and their organizations in an

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effort to weaken the groups’ influence on civil society. Analysis of secret police documents reveals that government surveillance agencies consistently planted agents in meetings and demonstrations in order to monitor Oikabeth and Lesbianas Feministas Comunistas’ “subversive” activities and political alliances.33 Y. Castro stated in an interview published in 2008, “In fact, from when we began Oikabeth, we had prepared to die because our struggle was revolutionary, so revolutionary that we knew that they could kill us.”34 Thus, though Oikabeth as a group did not take an official position on guerrilla warfare, images that the group used during this time period promoted armed struggle against the government via women as guerrillas clad with rifles. For example, in a flyer entitled “Lesbianism and the Class Struggle” two women appear jointly holding a rifle above a caption reading, “Sexual repression is one of the most effective political arms of social control.”35 Similar to the article referenced above, the pamphlet goes on to argue that a Marxist revolution will only be accomplished when lesbians join it and when the proletariat adopts the lesbian struggle as their own. Together, the topic of the article, the image, and the caption put forth the ideas that class struggle can be violent and that lesbians will gain freedom and power by becoming part of class warfare. Reflecting on the significance of this image, Y. Castro explains that Oikabeth sought to convey the message that the lesbian struggle was a political versus sexual one, and the weapon symbolized “the struggle” and not the “bed”: Rather than depict two naked women making out in bed, the image portrayed two female guerrillas uniting together by both holding a rifle. The rifle symbolized the anti-­capitalist and anti-­imperialist struggle. . . . For me, it was very important to desexualize lesbianism, and instead emphasize its political nature: love between women, but revolutionary  .  .  . “amor solidario” . . . I wanted to convey lesbians’ political commitment to women throughout the world, particularly Third World working and indigenous women.36

Y. Castro’s description of lesbians’ politically based “amor solidario” versus sexual love offers fascinating insight into the nature of that solidarity work that she and other Marxist feminist lesbians aspired to achieve. This is an example of an image that conveys lesbians’ “amor solidario” versus sexual love as an effort to extend South–South solidarity to Third World

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women. Similar to the images of lesbian women depicted as indigenous warriors, these images of lesbians as gun-­clad militants thus served to differentiate them from bourgeois Western lesbianism, instead conveying their tercermundialista Mexican roots and ideals.37 Thus, considering the prevalence of homophobia in the Marxist left both in Mexico and internationally, by portraying lesbians as indigenous warriors and revolutionary guerrillas, Y. Castro hoped to desexualize and in turn, destigmatize lesbian activists.38 F o s t e ri ng C om m un i t y a n d Re si st i ng Repre ssion Marxist lesbian organizing continued throughout the early to mid-­1980s, both turning inwards to foster consciousness-­raising and extending outreach to working-­class women. Artwork produced during this period conveys solidarity against neoliberalism at the same time as it seeks empathy for lesbian struggles against state repression. As a result of economic troubles related to the worldwide economic crisis in 1982 and austerity measures placed on the government by international lenders such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mexico turned to an increasingly neoliberal economic and political model during the last decade of the Cold War. In response, lesbian and homosexual activists protested the connections between neoliberal reforms and a rise in social conservatism and moralizing politics that came with a government program called “Moral Renovation” that ostensibly sought to root out government corruption.”39 The experience of Lesbianas Morelenses, a group Y. Castro joined after splitting with Oikabeth over ideological differences, sheds light on the nature of social activism and political repression during this time. Marta Solé and another woman formed Lesbianas Morelenses in 1982. The group was based in a community outside Cuernavaca, approximately an hour and a half from Mexico City.40 Solé worked with the state government and received funding from her boss to start a “comuna,” or commune. Beginning in July, the group rented an apartment with the idea of forming a commune and published a newsletter called Lesbos. Echoing Oikabeth’s early writings, the newsletter advocated lesbianism as a “subversive” lifestyle and served as a platform for discussing socialist feminist politics founded in the theories of Marx and Engels. By the next year, the group had obtained a house and started a commune called the “Casa de la Mujer Lesbiana”; it included a feminist café, documentation center, library, movie club, communal garden and farm, housing, herbal medicine

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and acupuncture, and an artisan coop. A drawing of the commune that first appeared in Lesbos has since circulated internationally. By portraying women standing and waving in the doorframe of the house, the image invites the viewer to empathize with the activists’ project. At the same time, the written descriptions of the commune’s activities clearly expose revolutionary ideals of communalism. Though the group left only scant documentation, the extant material indicates that up to sixty women, including several from abroad, were involved with the commune in 1983. According to Y. Castro, as opposed to Oikabeth, where the majority of members were middle class, most of the women who worked with Lesbianas Morelenses were working class and/or indigenous.41 However, the commune’s existence was short-­lived. In late 1983 Solé’s boss warned her that the state government planned to accuse the group of being armed guerrillas. This threat resulted in the quick disbandment of the group, as women fled the state of Morelos. In a letter to the feminist community connecting their situation to the broader movement and to the politics of “moral renovation,” Lesbianas Morelenses denounced the threats made against them, stating: “We are in exile and without a home. Without materials our work is diminished, that is why we are calling for your solidarity and attention so that you will not be the next victims of these dirty and underhanded politics called ‘moral renovation.’”42 The letter also included an image of a policeman—flanked by the words “moral renovation”—pointing his gun at a women’s symbol being blown apart. While there exists little further documentation concerning the accusation of terrorism or the disbandment of the group, the rhetoric used in both the statement and image is helpful for understanding how lesbian feminist activists understood the politics of moral renovation—as threatening to women and, in particular, to lesbians. It also brings up questions of how activists may have seen the realities of moral renovation as connected to Dirty War–like policing of the left for supposed connections to guerrilla struggles. Soon after the disbandment of the lesbian commune and in the face of an increasingly conservative Mexican state, Y. Castro and Alma Oceguera formed the Seminario Marxista Leninista de Lesbianas Feministas (Marxist Leninist Seminary of Lesbian Feminists; hereafter, Seminario), bridging off the group Lesbianas Feministas Comunistas. Relief efforts after Mexico City’s 1985 earthquake offered Seminario the opportunity to take to the streets and work as part of the broader civil

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society to rebuild, as well as to protest the state’s efforts to enact neoliberal reforms. As has been well documented by journalists such as Carlos Monsivaís and Elena Poniatowska, because the government responded very slowly and ineffectively to the disaster, people from areas of the city unaffected by the earthquake turned out in droves to offer their assistance to the victims.43 Thus, the crisis created by the colossal loss of jobs and resulting economic instability inspired an intense popular mobilization in support of the earthquake’s victims. Monsivaís describes this point in time as one of historical rupture, during which the concept of “civil society” in Mexico City took on new meaning and force in response to the earthquake. According to Monsivaís, civil society organized apart from and in rejection of the government’s weak efforts to deal with the crisis.44 Claiming their place within civil society between September and December 1985, Seminario activists worked alongside urban popular movements to rebuild, create a seamstresses union, and demonstrate against government use of neoliberal politics in reconstruction efforts. A banner made during this time by Y. Castro and Oceguera effectively conveys Seminario’s solidarity with working-­class struggles. The word “lesbianismo” (lesbianism) is displayed prominently alongside a large image of a topless woman worker wearing a hard hat and carrying a hammer and a machine gun. The slogan “poder obrero” (worker power) appears behind the word “lesbianismo.” The image on this banner differs from earlier movement artwork by displaying a seminude figure versus a fully clothed woman. Liz McQuiston’s work on feminist artwork would seem to indicate, like images used in transnational feminist movements during this time, the nude figure could be meant to evoke “shock.” As McQuiston describes in relation to second-­ wave feminist graphics, “One of women’s greatest instruments for visual shock has been the female body itself. . . . As the female body had so often been stigmatized, exploited in the rhetoric of misogyny, women suddenly took a firm stand and began to use their bodies to make political statements.”45 At the same time, like artwork used by earlier Marxist lesbian organizations, this banner both displays lesbians’ revolutionary credentials and expresses solidarity with workers’ struggles. In their work with the seamstresses, Seminario sought to accomplish just this: solidarity between struggles. They approached the seamstresses as fellow workers and as union members, and brought them food and water. Together with activists from other unions, they immediately started

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a camp and stayed for almost three months, supporting the seamstresses cutting off the factory from their former employer. Women from Seminario also assisted seamstresses in the formation of an independent union, the Sindicato 19 de Septiembre. According to a report by Seminario members published during this time in the prominent feminist magazine Fem, group members did not immediately identify themselves to the seamstresses as lesbians. Rather, they waited to inform the seamstresses that they were part of a lesbian action group until after they had clearly exhibited their solidarity as fellow women workers. According to Seminario this strategy was effective, and the seamstresses came to accept their lesbianism: We explained to them that we are also an oppressed social sector .  .  . after having confronted the same enemy; the bourgeois state, including the government and its leaders, the demonized word “lesbian” lost all its stigma of being a “sickness,” a degeneration, or an “abnormality,” and was converted into a fraternal word, in the camp they called us “lesbian compañera” or “the lesbian communist compañeras.”46

Thereafter, part of Seminario’s mission in the camp was to educate the seamstresses in Marxist and feminist politics. They offered workshops on such themes as collective organization, vegetarianism, abortion, orgasm, lesbianism, and natural medicine. Thus, as expressed through the visual rhetoric of their banner, Seminario worked to build solidarity between lesbian and working-­class struggles. After finishing work with the seamstresses in late 1985, Seminario continued their attempts at radicalizing Mexican lesbian activism. The same image of the female worker that was displayed on the above banner appeared on the cover of what became the first book on revolutionary lesbianism produced in Latin America.47 Y. Castro and Alma Oceguera wrote a paper, later turned into book format, for the Primer Encuentro de Lesbianas Feministas Latinoamericanas y Caribeñas, held in Mexico in 1987. However, because of political differences between Seminario and other conference organizers, Y. Castro and Oceguera never gave their presentation. Despite continuing to clash ideologically with elements of the broader lesbian movement, Y. Castro since this time has continued her mission to revolutionize lesbian activism. She has led various lesbian feminist organizations and continued to militate in Marxist and communist politics, serving as a union steward and participating in revolutionary organizations.

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She has also worked in solidarity with various indigenous and feminist struggles in Mexico, including the Zapatistas and the movement against femicide in Ciudad Juárez.48 C onclu s ion In the foregoing pages, I have focused on the activist trajectory of Y. Castro to document histories of Marxist feminist lesbian organizing in the late 1970s through the mid-­1980s, exposing the significance of movement art to the expression of solidarity and the construction of ideological positions. During this time, Y. Castro and her fellow militants created an ideological grounding for revolutionary lesbianism, while simultaneously engaging in solidarity with the Mexican and Latin American left. Their main goal was for the left to embrace the revolutionary capacity of lesbians based on their social positioning as a quadruply-­oppressed group within systems of patriarchy, homophobia, capitalism, and imperialism. To disseminate their messages, they created educational resources, including flyers, pamphlets, and essays, and participated widely in feminist and Marxist organizing. The artwork that appeared on movement ephemera used images that conveyed Mexican lesbians’ revolutionary potential as well as their solidarity with revolutionary movements. While it is difficult to judge the impact of Marxist lesbian feminist organizing on the left and the feminist movement during this time, an analysis of their artwork helps us to understand their goals and motivations. Movement artwork communicated a message of solidarity amongst struggles and highlighted the need for revolutionary lesbian activism in Mexico. Though images of lesbians as female guerrillas may have romanticized armed struggle, it seems that Y. Castro’s primary goal was to express anti-­imperialist solidarity with Third World women, including other Mexican women such as the seamstresses. Gaining empathy from women such as the seamstresses was a secondary goal: one that would be achieved through expressions of solidarity as occurred after the 1985 earthquake. At the end of my last interview with Y. Castro, she described what she sees as her “historic mission”: I think the problem is that everything in my life has been fragmented, and, because of this, I feel that my historic mission is to put the pieces of a puzzle together, to unite Marxism with Buddhism, ecology with

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feminism, sexual politics with the labor struggle, the labor movement with the indigenous movement—that is what I am doing, assembling a puzzle. So, in my life I’ve founded and participated in many organizations and movements. But, I don’t work in just one sphere. . . . So, what I see as my historic mission is to unite all of these fronts, to put the puzzle pieces together, and by accomplishing this we can create a new society.49

Arguably, Y. Castro’s political artwork formed part of this historic mission of “amor solidario,” roughly translated as a “political love made of solidarity for the liberation of all women in the world.”50 Through “amor solidario,” Y. Castro and other Marxist lesbian feminists expressed pride in their tercermundialista lesbian identities and sought to create relationships of solidarity across social movements in Mexico and throughout Latin America. Notes 1. Over the years Y. Castro has used various names. During the 1970s and 1980s, she referred to herself as Yan María Castro. 2. Y. Castro, email correspondence with the author, Jan. 23, 2013. 3. Jessica Stites Mor, introductory material to James N. Green, “Desire and Revolution: Socialists and the Brazilian Gay Liberation Movement in the 1970s,” in Human Rights and Transnational Solidarity in Cold War Latin America, ed. Jessica Stites Mor (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013), 239. 4. Russ Davidson, “Images of Protest in Latin America: The Sam L. Slick Collection,” in Latin American Posters: Public Aesthetics and Mass Politics, ed. Russ Davidson (Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 2006), 12. 5. Edward McCaughan, Art and Social Movements: Cultural Politics in Mexico and Atzlán (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012), xvii. 6. Ibid., 3. 7. I use the phrase “lesbian and homosexual movement” to refer to a broad social movement created and maintained by lesbians and homosexuals in Mexico City in the 1970s and 1980s. I say “lesbian and homosexual” because the majority of the movement’s activists identified with these terms during this time. However, chroniclers, subsuming lesbianism within homosexuality, have often simply referred to it as the “homosexual” movement. Indeed, many original documents from the 1970s and 1980s use the all-­encompassing term “homosexual” to refer to both homosexual men and lesbians. Mexican men have identified much more with the term “homosexual” than women have, and since the time period under study, lesbians

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have sought for the movement to be referred to as the “lesbian and homosexual movement.” 8. Since they began to organize politically in 1978, Mexico City lesbian and homosexual organizations clearly conceptualized their movement as international. They stood in solidarity with revolutionary struggles in Central America and lent support to leftist lesbian and homosexual struggles in other parts of the globe. In 1979, Mexican lesbian and homosexual organizations joined with the newly founded International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) and participated with the Third World Gay Caucus in the First March on Washington for lesbian and homosexual rights. 9. Y. Castro, “Importancia histórica y política de las referencias documentales,” Archivo Histórico del Movimiento de Lesbianas-­Feminista en México 1976–2013 Yan María Yaoyólotl (AHMLFM-­YMY). 10. As Sara Katherine Sanders has discussed, the 1968 student movement demanded that the state protect constitutional rights. Influenced by ideologies of the student movement, Mexican lesbian and homosexual activists adopted similar discourses. See Sara Katherine Sanders, “The Mexican Student Movement of 1968: National Protest Movements in International and Transnational Contexts,” in Stites Mor, Human Rights, 76. 11. I expand on these categories in my dissertation, “‘Lesbianas Presente’: Lesbian Activism, Transnational Alliances, and the State in Mexico City, 1968–1991” (PhD diss., University of New Mexico, 2013). 12. Other scholars have analyzed the romanticizing of female guerrillas. For example, see Ana Patricia Rodríguez, “The Fiction of Solidarity: Transfronterista Feminisms and Anti-­Imperialist Struggles in Central American Transnational Narratives,” Feminist Studies 34.1–2 (2008): 199–226; Ileana Rodríguez, Women, Guerillas, and Love: Understanding War in Central America (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996); and Emily Hobson, “Si Nicaragua Vencío: Lesbian and Gay Solidarity with the Revolution,” Journal of Transnational American Studies 4.2 (2012), http://​escholarship​ .org​/uc​/item​/9hx356m4. 13. Rodríguez, “The Fiction of Solidarity,” 221. 14. The majority of sources I examined from the Archivo General de la Nación (AGN) in Mexico City were intelligence and police reports from the Departamento de Investigaciónes Políticas y Sociales (IPS) and the Dirección Federal de Seguridad (DFS). I also consulted organizational and personal collections held in Mexico, including the Centro de Documentación y Archivo Histórico Lésbico de México, América Latina y el Caribe “Nancy Cárdenas” (The Nancy Cárdenas Center of Documentation and Historic Lesbian Archive for Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean), the AHMLFM-­ YMY, and the personal collection of Trinidad Gutiérrez and Marco Osorio.

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15. Horacio N. Roque Ramírez, “A Living Archive of Desire: Teresita la Campesina and the Embodiment of Queer Latino Community Histories,” in Archive Stories: Facts, Fictions, and the Writing of History, ed. Antoinette Burton, Helena Pohlandt-­McCormick, Horacio N. Roque Ramírez, and Marilyn Booth (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006), 111–136. 16. For example, see Judith Butler, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex” (New York: Routledge, 1991). 17. Nan Alamilla Boyd, “Who Is the Subject? Queer Theory Meets Oral History,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 17.2 (May 2008): 182. 18. Gilbert Joseph and Daniela Spenser, eds., In from the Cold: Latin America’s New Encounters with the Cold War (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008). 19. Kate Doyle, “Official Report Released on Mexico’s Dirty War,” National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book no. 209 (2006), http://​ www​.gwu​.edu​/​~nsarchiv​/NSAEBB​/NSAEBB209​/index​.htm. 20. See Thomas Blanton, “Recovering the Memory of the Cold War: Forensic History and Latin America,” in In from the Cold: Latin America’s New Encounters with the Cold War, ed. Gilbert Joseph and Daniela Spenser (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008), 47–73. 21. In using the term “left,” I am referring to both the partisan and the revolutionary left. The former was composed of socialist and communist political parties that sought to seize control of the state through electoral participation, and the latter were organizations, many influenced by Maoism, that wanted to overthrow the state in violent revolution. For more information on the partisan left and Mexican lesbian and gay activism see Rafael de la Dehesa, Queering the Public Sphere: Sexual Rights Movements in Emerging Democracies (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010), 61. 22. Grupo de Lesbianas Oikabeth, organizational flyer: AGN, DFS, Oct. 2, 1978. 23. Despite such imagery, Y. Castro has stated that Oikabeth and its immediate successors failed to make significant connections with Mexican or other Latin American indigenous struggles. Y. Castro, interview with the author, Mexico City, Aug. 16, 2010. 24. While organizational documents do not elaborate on whether there was a specific instance of sexism that triggered Oikabeth to formally cut ties, and, in an interview with the author, Y. Castro discusses a series of events leading up to the split, Mogrovejo quotes Y. Castro as citing a specific instance of verbal aggression that resulted in Oikabeth’s split from the FHAR. Norma Mogrovejo, Un amor que se atrevio a decir su nombre: La lucha de las lesbianas y su relación con los movimientos homosexual y feminista en

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America Latina (Mexico City: Centro de Documentación y Archivo Histórico Lésbico, 2000), 82. 25. Y. Castro, interview with the author, Aug. 16, 2010. 26. Ibid. 27. AGN, IPS, box 1954-­B, folder 3 “28 de junio de 1978,” “Marcha Homosexuales-­Lesbianas” and 1898-­B, folder 4, “Comemoración 10 de junio,” June 11, 1981. 28. David Craven, “Latin American Posters: Public Aesthetics and Mass Politics,” in Latin American Posters: Public Aesthetics and Mass Politics, ed. Russ Davidson (Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 2006), 16. 29. Oikabeth, pamphlet, “Lesbianismo y Sociedad,” 1980, and Lesbianas Socialistas, flyer, “Lesbianismo,” AHMLFM-­YMY. As has been explained in Mogrovejo, Un amor, as well as by many of the women whom I interviewed during my dissertation research, there were many tensions between lesbian and heterosexual feminists during this time. In general, various feminist organizations hesitated to openly support lesbian politics. 30. Oikabeth, flyer for the 2nd National Homosexual and Lesbian Pride March, “Lesbianismo y Revolución,” AHMLFM-­YMY. 31. Y. Castro, correspondence with the author, Jan. 29, 2013. 32. “Message from Mexico: Questions for Cuba” (1980), in We Are Everywhere: A Historical Sourcebook of Gay and Lesbian Politics, ed. Mark Blasius and Shane Phalen (New York: Routledge, 1997), 470–471. 33. Documents found in the IPS and DFS archives at the AGN label Oikabeth activities as “subversive.” 34. Mariana Pérez Ocaña, “Entrevista exclusiva: Yan María Yaoyólotl Castro: 31 años de activismo lesbico feminista, 2a y ultima parte,” Revista LeSVOZ 12.38 (2008): 17. 35. Yan María Castro, flyer, “Lesbianismo y Lucha de Clases,” n.d., AHMLFM-­YMY. 36. Y. Castro, correspondence with the author, Jan. 29, 2013. 37. Similarly, in his article “Art, Identity, and Mexico’s Gay Movement,” Social Justice 42:3–4 (2015): 89–103, Edward McCaughan shows that gay men who participated in an annual art show associated with La Semana Cultural Gay beginning in 1987 sought to produce an “alternative visual discourse about the possibility of being simultaneously homosexual and Mexican” (93). 38. Many segments of the Mexican left, as in other countries, considered male homosexuality as a loss of masculinity and thus a danger to revolutionary movements that relied on notions of the “new man.” For example, see “The Left Talks about Homosexuality in Mexico,” in El Bilingue, folder 15, Latin America collection, Lesbian Herstory Archive, New York, New York.

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39. Lucinda Grinnell, “‘Intolerable Subjects’: Moralizing Politics, Economic Austerity, and Lesbian and Gay Activism in Mexico City, 1982–85,” in Genealogies of Neoliberalism, special issue, Radical History Review 112 (2012): 89–99. For more on moral renovation, see Juan Miguel Mora, Ni renovación, ni moral: Crónica del mal gobierno que nos aflige (Mexico City: Anaya Editores, 1985). 40. Whereas Solé herself no longer participates in lesbian activism, according to Castro, “Solé is a very important person who has been forgotten because she is indigenous” (Y. Castro, interview with the author). 41. During this same period, another commune was started in nearby Tepoztlán, Morelos, by a woman from Holland who referred to herself as Safuega. Mogrovejo, Un amor, 191–195. 42. Lesbianas Morelenses, “Lesbianas Morelenses Denuncia,” AHMLFM-­YMY. 43. Carlos Monsivaís, “No sin nosotros”: Los días del terremoto 1985–2005 (Mexico City: Editores Independientes, 2005); Elena Poniatowska, Nothing, Nobody: The Voices of the Mexico City Earthquake (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995). 44. Monsivaís, “No sin nosotros.” 45. Liz McQuiston, Suffragettes to She-­Devils (London: Phaidon Press, 1997), 15. 46. Seminario Marxista Leninista Feminista de Lesbianas, “Una expresión lesbica en el movimiento proletario,” Fem, Dec. 1985. 47. Since this time, it has been widely disseminated in library and archival collections. 48. She also painted the now quite famous image that appears on the cover of the anthology Chicana Lesbians, published in 1991. 49. Y. Castro, interview with the author. 50. Thank you to Emily Hobson for helping me with this translation.

Part IV -

Solidarity Action beyond Movements

7 Solidarity in Spectatorship

-­ Kevin Coleman

A

“grocery and fruit stand that they call a country” was how a character in O. Henry’s Cabbages and Kings described Honduras in 1904.1 Subservient to US-­based fruit companies, Honduras has long been considered the quintessential “banana republic.” Yet this unequal relationship was not always the case. In the late nineteenth century, hundreds of smallholders, or poquiteros, produced bananas on their own land and sold them to buyers who packed them onto schooners that unloaded the fruit at ports in New Orleans, Baltimore, New York, and Boston. But as more people in the United States developed a taste for the elongated yellow berry, the shippers teamed up with railroaders and financiers, who traded promises of locomotives for prime agricultural land. By 1899, the Boston-­based United Fruit Company (now Chiquita Brands International) began to take control of the fertile Sula Valley on the north coast of Honduras. And by 1924, the New Orleans–based Standard Fruit Company (now Dole Fruit) commanded the other end of the Honduran littoral, the Valley of Aguán.

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The “banana republic” had become more than a trope. This neocolonial relation was then consummated in General Tiburcio Carías Andino, who ruled the country at the behest of the United Fruit Company from 1932 to 1949, repressing the banana workers and suspending civil rights and guarantees through most of his long constitutional dictatorship. But people’s aspirations cannot be forever thwarted. In 1954, workers on the banana plantations of Honduras collectively withheld their labor. As a model of US imperial rule, the banana republic was in crisis. “We, the undersigned, in representation of the workers in different sectors of the Company, rely on the Rights of Man, adopted by the United Nations,” the workers wrote in a letter to the manager of the United Fruit Company in Tela. “Everyone has the right to just and satisfactory conditions in their workplace,” they continued, “and to the right to freely organize in defense of their material, social, cultural and political rights.” The workers reminded the company and their own government that these “rights are clearly expressed in the content of the Inter-­American Charter of Social Guarantees of Bogotá and approved by our National Congress.”2 In other words, the striking workers took an already existing declaration of equality and sought to operationalize it locally. As they demanded fair wages, better housing, access to medical care, and the right to collectively bargain, they appealed to a guarantee of universal human dignity. The 1954 strike was staged as a spectacle, as a series of acts intended to be seen locally, nationally, and internationally.3 The theatrics of thousands of workers camped out in front of the American Zone created a context in which their demands could not be ignored. The American Zone was a local nucleus of corporate and missionary power, set behind a “high wall of woven wire,” as one company wife described it.4 With thousands of men sitting outside the company’s offices, the 1954 strike was staged for the camera, which duplicated the workers’ feats of collective self-­rule and made their demands visible to others beyond the immediate scene. It was a visual and verbal declaration of independence: “This is not a banana republic!” The force of that declaration was multiplied when a dispersed community of spectators could see the plight of workers and read of their demands. Similarly, lack of exposure blunted their declaration. Most consumers in the United States had no idea who produced the ripe yellow fruit that they ate without so much as a second thought. In the pages that follow, I show that the strike engendered a battle of images. This contest over what could be seen, and over how it would

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be understood by spectators near and far, is exemplified in the contrast between photojournalistic essays that appeared in Life magazine, with the majority of its readers and advertisers based in the United States, and Bohemia, which was based in Cuba and sold in major cities throughout Latin America. Through photographs, workers made their struggle visible to outsiders. Life could have provided its audience with the visual means for establishing affective connections to civic actors in Honduras, but it hid those images away, publishing only one moving full-­page image of the striking banana workers. In contrast, Bohemia published twenty-­four pictures of this sixty-­nine day event, using the photographic image to document and extend the workers’ performance of their embodied citizenship. In staging the strike against two powerful US fruit companies, the workers created images of themselves as laborers and citizens. By 1959, Honduras enacted a series of labor laws, enshrining the collective will of the banana workers into new rights and protections. Photojournalistic images played no small part in labor’s successful struggle for recognition. P ho t ojou rna l i s m a n d Sol i dari t y Unlike family photos or high art, photojournalistic images are made to be widely disseminated. Photojournalism, in the words of Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites, “underwrites democratic polity.”5 As tens of thousands of strangers look at the same mass-­produced pictures, those images become vehicles for negotiating civic identity. Everyday news photos, like their textual counterparts, bind citizens together within a single national community. Such images can provide performative models of citizenship—consider pictures of teachers in front of their pupils, firefighters in their protective gear, and doctors at the inauguration of a new hospital. Press photos can also focus attention on injustices. An unarmed black man, for instance, holds up his hands on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri; in the same frame: muscular policemen stand in military fatigues, wearing reflective glasses and carrying assault rifles. A picture can provide affective resources for motivating people to identify with an official. That same photo can provoke indignation at an injustice suffered in a land faraway. A precondition for solidarity is access to images and information about the plight of another. When a path to the suffering of others is blocked, one cannot respond to their needs. Such a blockage can be structural. Owners of media organizations, advertisers, and governments shape news

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reporting according to their economic and geopolitical interests. It can also be locally willed. Even with full access to information about the hardships of others, some portion of the population chooses to look the other way or, in our Trumpian “post-­truth” times, to consume images that are demonstrably false. Determining which images can be seen (and thereby work to activate an ethical response from spectators) and which will remain unseen (and thus be incapable of triggering moral outrage and condemnation) is the work of upholders of the status quo and revolutionaries alike. Slaveholders and abolitionists, authoritarian regimes and human rights campaigners: each understands the power of the image. In analyzing news reporting during the late years of the Cold War, Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman described the political and economic structures of the mass media. They argued that the largest media outlets placed images of “worthy victims,” the victims of enemy states, before the public eye while suppressing images of “unworthy victims” (those who were subject to the violence of the US government and its client states).6 In the 1950s, Life magazine anticipated this model of propaganda, offering blunt visual testimony of what it portrayed as the horrors suffered by victims of the leftist government of Jacobo Árbenz in Guatemala. Meanwhile, Life almost completely ignored the workers, pleading to have their rights recognized by the US-­owned fruit companies, in neighboring Honduras. As opposed to an instrumental solidarity that serves dominant interests, artworks of what we might term genuine solidarity face several challenges in reaching large audiences. Such art must first find a crack through which it can be disseminated—through pamphlets, alternative media outlets, tweets, Facebook feeds, or spray paint on a cinderblock wall. Once seen, the particular image must provide both a critique of the dominant frame and document what had been largely kept out of view. In our era, photojournalistic images are a crucial medium through which the rights and dignity of others can be affirmed or denied. Photojournalistic images enable us to witness at a distance. Once the structural constraints to broad circulation are overcome, spectators have an obligation to act. In such cases, viewers who ignore harm that is being inflicted upon others by agents of one’s own community are then implicated in the continuation of an injustice.7 In this chain of responsibility, the image can become a catalyst for change. As photo theorist Ariella Azoulay argues, the part of a picture that pierces the viewer—what Roland

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Barthes called the punctum—is not simply the accidental detail, but the temporality of the photographic space. It is, as Azoulay calls it, “the reversible element of photography.”8 A photograph from the scene of a disaster enables the viewer to reverse the image, to imagine the moment in which a photographer clicked the button, of a dismembered body, a destroyed house, or an outraged textile worker. It is that wider scene, and all of the circumstances that made that particular image possible, that the spectator is called upon to imagine. Furthermore, Azoulay suggests, even though various powers may temporarily assert control over their meanings, photographs remain inherently open, allowing for an eventual encounter with spectators who might assign new meanings to old images. Aesthetic experiences are not subsidiary to efforts to end longstanding injustices. Images of indignities, as Sharon Sliwinski argues, have played a crucial role in the construction of human rights. Spectators, Sliwinski writes, “encounter a particular object (i.e., an illustration of a slave brutally beaten for refusing to dance) that gives rise to feelings and sensations from which a general evaluation must be formed (the idea presented in this picture causes me pain; the practice of slavery is inhuman).”9 Engaging with a specific case, indexed through a photo of a wrenching or inspiring reality, summons a common sense of humanity. O n e S t ri k i ng I m a ge Life pioneered photojournalism in North America, and by 1938 it had a massive circulation of approximately eighty thousand subscribers, with newsstand sales of an additional one million copies.10 These were the halcyon days of picture journalism, and Life was the industry’s standard-­ bearer. So, the magazine’s stories on the slow-­motion coup d’état in Guatemala were consequential. Equally consequential were the stories the magazine did not run of the contemporaneous 1954 strike in Honduras. In June 1954, Life featured a photoessay entitled “Guatemalan Reds Worry Neighbors—Honduras and Nicaragua Fuss over Arms.”11 The opening three photographs depicted a communist threat being successfully overcome by resolute anti-­communists. The first picture was of a man and four children peering through a glass display at several symmetrically aligned rifles. “NICARAGUA’S CAPTURED GUNS,” the caption informed, “marked with the Russian hammer and sickle, are in display in a store window in Managua.” Thus Life trained its readers to look at the guns

Figure 7.1. “Guatemalan Reds Worry Neighbors.” Life, June 14, 1954.

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the Soviets purportedly sent to help topple a US ally, General Anastasio Somoza. A photo in the middle of the page depicted a resolute adult male with arms crossed, a truncated mustache, and a handgun tucked into his pants. The accompanying caption notified the viewer that this man was Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas, a Guatemalan exile working in Honduras to start a rebellion in his home country.12 Finally, at the bottom of the page, a large photo was placed as a visible response to the others. The back of a large, middle-­aged white man faced the camera. He was teaching a group of younger, darker-­skinned men who sat crammed behind small desks. He stood behind a machine gun with its barrel pointed toward his students. The caption informed readers: “Honduran Training Class hears Colonel Milton Shattuck, commanding the US military mission, explain the workings of a machine gun to the officers and noncoms selected to organize a projected US-­equipped battalion.” Thus a triptych: communist guns, marked with the hammer and sickle, yield to the capitalist guns of Colonel Castillo Armas, who was supported by the CIA to overthrow the democratically elected government of Guatemala, and Colonel Shuttuck, US Army. On the following page, the story continued with a dramatic 14" × 13" photograph of a man holding a microphone as he addressed a vast group. The viewer of this image is positioned beside and somewhat behind the speaker and is thus invited to witness the presence of a densely packed crowd that extended from the foreground to the horizon. From the vantage point of the strike leader, the viewer of this photograph gets an up-­ close view of the grave countenances of the workers. There were no fists raised. No signs. Not a single smile. Some of the workers appeared to be adolescents. Most of the individual workers stood pensively. A few did not avoid the gaze of Life’s photographer. Captured while reading “an anti-­Communist resolution,” the caption informs, Manuel Jesus Valencia is “a moderate with a good deal of official support.” Valencia “was strengthened recently when the government arrested a group of Communists who were attempting to disrupt settlement negotiations.” The motives of the striking workers are explained as “a squabble over double pay for Sunday work.” Yet the photograph exceeded its caption. Many of the workers look past their labor leader to watch the photographer. In this way, the photograph establishes a moment of virtual direct address between themselves and those who subsequently viewed them from the United States. As they looked past the microphone-­holding, sunglasses-­wearing speaker,

Figure 7.2. “Guatemalan Reds Worry Neighbors.” Life, June 14, 1954.

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the striking workers also signaled that they were not entirely in the thrall of their leader. In this photoessay, Life presented its readers with a visual asyndeton. Communists supplying guns to Guatemala. A Guatemalan ready to invade his own country. The US military training Honduran soldiers. Twenty-­five thousand banana workers on strike against the United Fruit Company. “ N o t a s i ng l e a c t of v iol e nce h a s b een recorded” The 1954 strike was reported in dozens of daily newspapers. From May through December 1954, the New York Times alone ran fifty-­one separate news articles and editorials that made some reference to the strike. In just May and June of 1954, a total of 147 news stories in key English-­language periodicals either were dedicated exclusively to the strike in Honduras or mentioned the strike in connection with the events surrounding the US-­ led overthrow of Árbenz in Guatemala. In addition to the New York Times, stories on the strike appeared in the Chicago Daily Tribune, the Atlanta Daily World, the Washington Post and Times-­Herald, the Los Angeles Times, Barron’s National Business and Financial Weekly, the Times of India, and the Courier of Pittsburgh. Most of these news stories did not attempt to capture the poverty and day-­to-­day concerns of the workers. Instead, they portrayed the strikers as unduly influenced by Guatemalan communists. While Life photographer Ralph Morse took other powerful pictures of the 1954 banana workers’ strike, the only one that made it into print was the one of the anti-­communist labor leader, Manuel Jesus Valencia. The magazine had the personnel in Honduras to report on the strike. In addition to Morse, Life’s Leonard McCombe and George Silk took photographs in Tegucigalpa and La Lima and near the border with Guatemala. Generally ignoring the strike, Life instead guided its readers through another set of images from Central America. One graphic picture of men with bloodied backs was captioned “Freed Anti-­Communists in Guatemala City Show Scars from Prison Beatings to Crowds in the Streets.” A photojournalistic essay entitled “Reds’ Priority: Pin War on Us” noted, “In Honduras, where Castillo organized his invasion, a Red-­tinted student group called for ‘public solidarity with the Guatemalan people’ and resurrected the ghost of Augusto Sandino, who battled US Marines in Nicaragua in the ’20s,” a caption that explicitly mocks regional solidarity between Hondurans and Guatemalans.13 In total, Life ran five photoessays on Guatemala over a two-­month

Figure 7.3. “Students crowded on the balconies of a Medical school holding banners, Carlos Castillo Armas being kicked out of Honduras into Guatemala, during time of the Guatemalan Revolt.” Life, June 1, 1954. Photograph by George Silk; courtesy of Life.

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period in 1954. While extensively documenting Castillo Armas’s overthrow of “the Reds” in Guatemala and disavowing that the United States had engineered the coup, the magazine published only one photograph of the massive strike that was unfolding simultaneously in Honduras. In covering these two stories, Life cheered on violence while mocking nonviolence. The US Army colonel behind the machine gun and the celebration of Castillo Armas’s plans to invade Guatemala from Honduras: both were an unapologetic call to train, equip, and unleash a violence that could overthrow the democratic government of Guatemala. This was justified, readers were assured, by the photo-­fact that the Soviet Union had sent guns to Nicaragua. Meanwhile, in Honduras and abroad, observers noted that the striking banana workers consistently conducted themselves nonviolently and in accordance with the law. In the early days of the strike the US State Department reported, “9 May 1954: Strike on north coast is going on, but everything is orderly. The leaders of the Government believe they can maintain peace in the area (and Ambassador Willauer agrees with them) for two reasons: (1) the Government has shown strength; and (2) the leaders of the strikers have shown a remarkable control over the strikers.”14 The Honduran government had already sent troops to occupy El Progreso, Lima, Tela, Ceiba, and Puerto Cortés. Local, national, and international hardliners had already denounced the strikers as “communists,” funded or at least spurred on by Guatemalan radicals. The claim was bogus but effective. Even the United Fruit Company acknowledged: “As the strike enters its ninth day, not a single act of violence has been recorded in the two divisions of the Tela Railroad Company.”15 Life’s treatment of these two stories illustrates how a highly regarded weekly magazine directed its audience to desire the violent toppling of the elected president of Guatemala while belittling and then virtually ignoring the restrained efforts of tens of thousands of banana plantation workers to be recognized as rights-­bearing subjects. This case also adds to our understanding of the interstate network of repression that the United States assembled during the Cold War. As Greg Grandin argues: “Counterinsurgency, above all else, is choreography: starting in the 1950s much of Washington’s ‘public safety’ aid was directed at synchronizing the work of military and police forces to better their reaction time—to gather raw information quickly, transform it into serviceable intelligence swiftly, store it effectively, and act on it promptly.”16 For their part, Life magazine

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and other US media outlets worked to choreograph their readers’ expectations and desires, synchronizing them with US policy abroad. A P re s cri p t i v e G a ze Beyond attempting to publicly ignore the strike in Honduras by quietly crushing it beneath a narrative of “communist Guatemala,” the United States took steps to interrupt the banana workers as they made their democratic demands. Less than four weeks into the strike, the United States signed a bilateral military agreement with Honduras. High-­level Honduran military officers were given custody of new weapons, transferred under the United States–Honduras military agreement.17 While still plotting the CIA-­backed coup against Árbenz, “Castillo Armas helped by sending some of his men to provide muscle to the company.”18 So, just as the United States was violently overthrowing the constitutional government of Guatemala to install a military dictatorship, it also finalized an agreement to give Honduran political elites new tools of repression to use against their own people. Back in the United States, Life magazine carried this narrative to the public, openly rooting for an undemocratic transfer of power: “In Honduras, a Guatemalan exile, Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas, trying to foment revolt in his native land, signed leaflets which were dropped by plane over the Guatemalan capital.”19 In the middle of the strike and on the advice of his military attaché, the US ambassador, Whiting Willauer, recommended: If the United States Government will promptly act there is an excellent chance that the Combat Battalion Team provided for under the Military Assistance Treaty can be made reasonably ready prior to the October 10 presidential elections when there is every expectation of internal disorder. Although this team is primarily designed for hemisphere defense and the ordinary internal security of the country should be handled by existing forces, the new situation created by present Communist infiltration of the Honduran labor movement may require extraordinary internal security measures at any time between now and the forthcoming elections.20

The striking workers had created a “new situation” that might “require extraordinary internal security measures.” In other words, the alliance between the US and Honduran governments and the United Fruit Company

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could answer the demands of the workers by declaring a state of siege and enforcing it with a US-­trained Combat Battalion Team. The US ambassador continued: “With eight weeks of training the men should have fairly good discipline, and would know enough about shooting, etc., to give a good account of themselves against any local opposition. Because of the strike airlift will be required for items needed to get started.”21 This is the backstory to Life’s photograph of Colonel Shuttuck of the US Army training Honduran “officers and noncoms” on the use of a machine gun. In spinning a tale of pervasive communist infiltration, the US government and its local allies created a parallel story that never intersected with what actually drove tens of thousands of banana workers to go on strike. But the net of that imagined reality was cast widely enough to eventually trap the workers within it. Even as the United States critically gazed upon the strike, that gaze itself contained a prescriptive possibility that at once invented the object to be feared and the necessity of destroying it. The 1954 strike prompted lasting changes to policy. On the democratic side of the ledger, the 1959 passage of comprehensive legal protections for workers allowed the formation of labor unions and collective bargaining. On the other side, just three weeks into the strike, the governments of the United States and Honduras signed a bilateral military agreement, creating a formal institutional framework for US government intervention in a country that was already dominated by US capital. Thirty years later, as the United States sought to roll back “communism” in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala, this military pact served as the cornerstone of covert operations in the region, leading one observer to dub the country “the USS Honduras.”22 The strike thus exposed two different visions for the relationship between the state, capital, and labor. Against the interests of the banana workers, the US government sought to keep the Honduran government in alignment with US enterprises. Meanwhile, against the concerns of two giant corporations, the workers sought to bring the Honduran state into alignment with their class and national interests. From the perspective of US government and corporate expansionists, there were two targets: local and transnational class solidarity had to be undermined and so too did the possibility that the Honduran government might defend its citizens against the interests of the company. When laboring peoples suddenly appeared as worker-­citizens making demands, the US government, the company, and much of the international press committed themselves to bringing about their disappearance.

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“ T h e Work e r s C he e re d t hi s Gre at M a g a zi n e” In June 1954, the Cuban magazine Bohemia published twenty-­four photos of the banana workers’ strike in Honduras. Spread over six pages and accompanied by an article by Henry Wallace, a journalist from the United States, these photographs elicited the solidarity of the magazine’s readership, which could be found in the major cities of Latin America early in the Cold War. Founded in Havana in 1908, by 1953 Bohemia had an international weekly circulation of 260,000 copies.23 In contrast to the story in Life, the photojournalistic essay in Bohemia made it clear that poverty and hunger were what motivated the strikers, not foreign ideologies. In Bohemia, women and children were represented as crucial to the struggle for this new reality. More urgently, while the strike was underway, the magazine documented the appearance of a new subject: workers aware of their own political capacities. The first photo is of a boy, without a stitch of clothing, holding an empty bowl. He is crying. With this opening shot, the photographer and the editors of the magazine sought to create an imaginary relation between the represented boy and their transnational readership. The constructed relation between the boy and the viewer is one of intense concern, which the image-­producers accomplish by positioning the reader as a person addressed by a hungry toddler. The bold type next to the photo ups the ante: “The Strike of the Honduran Banana Workers: A Shout That Has Resonated Throughout the World.” Moving past this initial image of vulnerability, the spectator-­reader continues across and between the different photographs, joining them together, constructing personal meaning out of the image-­text. The Bohemia series unfolds cinematically, in shot/reverse shot sequences. Just as the toddler is looked upon, so too is he looking imploringly. The final photo is of a banana worker holding his young son’s hand and walking away: their backs are to the camera/spectator, and they walk on their own. The reader-­ viewer is left to imagine both what kind of future the father and son are heading into and whether anyone will accompany them. The social relations encoded in the Bohemia photographs are of poor but self-­reliant workers. Absent are the managers of the United Fruit Company. The Honduran military and police are not to be seen. Instead, several photos show the workers policing themselves, maintaining a nonviolent struggle for recognition of their right to be treated with dignity, to govern

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Figure 7.4. The first and last pages of a photojournalistic essay in Bohemia on the 1954 strike. Courtesy of the Archivo Nacional de Honduras.

themselves, and to care for each other. In this way, the new social relations challenge the silent but known superordinate element: the company itself. These workers are treating each other in their own health clinics, preparing their own food, policing each other, and electing leaders from within their own ranks. The physical absence of the plantation overseer, the military, and the US boss is substituted for by the presence of organized workers, giving the viewer a glimpse of the kinds of social relations that might be formed in the space in which labor has suspended outside authority. The striking workers, the photographers, and the publishers of Bohemia worked together to portray the plight and willfulness of the laborers and their families. In doing so, they helped to forge a new Honduras. As they were photographed, the workers became increasingly aware of themselves as the subjects of this visually mediated event. Their self-­awareness is evident from the ways that they hailed the cameras: looking directly into the lens, pointing at the photographer, and directing their handmade signs toward the camera. Moreover, the local authors of testimonial literature emphasize the ways that workers explicitly attended to their own comportamiento, or behavior, as citizens, withholding their labor to create a new

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way of being together.24 The workers were photographed in relations that they themselves were creating. Not only were they demanding respect from their employer, they were boldly demanding it from a diverse and dispersed global spectatorship that was implied by the presence of international press photographers. These are organized, organizing people, the phototext affirmed, who need neither the “help” of the United Fruit Company nor that of the United States. What they did need, and what Bohemia’s story in images sought to cultivate, was solidarity—a sense of common interests among people who shared neither family nor national ties, neither occupation nor this specific plight. Moreover, in contrast to the North–South blow to solidarity that Life attempted with its glorification of the CIA’s Carlos Castillo Armas, Bohemia actively constructed a South–South solidarity between the workers in Honduras and readers of the magazine throughout the Caribbean Basin.25 As a woman looked squarely into the camera while nursing her baby, she was represented as a symbol of life and maternal nurturing. Multiple photos emphasize the workers’ awareness of themselves as the authors of this moment in history. As the photographer attempted to document the strike, workers peered into the camera, undoing candid shots. In their direct gazes, the laborers revealed that they knew that they were objects of international interest, and this precisely because they were challenging a powerful transnational corporation. The caption to an image of an enthusiastic crowd put this point succinctly: “When BOHEMIA arrived with a magnificent article on the situation on the north coast, the workers cheered this great magazine and the people of Cuba. Here you see the edition from May 6th lifted over the heads of hundreds of workers by Mario S. Tamayo, general secretary in the La Lima camp.”26 Thus the magazine offered a double of its own reception. They printed a photograph of the striking workers holding up a prior issue of Bohemia that had a photojournalistic essay on the 1954 strike. The women and girls portrayed in Bohemia’s photos are mothers, caregivers, and nurses. They are also citizens, occupying public space to make economic and political demands. One photograph depicts striking women who have taken to the streets in their long dresses. Many of the women carry batons, simple pieces of wood that they have transformed into symbols of their local self-­governmental authority. In a line that stretches from the immediate foreground and recedes into the horizon of the compositional space, they look into the camera, connecting with the viewer from a distance that reinforces their stature as political subjects. In fact,

Figure 7.5. Bohemia, June 1954. Courtesy of the Archivo Nacional de Honduras.

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only one of the twenty-­four photos could be interpreted as situating a woman in a domestic setting. The other eight photos in which women are key participants portray them in a public or communal setting. Aside from the photo of the nurse, the article includes a picture in which a group of women, joined by a man and a young boy, are separating a large quantity of kidney beans to cook for the strikers and their families. The worker and his domestic partner are not separated into nuclear families that must fend for themselves. Instead, each comes together in solidarity as the group suffers and struggles as one—this is, at least, the ideal aspired for and represented in these images of the strike. The bookends of this photographic essay are characterized by radically different focal distances. From the tight shot of the hungry and naked boy to the long shot of the worker holding his son’s hand, the struggle continues. They are pictures of faith in humanity. But they are likewise, and most essentially, pictures of politics. It was precisely in making demands that the workers presupposed a fundamental relation of equality between themselves, as speakers, and their employers, as listeners. The strike gained momentum from the presupposed equality among those who participated in the photographic events of this moment of disagreement: any of the scattered spectators who might encounter these images could, potentially, understand the reasoning and urgency behind the workers’ demands. The captions of these photos function like arrows in diagrams, pointing out what the illustrator wants the viewer to notice. This argument is made in documentary and mythological registers. The images, like the text, document the 1954 strike. But the photographs go further than the text, lending it an affective quality that is qualitatively different from that of the text. The Bohemia photos capture the moment of workers’ decision, their principled withdrawal from the status quo, and their leap into an unknown future. Beyond the decision as such, the photographs as indexical objects point to the historical subject of that decision. As these photos make clear, it was the workers who brought themselves into existence as self-­aware laborers and citizens. It was they who supported their own appearance on the international stage. To draw on Alain Badiou’s notion of the historical subject who creates something new, the strike was an evanescent event of workers discovering and asserting their own capacity as political subjects.27 So in the face of a massive demonstration of their ability to speak publicly of their needs and interests, the dominant narrative of the strike sought to reestablish the subjective incapacity of the workers. Meanwhile, Bohemia

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had the means, as the event was unfolding, to disseminate images of capable workers who were reorganizing their own subjectivities, expelling their old submissive selves and assembling new, more assertive self-­respecting selves. These striking workers were rearranging the relations that constrained their ability to decide on the economic, social, and political matters that impinged most on their daily lives. Photography and the (non) circulation of images of the strike were thus bound up with the workers’ interior exercises in liberation and, more outwardly visible, their methodical and concerted attempt to expand their civil and economic liberties. Bohemia was specific in its captions, drawing attention to the actions of the workers, which it referred to as “los huelgistas,” “el huelgista,” and “este huelgista”—the strikers, the striker, this striker. That is, they are subjects defined by what they are doing, not who they are—workers, men, women. In presenting them as subjects of a particular kind of act and not by their socially ascribed identities, Bohemia communicated that it was through withholding their labor that they ceased to be who they were and began to become the subjects of dignity that they wished to be seen as. Another caption referred to “el campo huelgístico,” the field of the strike. “El campo” denotes “a field,” as in a piece of land used for a particular purpose. But “el campo” also refers to a battlefield. Finally, the noun “el campo” can be used to designate a sphere of activity, a field of vision, scientific study, or artistic representation. In highlighting the space that the workers had created through their actions, the magazine consistently represented the capacity of the workers to organize themselves. Put differently, the creators of this photojournalistic essay highlighted a particular mode of subjectification, rather than the name of the subject. And insofar as huelgista is a name for a subject, it is the name of a subject in transition; as soon as the strikers’ demands are met or as soon as they give up, they cease to be huelgistas. At that moment, their identities are again served up with a more stable designation, such as “workers.” Bohemia described a process of subjectification that was underway, and in doing so, the magazine captured and extended the banana workers’ leap into the perhaps. S e l f -­P ol icing Bohemia published powerful photos of women’s participation in the strike. The caption for a picture of children gathered around a big cast iron cauldron read: “What’s for dinner? Green plantains. The preparation of corn

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is a task taken on by men, women, and children. This latter group will eat it raw if their elders are not looking.”28 This photograph, and the text that accompanies it, not only reminds viewers of the new politics being enacted through the collective preparation of meals, it also underscores what the strike is about: the children and the possibility that they might inherit a better future. In this way, these carefully selected photographs accomplished what newspaper articles, memoirs, statistical data on wages and prices, and official government documents could not. An image of hungry children reminds spectators of what is at stake in the strike. It facilitates the uptake of the strikers’ message and allows viewers to identify with their cause. Neither the company nor the state sees these children as full citizens who ought to enjoy some minimal entitlements and freedoms, but the photograph creates an affective pathway for spectators to reach this conclusion. This image beckons the viewer to see that these children have rights—especially the right to food—and that they need special care and protection. More problematic were images of stick-­wielding workers. “The strikers maintain order with their own police. They do not allow alcoholic beverages in the camps, nor do they allow any kind of weapon. The batons that they carry were referred to derogatorily as ‘dreadful billyclubs,’” reads one caption. This textual chaperon seeks to neutralize anxieties about the striking workers armed with “dreadful billyclubs.” Indeed this mode of self-­policing is not unambiguously liberatory. Workers maintaining order by suspending the presence of external governing powers, both corporate and state, enriched their experience of functioning as a collective agent. This order was guaranteed by the possibility of a repressive force that was certainly less powerful than those of the police and military. Nevertheless, it rested upon a potential threat of violence, indicating that workers could not completely set themselves apart from entrenched methods for organizing a social order. The photograph of workers carrying batons problematizes the strike as a visually constituted event. The composition of the image encourages the viewer to adopt multiple perspectives. It is a contre-­plongée medium shot, and a viewer might first consider the scene as a whole. The security guard takes up nearly the entire frame and commands the attention of those around him. The camera offers a view of the worker who has ceased to be externally disciplined. He has appropriated a symbol of physical force and

Figure 7.6. Photograph from Bohemia, June 1954. Photograph courtesy of Bohemia.

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casually holds it across his broad shoulders. His shirt is threadbare, and he wears an armband. The viewer might then shift her gaze to that of a few workers who are looking at their companion, a designated enforcer of their collective will. From there, the spectator’s attention might slip, as she suddenly notices a couple of children who are observing the photographer taking the picture. The photographer is being watched and cannot see without being seen. Constructing a new reality and making demands to be paid enough to feed one’s family is, the photo reminds us, fundamentally about showing and seeing.29 The viewer might also imaginatively move into the position of the baton-­carrying worker, standing confidently looking out at the spectators gathered around him. Taken together, the intersecting gazes within this image create a metapicture of the event that produces, by staging, the coming into being of the workers as a self-­disciplinary collective agent. Abstaining from violence but carrying sticks, impoverished laboring peoples created a scene in which they could be captured using their faculties of self-­government. As illustrated by the single photograph of the striking workers published by Life, such visuals of plebeians organizing themselves in large groups were difficult to contain. The semiotic openness of the images meant that even the communist/anti-­communist logic of the Cold War could not render the strikers unambiguously. A caption could be used to label them as “communists,” but viewers might still see ordinary people who were worthy of respect and support. This is likely the reason that only the one image was used. It was not the only photograph that Life took of the striking workers, but none of the others were ever published. The same was true locally: in 1944, Honduran newspapers carried multiple images of the masses “spontaneously” supporting dictator Tiburcio Carías Andino; but ten years later, none decided to print photographs of the striking banana workers. Textual accounts of the strike were simply easier to control. The photos capture women forging themselves as political subjects. Relaying the spirit of collective action of the unwashed, who are seen densely packed together listening to their representatives or building refuges from the scorching sun, these televisual objects help the workers to make civil claims at a distance, inviting the sympathy, or at least the dim awareness, of spectators located far from the plantations. The text provides the narrative infrastructure for understanding the strike, but the photos capture the sensuous, embodied moment of subaltern self-­governance.

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T he V i s ua l C l a i m s of Worke r- ­C i t i zen s As fragmentary artifacts of civil claims-­making, the series of images in Bohemia go further still. These pictures highlight the ways that photojournalism is itself, as Lucaites and Hariman put it, “an important technology of liberal-­democratic citizenship.”30 It bears repeating: photographers of different nationalities independently made dozens of photographs of the strike, but somehow those images remained largely absent from the public sphere. Taking the existence of such images together with their limited circulation suggests that Life, as well as prominent Honduran newspapers, was well aware that such photos had a unique power to equip viewers to act as citizens. In viewing a tightly framed scene of a banana worker and his family, the spectator in Tegucigalpa or Boston might seek to understand the story and experiences of the depicted subjects. This is not to say that photojournalistic images are ideologically neutral or that the wide circulation of such images leads inexorably to liberal democratic politics. Rather, I am content to make the obvious point that publicly circulating photographs facilitate certain kinds of identification and affiliation. In the case of the 1954 strike, Life’s photographers in the field had done their job in picturing the sixty-­nine-­day event; yet the magazine’s managers and editors decided that all but one of those pictures should remain unviewed, except by those willing to dig through the archives. Bohemia, in contrast, published twenty-­four pictures of the striking workers. Having made their struggle visible to outsiders, workers could more effectively make their case to the company and the Honduran government. The photographs of the 1954 strike document and reinforce the role of workers in Honduran civil society. They were the ones who created the political conditions for enacting the Labor Code of 1959 (Código de Trabajo), which essentially enshrined a product of their will into law. They were the nation builders who not only changed the legal structures of their society, but also created new institutions of political affiliation, which began as underground workers’ committees and were eventually converted into aboveground labor unions. In these new intermediate associations, the workers created representational mechanisms that both the company and the state were obligated to recognize. Their leaders, representing the different departments within the United Fruit Company, served as the mediators between the Honduran state, the company, the regular workers, and the local population. The

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workers and campesinos of the north coast were, in turn, the base for the Liberal Party as well as the Partido Democrático Revolucionario de Honduras (PDRH) and even the small Partido Comunista de Honduras (PCH). This was one other way that the workingmen and workingwomen of Honduras articulated themselves and their concerns to the nation-­state. To the extent that they could, these banana workers made their concerns—about dignified work, sovereignty, and their rights as laborers and citizens— known to spectators in the United States, Guatemala, Mexico, and Cuba. Notes 1. O. Henry, Cabbages and Kings (New York: McClure, Phillips, 1904), 100. 2. “Pliego de peticiones a la Tela Railroad Co.,” Orientación, May 18, 1954. 3. For important studies of the 1954 strike, see Mario Argueta, La gran huelga bananera: 69 días que conmovieron a Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Universitaria, 1995); Marvin Barahona, El silencio quedó atrás: Testimonio de la huelga bananera de 1954, 2nd ed. (Tegucigalpa: Guaymuras, 1995); and Darío A. Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic: Region and State in Honduras, 1870–1972 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996). 4. The remark is from Frances Emery-­Waterhouse, Banana Paradise (New York: Stephen-­Paul, 1947), 4, quoted in Ronald Harpelle, “White Zones: American Enclave Communities of Central America,” in Blacks and Blackness in Central America: Between Race and Place, ed. Lowell Gudmundson and Justin Wolfe (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010), 312. 5. Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites, No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007), 13. 6. Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, 2nd ed. (New York: Pantheon, 2002), xix–xxiv. 7. I have in mind the philosopher Adi Ophir’s argument on the obligation to prevent preventable injuries, that to be moral requires the prevention of suffering in others (The Order of Evils: Toward an Ontology of Morals [New York: Zone Books, 2005], 12). 8. Ariella Azoulay, The Civil Contract of Photography (New York: Zone Books, 2008), 162. 9. Sharon Sliwinski, Human Rights in Camera (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011), 8.

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10. I take the circulation figures from “Life Magazine and LOOK Magazine Popularize Photojournalism in the 1930s” from http://​www​.things​ -­­and​-­­other​-­­stuff​.com​/magazines​/life​-­­magazine​.html (Feb. 23, 2010). 11. “Guatemalan Reds Worry Neighbors: Honduras and Nicaragua Fuss Over Arms,” Life, June 14, 1954. 12. After the successful overthrow of Árbenz, Life magazine republished this photograph; see “Guatemala: The Revolution That Everybody Expected,” Life, June 28, 1954, 154. 13. Captions from “The End of a 12-­Day Civil War,” Life, July 12, 1954, 20–22. “Reds’ Priority: Pin War on Us,” Life, July 5, 1954, 8–10. 14. Raymond G. Leddy and US State Department, Washington, DC, “Honduran Situation—Conversation with Ambassador Willauer” (University Publications of America, May 9, 1954), Confidential US State Department Central Files: Honduras, 1950–1954, Internal Affairs Decimal Numbers 715, 815, 915 and Foreign Affairs Decimal Numbers 615 and 611.15. 15. “Unos 22 mil trabajadores participan del movimiento huelguistico norteño,” El Día (Tegucicalpa, Honduras), May 12, 1954. 16. Greg Grandin, “Living in Revolutionary Time: Coming to Terms with the Violence of Latin America’s Long Cold War,” in A Century of Revolution: Insurgent and Counterinsurgent Violence during Latin America’s Long Cold War (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010), 2–3. 17. Whiting Willauer and US Embassy Tegucigalpa, “Honduran Chief of Staff Velasquez Long Object of Suspicions for Guatemalan Affiliations” (University Publications of America, May 26, 1954), Confidential US State Department Central Files: Honduras, 1950–1954, Internal Affairs Decimal Numbers 715, 815, 915 and Foreign Affairs Decimal Numbers 615 and 611.15. 18. Nick Cullather, Secret History: The CIA’s Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala, 1952–1954, 2nd ed. (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006), 80. Cullather cites LINCOLN to [ ]LINC 2960, May 21, 1954, job 79-­01025A, box 4. He does not say how many men and what sort of weapons they carried. 19. “Guatemalan Reds Worry Neighbors,” Life, June 14, 1954. For more on the dropping of leaflets over Guatemala City, see Piero Gliejeses, Shattered Hope: The Guatemalan Revolution and the United States, 1944–1954 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991), 309. 20. Whiting Willauer and US Embassy Tegucigalpa, “Prompt Implementation of Organization and Training of Honduran Combat Battalion under Military Assistance Agreement of 1954” (University Publications of America, June 12, 1954), Confidential US State Department Central Files:

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Honduras, 1950–1954, Internal Affairs Decimal Numbers 715, 815, 915 and Foreign Affairs Decimal Numbers 615 and 611.15. Four days after workers struck at various fruit company sites throughout the North Coast, the Honduran press began publicly discussing the US–Honduran military agreement, “Un convenio bilateral celebrará el Gobierno Hondureño con los EEUU,” El Día (Tegucigalpa, Honduras), May 2, 1954. 21. Willauer, ibid. 22. Philip L. Shepard quoted in Walter LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions: The United States in Central America (New York: Norton, 1983), 310. 23. Bohemia, “¿Quiénes somos?,” Bohemia; http://​bohemia​.cu​/quienes​ -­­somos/ (accessed Feb. 22, 2017). 24. In addition to the photographs taken for Life and Bohemia, I have in mind the images made by a local photographer named Rafael Platero Paz. On the testimonios, I am thinking of those written by Agapito Robleda Castro, Julio César Rivera, and Joseph D. Wade, SJ. For more on Rafael Platero Paz’s photographs of the 1954 strike and the testimonial literature, see Kevin Coleman, “Photographs of a Prayer: The (Neglected) Visual Archive and Latin American Labor History,” Hispanic American Historical Review 95.3 (2015): 459–492. 25. On “South–South solidarities,” see Jessica Stites Mor, “Situating Transnational Solidarity within Critical Human Rights Studies of Cold War Latin America,” in Human Rights and Transnational Solidarity in Cold War Latin America, ed. Jessica Stites Mor (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013), 11–12. 26. Wallace, “La huelga de los trabajadores hondureños.” 27. In Alain Badiou’s analysis of the first day of the Paris Commune of 1871, we find tools for thinking the subject who opens up an event and in the process gives birth to itself as a new kind of political being; see Alain Badiou, “Logic of the Site,” Diacritics 33.3 (2003): 141–150. 28. Wallace, “La huelga de los trabajadores hondureños: Un grito que ha resonado en todo el mundo.” 29. Through a close reading of Juan Gutiérrez’s photographs of Brazilian state rituals in the 1890s, Jens Andermann analyzes the relation between showing and seeing in modern formations of political power; see “State Formation, Visual Technology, and Spectatorship: Visions of Modernity in Brazil and Argentina,” Theory, Culture, and Society 27.7–8 (2010): 161–183. 30. Hariman and Lucaites, No Caption Needed, 18.

8 What Is Solidarity Art?

-­ Jacqueline Adams

S

olidarity art is art that people buy with the intention of helping the artists financially and expressing solidarity with them. Most buyers of solidarity art live in countries other than that of the artists, and they buy the art with the understanding that the money they have spent will be sent to the artists or used by a nonprofit organization to meet the artists’ needs in a direct way. Solidarity artists are typically enduring state violence, war, an epidemic, or a natural disaster. They tend to be women, and often live in impoverished or otherwise disadvantaged communities. Often, they are part of a group in which all members make the art and receive support from local humanitarian organizations, women’s organizations, or religious leaders. Solidarity art takes many forms, and is often made with inexpensive materials, such as textiles; the particular medium usually requires little training. Some might categorize it as craft rather than art. A prime example of solidarity art, and the focus of this chapter, is the Chilean arpillera.1 Arpilleras are pictures in cloth and appliqué, normally the

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size of a cafeteria tray, made primarily by women living in Santiago’s shantytowns during the dictatorship of General Pinochet, which lasted from 1973 until 1990. Most arpilleras depict the women’s experiences of exacerbated poverty and state violence, their collective efforts aimed at feeding their families, and the protests that were taking place.2 Arpilleras were also made after the dictatorship; these tend to depict more innocuous scenes, such as children going to school or fruit picking.3 Embroideries made by women in Palestine and sold by human rights activists and Palestinian refugees in the United States constitute another form of solidarity art. So too, do the Zapatista dolls made by women in the Mexican state of Chiapas and sold by sympathetic activists in Italy in the 1990s and early 2000s, before the dolls became a form of tourist art. In some cases, solidarity art is a new art form; in others, it is an existing art form or an adaptation. Intermediaries typically bridge the gap between the artists and buyers of solidarity art. They include “sellers,” most of whom live outside the artists’ country, and “exporters,” who are individuals and organizations working to find sellers and send the art to them. The sellers tend to be refugees from the artists’ country, human rights activists, members of religious groups or congregations, trade union members, individuals dismayed by what has happened in the artists’ country, charities, and fair trade organizations. They typically sell at a wide range of venues: political, cultural, or religious events, such as talks aimed at raising awareness about the crisis in the artists’ country; peace demonstrations; performances of political music organized by refugees from the artists’ country; places of worship; music festivals; meetings of humanitarian or nonprofit organizations; United Nations meetings; shops belonging to charities and fair trade companies; and craft markets. The exporters are groups whose work focuses on helping the disadvantaged, such as humanitarian, human rights, and religious organizations, as well as political parties. Both sellers and exporters are motivated by the desire to help and express support for the artists, and do the work in order to be able to send money to the artists.4 However, they have additional motivations, such as, in the case of refugee sellers, wanting to raise awareness about the situation back home and wanting to continue to be politically active by contributing to the resistance effort.5 The artists, intermediaries, and buyers constitute a solidarity art community, that is, a network of individuals cooperating to produce, export, sell, and buy solidarity art. The members of a solidarity art community feel that there is a shared way of thinking and a shared political stance within

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the community. They think of themselves as having values that differ from those held or promoted by the government and by groups with opposing political views in the country in which the art is made. If they are working under a repressive and violent regime, they also share an awareness of the risk and danger involved in what they are doing, and take measures to protect each other. Out of this comes a sense of mutual dependence on each other for safety, mutual trust, and shared secret information. If the country is under a dictatorship, they understand themselves as contributing—when they produce, export, or sell the solidarity art—to the broader resistance community’s efforts to bring about the end of the regime. If the art denounces human rights violations, or if the sellers talk about human rights violations while selling the art, the members of the solidarity art community view themselves as helping individuals abroad learn about what life under the dictatorship is really like. They believe that this may encourage members of the public, abroad, to take action against the regime. A solidarity art community grew up around the arpilleras. The vast majority of “arpilleristas,” as the artists who made arpilleras are called, were women residents of Santiago’s shantytowns, where they endured violence and poverty. Political prisoners, women in poor rural communities, and the female relatives of the victims of enforced disappearance also made arpilleras, but in far smaller numbers.6 The artists worked on their arpilleras individually, with input from others, and were members of a group of up to twenty arpillera-­makers that met once to three times a week. A humanitarian and human rights organization operating under the protection of the Catholic Church helped them by sending their work to sellers abroad, selling a small number of arpilleras on their premises, and providing them with training in group management and artistic techniques. Priests and nuns in the shantytowns also helped the arpillera-­ makers, lending them rooms in which to meet, channeling donations to them, and taking arpilleras with them to sell when they traveled abroad. A handful of feminist and other nonprofit organizations offered the women training and invited them to talks on Chile’s economic and political situation and on women’s rights. Most of the people who bought arpilleras lived in western Europe and had heard about what was happening in Chile. Some lived in other Latin American countries, in North America and Australia, and in socialist and communist countries in other areas. A small number lived in Chile. The buyers outside Chile typically learned about the arpilleras and arpillera-­makers

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by attending an event at which arpilleras were sold and talking to the seller. Such events included talks on the situation in Chile, evening performances of political folk music organized by Chilean refugees, meetings or “trade fairs” of humanitarian organizations, community events connected to church services, music and arts festivals, and craft markets. The buyers were often emotionally motivated when they bought an arpillera. They were deeply moved when the seller explained the scenes in the arpilleras and told them about the arpillera-­makers being impoverished mothers with children to support. They trusted that the seller would send the money back to the women. Chilean refugees also bought arpi­ lleras, usually from refugee friends and acquaintances. They bought partly to help the arpillera-­makers and partly to have in their foreign homes what they called a link to Chile and to the resistance movement. The sellers of arpilleras abroad were Chilean refugees and local activists interested in human rights or the Chilean situation. They sold arpilleras without being paid to do so, and sent the money back to the organization from which they had received the arpilleras. A minority of sellers, however, were the paid employees of refugee services organizations or Chile-­ focused human rights organizations. Nearly all sellers sold some arpilleras themselves, and gave the rest to others to sell, including refugees, human rights activists, or shops owned by charities. Some organized exhibitions of arpilleras or created collections that they lent to libraries and universities for exhibition there. Most of the sellers were based in western Europe, but there were also sellers in Australia, Canada, the United States, Algeria, Cuba, and other countries where there were Chilean refugees. The sellers received the vast majority of their arpilleras from one intermediary, Chile’s main humanitarian and human rights organization, whose staff had many contacts abroad. This organization—called the Comité de Cooperación para la Paz en Chile (Committee for Cooperation for Peace in Chile) in its first two years of existence, 1974 and 1975, and the Vicaría de la Solidaridad (Vicarage of Solidarity) after that—was founded by the leaders of several religious faiths in Santiago. After Pinochet forced its closure at the end of 1975, the cardinal of Santiago reopened it as a unit within the Catholic archbishopric of Santiago. This gave it some immunity from military aggression, but its members were harassed in many ways, and a handful were killed or had to leave Chile because they were at risk of being “disappeared.”

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The Comité and Vicaría, as these organizations typically were called for short, were not the only exporters. The Fundación Missio (Missio Foundation), a Catholic organization that ran workshops to help the poor in northern Santiago, also shipped arpilleras to its contacts abroad, as did a human rights organization called the Fundación de Ayuda Social de las Iglesias Cristianas (Christian Churches’ Foundation for Social Assistance). When the members of underground leftist groups traveled abroad to inform people about the situation in Chile and raise funds, they took arpilleras with them to sell or give to others to sell, as did shantytown priests who traveled abroad. These individuals carried the arpilleras in their suitcases, in some cases disguising themselves as holiday makers. A very small number of arpillera-­makers sent their work directly to sellers abroad who had visited them, shipping the arpilleras to the post office and taking pains to slip the more obviously dissident items into their packages after showing the post office staff only the milder ones. The exporting organizations found sellers by writing to their contacts and asking them if they would be willing to help shantytown mothers earn an income by selling arpilleras. Many of these contacts were Chilean refugees whom the Vicaría de la Solidaridad had helped escape Chile, or Church-­related individuals. Occasionally, refugees and European and other human rights activists contacted the Vicaría on their own initiative, asking how they might help, whereupon the Vicaría staff would ask them to sell arpilleras. Members of the underground Chilean Communist Party took arpilleras with them when they traveled outside Chile, and gave them to Chilean refugees, who were also communist party members, to sell. As the arpillera case suggests, solidarity chains radiate out from the artists’ communities to destinations around the world. It is not only the artists, exporters, sellers, and buyers who constitute a solidarity chain; so, too, do individuals who help ensure that the solidarity art with its dissident messages reaches the airplane without passing through customs, and sympathetic customs officials who let the sellers pick up their packages without impediment at the destination countries. There is typically more than one seller in a solidarity chain. The primary sellers, who receive the art from the artists’ country, may give some of it to secondary sellers to sell, and these secondary sellers may in turn give some of the artworks to tertiary sellers. The secondary and tertiary sellers, like the primary sellers, may be refugees, human rights activists, or members of religious groups,

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but also groups within trade unions, groups closely associated with leftist political parties, and fair trade shops. All the members of a solidarity chain except for the artists are motivated by a solidarity orientation, or wish to help. This solidarity orientation is heightened to the level of a moral imperative in the case of the exporters and most primary sellers, for whom to be solidarity-­oriented is very important and sometimes part of their self-­identity; these individuals have an ethos of solidarity. Chilean refugees who sold arpilleras, for example, thought of themselves as “solidarios,” or solidarity-­oriented, considered it necessary to be “solidarios,” and distinguished themselves from refugees who were not “solidarios.” What moves along solidarity chains is more than art and money. Information about suffering, instances of repression, human rights violations, and resistance flow with the solidarity art in one direction, and moral support flows with money in the other. These constitute solidarity flows, and they are important resources for the resistance community. The artists need the money to survive and feed their families, while the moral support amounts to a comforting knowledge that people abroad care and are willing to help, giving the artists hope that their difficult situation will one day come to an end. Meanwhile, the information about suffering and resistance is of great interest to refugees and human rights activists abroad. They use this information in their efforts to raise awareness about a crisis situation and put political pressure on the government of the country in which the art is made. The solidarity artworks themselves hold great emotional significance for refugees, as transitional objects and symbols of home and the struggle; they come to be highly prized possessions. In Chile, the Vicaría received orders for arpilleras from sellers abroad. When an order came in, Vicaría staff members would approach one or more umbrella organizations of arpillera groups and ask them to make the arpilleras required. These umbrella organizations comprised up to a dozen arpillera groups in an area of Santiago. The umbrella organization’s management team were elected members of these groups. When the arpillera-­ makers completed their arpilleras, the leaders of each arpillera group involved would come together at the home of a member of the umbrella organization’s management team for a first round of quality control. Subsequently, this team member would take the satisfactory arpilleras to the Vicaría in central Santiago, accompanied by another arpillera-­maker. The

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women typically traveled by bus, feeling frightened about the possibility of a routine check by the police and sometimes hiding some of the arpilleras under their clothes. When they arrived at the Vicaría, they gave the arpilleras to an employee in the “Talleres,” or workshops, department for a second round of quality control. This employee would accept most of the arpilleras presented to her, but reject a few, asking for corrections. The two women would go back to tell the arpillera makers what corrections needed to be made, and a few days later they would take the corrected arpilleras back to the Vicaría and receive payment for all the arpilleras. They then had another meeting with the arpillera group leaders, to whom they distributed the money received. These leaders later gave the money to their group members, who used it to pay for food, education expenses, and clothing for their children. As their husbands tended to be unemployed, the families needed the money desperately. Talleres employees would store the arpilleras in a small room, and later put them into boxes or packages for shipment. They would ensure that the weight was just under the limit above which packages would be checked by customs, preferring a larger number of smaller and lighter packages to fewer larger and heavier ones, so as to slip under the radar. Often they would use the post office, but sometimes they would take the packages to a sympathetic travel agent, who would give them to a certain airport employee who would ensure that they were not checked at airport customs. When the arpilleras reached their destination, the primary sellers picked them up at the airport customs office there, or received them from the post office, and soon began selling. The Vicaría sent hundreds of arpilleras to a husband-­and-­wife team who worked for a refugee services organization in Paris in the 1970s, and when these primary sellers picked up the arpilleras at the airport customs office, the customs officials did not check the packages because they felt sympathy toward people suffering under the Pinochet dictatorship. Having collected the arpilleras, the sellers would send some of them to individuals and groups who wanted to help sell them and keep the rest to sell themselves. The individuals who helped sell included union members, members of Christian communities, groups of locals focused on helping Chileans suffering under the dictatorship, and friends or acquaintances who had told them that they wanted some arpilleras to sell at an event in another city. Other secondary sellers included charities, fair trade organizations, gift-­shop managers, and human rights groups.

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Some primary sellers in Europe photographed a number of arpilleras and turned the photographs into postcards, cards, and even a book, in one case, with the help of a printer who offered a large discount because he was sympathetic to the cause. They gave these solidarity art products to secondary sellers to sell, just as they did with the arpilleras, in addition to selling them themselves. The primary sellers tended to send all the money earned back to the intermediary, which in most cases was the Vicaría de la Solidaridad. One seller, a Chilean human rights organization based in Britain, used some of the profits to fund his organization’s information campaigns about Chile, and it is possible that other organizations operated in the same way. The primary sellers normally requested arpilleras from the Vicaría by sending a letter via the post office. They were careful to use code words. A Chilean refugee in Belgium, for example, would request “artesanía,” or handicrafts, rather than “arpilleras,” while a Chilean human rights organization employee in Britain asked for “the colored ones” rather than “ones with stronger political content.” The primary sellers also took the precaution of asking the Vicaría to send the arpilleras to their home address rather than to their work address, if they worked for a human rights organization. These are examples of the complicity, shared secret information, shared sense of danger, and mutual dependence for safety that existed within the solidarity art community centered around the arpilleras. Some solidarity art is sold in the country in which it is made. An exporting organization may sell it from a room on its premises or, if connected with a religious institution, exhibit and sell it in a church hall. If the country is under a dictatorship, the artists may sell it at “underground” venues, or at cultural centers that are connected with consulates and therefore considered safe. Some artists sell directly from their homes, when buyers seek them out after having been given their contact details by the exporting organization or by an individual sympathetic to the artists’ needs and views. In the latter case, the artist only meets with the individual if they know and trust the person who has given the individual their name. Trust is important in that the artists fear that members of the secret police might visit them, posing as buyers. The buyers of solidarity art within the artists’ country are for the most part sympathetic foreigners living there or visiting. If the country is under a dictatorship, they may also include locals who are sympathetic with pro-­ democracy or human rights movements. They tend to find the artists or venue at which the art is sold through word of mouth. In Chile, locals who

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were part of the pro-­democracy movement, solidarity-­oriented foreign visitors, and staff members of the Vicaría and Comité de Cooperación para la Paz en Chile were the main buyers of arpilleras. Comité staff members’ buying made it possible for arpillera-­making to continue in the first year after it began, before the international distribution network was established. Foreigners and pro-­democracy movement members bought their arpilleras mainly from a room in the offices of the Vicaría de la Solidaridad, and from the arpillera makers at their homes, or at tables or exhibitions in semi-­clandestine venues. One such venue was an underground theater, at which arpillera-­makers displayed the more innocuous arpilleras on a table and kept the sharply denunciatory ones under the table, showing them only if they trusted the potential buyer. Another was the Casa Canadá (Canada House), a cultural institution of the Canadian government. The activities of producing, exporting, selling, and buying solidarity art constitute a solidarity art system, the word “system” referring to a bundle of coordinated activities, as in a machine. Several elements are necessary for the emergence of a solidarity art system and of the solidarity art community whose members make it work. People must have a reason to make the art so compelling that they are willing to overcome the obstacles that they face in doing so. If they live under a dictatorship, for example, they must understand that they will be confronting barriers such as state repression, fear, and the absence of freedom of expression and, if the art is made in groups, situations that would hinder group formation, such as a widespread tendency to suspect groups of being involved in dissident political activity. Gender expectations are another barrier with which some solidarity artists contend. Husbands in Santiago’s shantytowns, for example, frowned upon their wives spending several hours a week outside the house with a group of other women for their arpillera group meetings. The motivation to overcome these obstacles comes from extreme poverty, hunger, suffering, or displacement caused by natural disaster or war; a lack of access to health care in cases where the artists are struggling with an epidemic; the wish to group together with others; and the desire to denounce one’s situation. A number of other components are necessary for the emergence of a solidarity art system. The system needs buyers who have heard about the crisis in the artists’ country. Knowing a little about the crisis situation makes them more open to buying the art when they hear the seller talk about the artists. Sellers who inspire trust are a further necessary component: when they tell the buyers that their money will go to the artists, the buyers will

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believe them. Since solidarity artists may have few or no contacts abroad who can help them sell their work, there must be individuals or supporting organizations with such contacts. If these intermediaries have additional assets, such as financial means, social capital, moral authority, a good reputation locally or internationally, and the ability to offer protection from the armed forces if under a military regime, they can more easily develop a network of sellers abroad and support the artists before this network is established. These assets may make potential artists less afraid to produce the art or to join groups in which it is made. Also helpful for the emergence of a solidarity art system is the support of members of the clergy who live near the artists and are trusted by them. Priests and nuns, for example, can help recruit new members for art-­making groups, sell the art, and offer the artists a room in which to meet on church premises, where the artists may feel relatively safe. In Chile, the solidarity art system centered around the arpillera arose in large part because the high unemployment and state violence that the military dictatorship brought provided the arpillera-­makers, exporters, sellers, and buyers with the motivation to do the work that they did. Shantytown mothers were motivated to join local arpillera groups because the Pinochet government put in place new neoliberal economic policies that were a dramatic change from the previous socialist economic policies, and resulted in high unemployment for the first eleven years of the regime; this affected their husbands.7 Because their husbands were out of work, the women were unable to buy enough food and clothing for their children or to pay for their schooling.8 Another reason shantytown mothers joined arpillera groups was that the Pinochet government had a national security doctrine whereby leftists were conceived of as internal enemies to the country, and detained, executed, disappeared, exiled, threatened, or harassed. Some of their husbands were affected by this, and were in hiding or had been detained, and consequently were unable to bring in an income. To join their arpillera groups, the women had to overcome their fear that in doing so they might come to be viewed as leftist or as political, both of which were vilified by the military regime, and risk persecution. They also had to ignore expectations that they not work for an income after having children and not spend time outside the home with groups of women. Many of the women faced strong resistance from their husbands, in addition to their own guilt. Being able to make arpilleras from home,

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while looking after their children, and having group meetings nearby and in a relatively safe place, such as a room lent to them by their local priest, adjacent to the church, made it easier for them to join the groups. So, too, did the fact that there were arpillera group leaders who, before a woman joined their group, avoided telling her that the arpilleras that she would be making would have political content. Ultimately, however, the urgent need for money with which to buy food for their children pushed them to overcome these obstacles and join arpillera groups. The extreme poverty in shantytowns and the persecution of leftists were the fundamental reasons why the Comité de Cooperación para la Paz en Chile started acting as an intermediary and sending arpilleras to sellers abroad. The Comité first became involved with the arpilleras when a lawyer who worked there decided to help the relatives of the victims of enforced disappearance find psychological relief from their anguish and encouraged them to try making art. Within weeks, she adopted the same strategy with shantytown mothers, so as to help them earn an income with which to support their families. Although she initially met with resistance from within the Comité, she was successful in setting up a handful of arpillera groups. When she and her colleagues began selling the arpilleras abroad, the stage was set for the mushrooming of arpillera groups throughout Santiago, as word got around that shantytown mothers could earn money by making arpilleras for the Comité.9 Many new arpillera groups formed because priests in shantytowns saw how desperately poor local families had become, and wanted to help them earn an income. They first allowed groups of women to borrow rooms on church premises in order to sew or knit as a group, for an income, and later took the initiative to contact the Vicaría and ask whether the groups could receive training in arpillera-­ making and sell their arpilleras via the Vicaría. State violence in Chile was what made it possible for the Comité and the Vicaría to find buyers for the arpilleras. Buyers in Europe and other continents had learned from the media of the bombing of the presidential palace of La Moneda in Santiago and the persecution of leftists. When they attended an event at which arpilleras were sold, they were drawn to the table displaying the arpilleras, and would start talking with the seller about people’s experiences in Chile, the seller’s own experience, and the arpillera-­makers. Some of these buyers were leftists dismayed by the fall of the democratically elected, socialist Chilean president, Salvador Allende, while others were shocked by the images that they had seen on television

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of the Chilean army jets bombing La Moneda. Their awareness of the state-­ perpetrated violence predisposed them to buying arpilleras. It was relatively easy for the Comité and Vicaría to find sellers, for the same reason: the sellers knew about the state-­supported violence and persecution of leftists in Chile and were shocked at the overthrow of a democratically elected president. They were leftists, human rights activists, church-­goers, and individuals with ties to Chile, all of whom felt sympathy for the victims of the dictatorship and wanted to do something concrete to help. When approached by the Vicaría or by previously established primary sellers, they were happy to help sell arpilleras. The Chilean refugees who sold arpilleras had experienced state violence in person. There were one million Chilean refugees, both political and economic, including two hundred thousand exiles.10 Many of them were willing to sell arpilleras to help the women and contribute to the resistance effort that they had had to leave behind.11 In these ways, unemployment in Chile, the national security doctrine, and state violence produced a willingness to produce, export, sell, and buy arpilleras among the members of what became a transnational community. The arpilleras were a new artform, in that pictures that used the appliqué technique to depict poverty, repression, economic survival strategies, and resistance had not been produced in Chile previously. The arpillera-­ makers claimed as sources of inspiration or saw as forerunners of their work other women artists of humble origins. One such artist was Violeta Parra, the Chilean folk musician and folklorist who made embroidered wool pictures on literary, religious, legendary, and other mostly nonpolitical themes. The Bordadoras de Isla Negra, who were embroiderers living in a coastal village, were another source of inspiration. These women, married to fishermen and living in Isla Negra on Chile’s central coast, made wool pictures of rural life and fishermen at work. A third source of inspiration for some groups was a woman who lived in the Santiago working-­class neighborhood of Puente Alto and made arpilleras dedicated to the Virgen del Carmen. A fourth was the Bordadoras de Macul, a well-­known group of embroiderers from a working-­class Santiago neighborhood who produced cheerful scenes of picturesque Chilean traditions in rural settings and innocuous urban images such as children playing in front of schools. For one mother of a disappeared person, the shantytown mothers’ group that she attended before the military coup was a source of inspiration, as its members had made pictures out of chains of crocheted wool sewn onto

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a base, depicting Chilean landscapes, the seaside resorts built for the poor by Salvador Allende, the lines for food in shops and supermarkets, and the lack of essentials. These forerunners, using as they did wool and sacking in many cases, provided the arpillera-­makers with a repertoire on which to draw, in terms of both materials and techniques. The earliest arpillera-­makers made their first arpilleras out of wool and flour sacks, and later switched to appliqué with pieces of used cloth sewn onto a base with wool thread. These forerunners were also role models, in that when the shantytown mothers first joined their arpillera group and felt daunted at the prospect of making an arpillera, thinking themselves incapable of such work, they were reassured by the fact that other working-­class women had made similar art before them. When operating under a dictatorship, a solidarity art community is a cell within the broader pro-­democracy and resistance movement, in that it brings money and moral support to the victims of the regime’s economic or national security policies, carries information about state-­induced violence and poverty to the outside world, and provides the pro-­democracy community abroad with objects that hold important symbolic value for them.12 In some cases, the solidarity art becomes a symbol of suffering and resistance for all members of the resistance community. A solidarity art community can be a particularly unified and well-­ functioning cell within a resistance movement, because its members have a clear, shared goal (to sell the art), and their efforts are focused on a tangible, circulating object. Moreover, these members often have strong ties with other units within the resistance community. Many artists lend support to other cells of resistance or individual members of the resistance community by visiting trade union members or political prisoners while they are on a hunger strike or by visiting people who have lost a family member to state violence, for example. Some become active members of other resistance groups or political parties that are anti-­regime. Through this contact with other groups suffering because of the dictatorship, and through contact with intermediaries with humanitarian principles, the artists come to think of themselves as having human rights and rights as women, and occasionally participate in rights-­oriented protests. When the crisis period passes, and the international media broadcast this fact around the world, the artists experience a dwindling of demand for their work. Solidarity markets are fickle, and turn to new crises when the old become less severe. In response, the intermediaries try to find new

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buyers in the fair trade or tourist markets. They send the art out to fair trade organizations abroad and set up stalls at local craft markets that tourists frequent. If these new sets of customers buy fewer art works, the artists have less work, and less income. When this happens, many drop out of their art-­making groups and find other income-­earning activities, but some remain in the groups because they value the friendships that they have made and the conviviality of their group meetings.13 The intermediaries may ask the artists to alter their art to suit the new markets, for example by removing any violent political content, by increasing the quality of the materials used, by making many identical artworks to match photographs in a catalogue, by making smaller and more transportable artworks, or by producing useful objects, such as bags, that are based on the same techniques as the artworks. Some artists are not happy about such requests, but have to comply if they wish to sell their work. Others are simply relieved to have work to do. Many artists feel that they have been let down or betrayed by an international solidarity-­oriented community that no longer expresses an interest in their work.14 Among the arpillera makers, the sense of betrayal was all the more intense because they knew that the people who had bought the arpilleras had done so specifically to help them and were in sympathy with their plight. These buyers were not like the buyers of a product in an ordinary export market situation; there was a more personal and emotional relationship. Now, in the artists’ view, the buyers were no longer “solidarios” (wanting to help, or caring), while they, the artists, were still poor and still needed their help. When the Pinochet dictatorship was nearing its end, Talleres, within the Vicaría de la Solidaridad, was not able to sell nearly as many arpilleras as it had in the past. Members of the public were buying far fewer arpi­ lleras and many of the sellers had stopped selling; sellers who had been refugees, for example, began to return to Chile. Talleres turned to fair trade organizations in England and elsewhere in Europe, and received occasional orders from them. After Pinochet stepped down, it also sold arpilleras from a shop at the front of its offices in downtown Santiago, and from a stall in the tourist market of Los Dominicos, in eastern Santiago. It asked the women not to depict violent scenes “as they will not sell,” and made occasional requests for hundreds of identical arpilleras, and for arpilleras depicting traditional Chilean characters such as the “chinchinero,” a street musician. Something similar has happened in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, where women from the village of San Juan Chamula make dolls

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representing Zapatista rebels. These dolls were initially sold and bought as solidarity art in Europe15 but subsequently became tourist art and were sold at the markets frequented by tourists in the nearby town of San Cristóbal de las Casas;16 later, they were sold online. While some of the buyers may be tourists with humanitarian sympathies,17 many are not. In the post-­dictatorship period, the arpillera-­makers did very little direct selling themselves. Two arpillera-­makers’ umbrella organizations sold their groups’ work at a Christmas market for tourists in downtown Santiago, and very occasionally at craft fairs, but this was the extent of their independent selling. What prevented them from doing more was the belief that to sell elsewhere was unfair to the Vicaría, who had lent them its support for so many years. In addition, the arpillera-­makers felt embarrassed about going out and asking people to buy their wares, as if it were begging. They did not have a business owner’s mindset, and they lacked the confidence and experience to reach out to middle-­class shop owners and sell their arpilleras. As a result, they remained dependent on Talleres, which, with middle-­class staff, social capital, contacts, resources, and a business mindset, was able to approach potential buyers interested in crafts and fair trade products. Five years after the end of the dictatorship, the arpillera-­makers who remained in their groups waited for new orders for their work, wishing that these orders were more frequent. They met less regularly than before, some only sporadically. Most left the arpillera groups and took up jobs, some as caregivers or cleaners. Hence, when a country is no longer in crisis, some members of the original solidarity art community continue to produce, export, and sell the art, but the majority move on to other activities. Among those that remain, the focus on solidarity and the urgency and emotional intensity of the transactions weaken. The sense of working together against a shared enemy, in secrecy, where the actions of one can compromise the safety of another, disappears. If the economy picks up or if the artists who are relatives of the victims of state violence or conflict start receiving reparations, intermediaries and buyers no longer perceive selling or buying as a matter of helping the artists survive. Buyers buy less as a means to give than to acquire a gift or home decoration, although the fact that they are helping people less privileged than themselves may be a source of satisfaction for them. The artists may continue to endure hardship and wish to continue making the art, and so feel deeply disappointed about the dramatically diminished orders that they receive for their work. They submit to the demands of the

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intermediary and customer, producing what is asked of them, even if it is devoid of meaningful content. Some introduce new concerns into their art, such as the high levels of pollution that they endure. They bemoan the disintegration of community, with so many groups around them having shut down and their own group having declined in size. However, the friendship and support of the other members of their group remain, and this is of great importance to them. Moreover, they feel proud that their work making solidarity art made it possible for them to feed and educate their children. They are proud, also, about having contributed to the resistance effort. Meanwhile, they continue to think of themselves as having human rights and rights as women. Participation in a solidarity art community has had a profound and lasting impact on the artists and their families. Notes 1. Ethnographic and visual research on the arpillera was conducted in 1995–1996, 2006, and 2008–2011 by Jacqueline Adams, using the methods of semi-­structured, in-­depth interviews, participant observation, photo analysis, photo elicitation, art elicitation, and analysis of ephemera. 2. Arpilleras have also been made in other countries, including Peru and Colombia; those depict mostly rural scenes. 3. On the change in the arpilleras, see Jacqueline Adams, “When Art Loses Its Sting: The Evolution of Protest Art in Authoritarian Contexts,” Sociological Perspectives 48.4 (2005): 531–558. 4. Jacqueline Adams, Surviving Dictatorship: A Work of Visual Sociology (New York: Routledge, 2012) and Art against Dictatorship: Making and Exporting Arpilleras under Pinochet (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2013). 5. Jacqueline Adams, “Exiles, Art, and Political Activism: Fighting the Pinochet Regime from Afar,” Journal of Refugee Studies 26 (2013): 416–435. 6. The “disappeared,” as the victims of enforced disappearance were called, were socialists, communists, and members of the Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (Leftist Revolutionary Movement) who were taken away by the secret police and never seen again by their family members, their whereabouts and fate remaining unknown for many years. 7. Jaime Ruiz-­Tagle, “La situación salarial de los trabajadores más pobres,” Mensaje 315 (Dec. 1982); Berta Teitelboim, ed., Serie de indicadores económicos sociales: Indicadores económicos y sociales, series anuales, 1960–1989 (Santiago: Programa de Economía del Trabajo, 1990).

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8. Adams, Surviving Dictatorship; Adams, Art against Dictatorship. 9. Adams, Art against Dictatorship. 10. Thomas Wright and Rody Oñate, Flight from Chile: Voices of Exile (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998). 11. Adams, “Exiles, Art, and Political Activism.” 12. Ibid. 13. Jacqueline Adams, “Gender and Social Movement Decline: Shantytown Women and the Prodemocracy Movement in Pinochet’s Chile,” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 31.3 (2002): 285–322. 14. Jacqueline Adams, “The Bitter End: Emotions at a Movement’s Conclusion,” Sociological Inquiry 73 (2003): 84–113. 15. Pers. comm., Laura Fantone, University of California, Berkeley, 2009. 16. Elena Jackson Albarrán, “Guerrilla Warplay: The Infantilization of War in Latin American Popular Culture,” Studies in Latin American Popular Culture 24 (2005): 69–81; Jeff Conant, A Poetics of Resistance: The Revolutionary Public Relations of the Zapatista Insurgency (Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2010), 154–155. 17. Florence Babb, The Tourism Encounter: Fashioning Latin American Nations and Histories (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2011).

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Epilogue

-­ Ernesto Capello

I

n November 2011, a fortuitous meeting took place at a Pop-­Up Magazine event in San Francisco. The program of that night’s live “magazine” included a short “dispatch” called “Notes from the Border,” which included a poem by Daniel Alarcón accompanied by Mexico City–born sound artist Guillermo Galindo on homemade instruments built from detritus left at the US–Mexico border. In the audience was the famed photographer Richard Misrach, there to deliver a critical essay delivered later that night. For Misrach, Galindo’s deployment of everyday objects thrust into the spotlight echoed his own extended research into the deserts surrounding the border, the latest in his long-­wending series of “Desert Cantos” begun in the late 1970s.1 This chance encounter sparked an ongoing collaboration wherein Misrach’s photographed objects—encountered in the border zone—became the sources for Galindo’s subsequent sonic explorations. In February 2016, the resulting “Border Cantos” exhibition opened at the San Jose Museum

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of Art as a visible display of what this volume terms an “art of empathy.” Misrach’s photographs situate the found objects within their desert context, while Galindo’s instruments reinscribe them as sonic sculptures both aural and visual, reminders of an anonymous origin transformed into elemental sounds, as raw and emotive as the contested desert from which they come. At times these are reminders of the bombast of the border, as a twisted section of wall becomes an enormous gong. At other times they are minute memorials to the everyday, as children’s toys and combs become coarsely amplified sonic sources. This principle of encounter and re-­encounter, and hence the opportunity to imagine and re-­imagine deserted desert items, lies at the heart of the exhibit. When I caught up with it at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, visitors were greeted at the main entry by the sound of circulating drops of water falling into and out of a blue bucket, onto a metal plate, spilling into a ditch, and then being recycled to fall anew.2 Halfway through the tour a cluster of Misrach photographs featured the same blue buckets, now identified as “Water Stations” set up by a nonprofit to ameliorate the worst conditions of desert crossings. If you then looked up, yet another version emerged as a series of “Water Station Scores,” identified in bilingual wall text as Galindo’s creation of visual scores from the nylon flags once adorning the blue buckets and donated by Water Station to the artists, scores that “[combine] references to the history of secret codes and surveillance in border security with graphic-­art scores created by experimental composers.”3 On reflection, perhaps it was this dialogic approach that most dramatically evoked the sense of shared experience. This continued with an unexpected group of wall texts scattered across the museum incorporating reactions from members of the local [email protected] community, a population that has grown statewide from approximately 19,000 in the 1990s to over 180,000 in 2010, with around half residing in northwest Arkansas.4 This included bilingual wall text with comments by community leaders, which offered moments of relief from the at-­times heady abstraction of the artists and curators. But perhaps the most dramatic moment came outside the exit of the exhibit, where a world map stood emblazoned on a wall all its own: a map upon which visitors were encouraged to pen comments on sticky notes regarding their own immigration experiences. That is to say, the visitor not only encountered the empathetic response of the local community but was asked to engage by contributing their own story, a moving

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tribute to the importance of global immigration to the United States at the onset of the Trump era. This was an exhibit of extraordinary artistic merit that marshaled empathic cues and was backed by the power of an experimental performative magazine and of museums (and their donors) from California to Texas to Arkansas to New York (upcoming as of this writing)—and it was an exhibit with a decided political bent that opened in the midst of the electoral politics of the United States in 2016–2018. And yet, the question remains: where does a project such as “Border Cantos” fit within the broader history of Latin American arts of empathic persuasion? For that matter, what exactly is the art of empathy? What is solidarity art? How does art function as a tool in the crafting of solidarity? What is the role of the empathic personal response in this process? These questions animate this volume, and yet, as the editors hint in the introduction, answering them is an inherently problematic proposition. The art of solidarity operates at the nexus between artistic practice, on the one hand, and solidarity activism, on the other. As such, the value of this cultural production must in effect be considered bound to its capacity to mobilize social change and, at least in the cases examined in this volume, without the resources often deployed by a state seeking to create national arts, as in the case of revolutionary Mexico or Cuba, for example. Moreover, in enacting the form of transnational solidarity discussed in this volume—where multiple civic contexts exist simultaneously—artists must consider means to operationalize solidarity within distinct aesthetic and political environments. It is here where “the art of empathetic persuasion” becomes crucial, as artists or art makers seek to evoke the “experience of others” for an audience looking to join a political movement or support a particular kind of struggle. Still, what precisely constitutes such “art of empathetic persuasion” remains elusive. Fortunately, certain commonalities of praxis do emerge across the essays collected in this volume, which perhaps can help to illuminate some of the central components of such an art. The multiple facets of solidarity—for example, the importance of visibility and recursive engagement with the basic humanity of political actors in a distinct situation, and a certain form of subordination of the artist’s aesthetics to the movement’s imperatives—seem critical. One of the central concepts debated across the volume concerns the nature of solidarity art itself, which is defined in multiple ways. Jacqueline

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Adams offers the most didactic approach, considering solidarity art as a transactional commodity embedded within an international marketplace where art serves as a means to facilitate awareness as well as to raise funds to combat oppression, as in the case of the Chilean arpilleras. Although developing in a slightly different situation, Kevin Coleman’s analysis of an alternative visuality produced by striking banana workers as an assertion of their distinctive identity, one thereafter circulated through alternative media chains—and facilitated by the Cuban state organ Bohemia as opposed to the “prescriptive gaze” of United Fruit and Life magazine— resonates with Adam’s characterization of solidarity art as transactional. This definition is directly challenged by Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda in her chapter on feminist street protests in Mexico City, in which she contends that these performances fall outside the commodity chains that Adams highlights and instead serve as a means to introduce social actors of differing political and cultural opinions to a feminist activist position. As such, for Aceves, solidarity art engages a dialogical framework that falls outside the specific context of international political mobilization. Instead, it is the repeated encounter—at times confrontational, at times moderated—that offers the potential for developing an embodied citizenship incorporating feminist mores. At the core of Aceves’s analysis lies a consideration of solidarity that dovetails with the broader concern with the “experiences of others,” not necessarily as a political cause but rather as a form of acknowledgment of their basic humanity. Such an impulse appears to undergird other engagements with the art of solidarity. Katherine Borland, for example, defines solidarity as a shared faith, in which an artist or activist recognizes ­another’s struggle as one’s own, through “a ‘doing with’ rather than a ‘doing for.’” Melanie Herzog’s consideration of Elizabeth Catlett’s extended oeuvre also evokes this form of shared faith, in which the artist not only adopts the graphic practices of the Taller de Gráfica Popular, while evoking her own African American roots, but eventually returns as a Mexican citizen to engage US activism decades later. Herzog’s analysis of Catlett also introduces another central component of these essays, namely the complicated relationship of the solidarity artist to aesthetics. For Catlett, the “praxis of solidarity exceeded imagery and visual aesthetics,” that is to say, the work of art becomes inherently political as a means to raise consciousness and mobilize change. While such an attitude does not exclude the importance of the power of Catlett’s work

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as an artist, it does help to explain one of the elements of solidarity art, namely, its potential limitations beyond its contemporary context, and, by extension, its lack of duration. Adams’s consideration of the arpilleras, for example, highlights the difficulties that such artists had in continuing to produce art following the end of the Pinochet dictatorship—the market dried up for their specific genre, as its importance never lay in the artistic quality of the product they developed but instead with the political situation it sought to contest. Another way to consider this relationship is to focus on the individual artist’s responsibilities to a social movement more broadly. That is to say, how does the decision to engage movement politics and especially solidarity movement politics impact the agency of the individual artist? Ashley Black highlights the stakes involved, as she underscores that Latin American folk musicians “saw themselves not as individual artists in pursuit of personal glory, but as representatives of something bigger than themselves.” While this could be stimulating, it also dictates a specific form of aesthetics, particularly within the Cold War Latin American context, dominated as it was by the fading ghost of Mexico’s heroic revolutionary arts and the rising flame of Cuban participatory arts, or what Craven has termed auto-­gestic practices.5 At various points in the volume, these are termed aesthetics of resistance, a somewhat nebulous term which nevertheless connotes a specific formula. Perhaps this is most clearly defined in Borland’s essay, which considers such aesthetics as a “contextual matter, as the deployment of symbolic resources in a political field.” These repeated symbols, such as the white bandanas worn by the Argentine Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, serve to draw attention across distinct local contexts and hence encourage solidarity. However, as Lucinda Grinnell highlights in her discussion of revolutionary lesbianism in Mexico, such symbols bring their own baggage. The image of an armed Y. Castro in guerrilla garb decidedly evoked Cuban revolutionary visual culture in an easily understood and widely reproduced symbol. However, Grinnell, drawing upon Patricia Rodríguez, questions whether such images ultimately limited the reach of lesbian activists by substituting a romanticized vision of revolution in the place of concerted organization and, perhaps, more autochthonous imagery. Indeed, one could argue that attention to autochthonous imagery or autochthonous aesthetics is generally absent within the various e­ xamples considered in this volume. And, again echoing Borland, perhaps such

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originality contradicts the very conceptualization of the arts of empathy, wherein aesthetics must be sacrificed to political mobilization. There is, however, one decided and instructive exception to this general rule within the case studies considered herein—Ignácio de Loyola Brandão’s Zero. Unlike the vast majority of artists discussed in the volume, Brandão’s palimpsest aesthetics of resistance developed solidarity from within rather than without. As Javier González notes, the novel presents a chaotic Brazilian moment through a chaotic structure, in an oblique sense evoking Adams’s model of solidarity art as an object depicting repression. However, Zero also displays its solidarity with its potential public, that is, those readers also encountering that self-­same violent moment, those readers whose own encounter with a censored book links them to the broader underground resistance, simply through the act of reading. Finally, Brandão asserts his artistic solidarity with the broader cultural movement known as Tropicália and other artists resisting the regime, through both aesthetic and political actions. While the aesthetics may be original and located within the specific contours of the Brazilian dictatorship, the mode of circulation speaks to a well-­established global strategy of circumventing state censorship to spread dissident literature. In the Cold War era, perhaps the best-­known form of such circulation would be the Soviet practice of samizdat, wherein typed or mimeographed pages were spread through underground networks. The first novel to be spread in this manner, Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago, also received logistical support from the US Central Intelligence Agency and the Vatican, among others.6 And while this experience begs the question of the role of states from the United States to the United Kingdom, to Cuba and the Soviet Union, within the elaboration of clandestine or even official statements of solidarity, it speaks to the degree to which the shared experience of readership or artistic encounter described by González derives its power to inspire from that elusive yet necessary sentiment of empathy required by any political mobilization.7 As a concluding thought, I wish to return to “Border Cantos.” As I suspect is clear, I consider this project to be an example of the art of empathy, with all its possibilities and all its limits, and its contextual engagement with symbolic images and objects and its political message rooted in contemporary strife. The project is embedded within circuits of capital and yet arises from an autochthonous imagery and sonic exploration deeply

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personal and deeply rooted in the privileges of the working artist within the United States. It also reflects the Cold War origins of its artistic partners, shaped by the world discussed in this volume. And yet, it is a collaboration rooted in encouraging solidarity in the United States for those Mexicans and Central Americans and South Americans entering the country, despite an existing and a proposed wall attempting to limit human intertwining. As Galindo puts it, “There are borders between us as people and borders that extend through nations. . . . I would like to build bridges instead of borders.”8 A final image. One of the central pieces in Misrach and Galindo’s “Border Cantos” exhibit is titled Dr. Zhivago habla. The piece began with Misrach’s encounter with a Spanish-­language translation of Pasternak’s novel, its pages beginning to escape the binding, at the base of the border wall between San Diego and Tijuana. He photographed the scene, documenting the decomposing codex on the sands, the wall absurdly stretching into and disappearing into the ocean, and the lone boot of an anonymous wanderer.9 The installation incorporates the original photograph, the recovered book, and a recording by Mexican acquaintances, friends, and collaborators of Galindo, each reading sections from the novel. The artists describe the piece, thus: “A letterpress, leather-­bound Spanish edition of the Russian novel was recovered by the San Diego/Tijuana Wall. The sound installation brings together the book, the photograph of where it was found, and a recording of the book being read, suggesting a universal link between migration and political strife.”10 Notes 1. https://​popup​-m ­­ ag​.squarespace​.com​/issue​-5 ­­ / (downloaded May 31, 2017). See also “Border Signs: Turning a Lens on the Tragedy and Mystery of the US–Mexico Frontier,” California Sunday Magazine, Nov. 2, 2014 (downloaded May 31, 2017); and Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo, Border Cantos (New York: Aperture, 2016): http://​bordercantos​.com. 2. See “Fuente de lágrimas,” at http://​bordercantos​.com​/extra and also https://​vimeo​.com​/154679790. 3. “Border Cantos: Sight & Sound Explorations from the Mexican– American Border,” at http://​crystalbridges​.org​/exhibitions​/border​-­­cantos/ (downloaded May 31, 2017). 4. “Latinos—Encyclopedia of Arkansas,” http://​www​.encyclopediaof arkansas​.net/ (downloaded May 31, 2017).

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5. David Craven, Art and Revolution in Latin America, 1910–1990 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002). 6. Peter Finn and Petra Couvée, The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book (New York: Pantheon, 2014). Pasternak himself condemned the Russian “publication” of his novel and suffered the consequences after he refused the Nobel Prize awarded to him. 7. One arena of solidarity art not discussed in this volume is official pan-­ American artistic production, which coexisted with the aesthetics of resistance. See Claire F. Fox, Making Art Panamerican: Cultural Policy and the Cold War (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013). 8. “Ammo Box Scores,” wall text, “Border Cantos,” Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AK (Feb. 18–April 24, 2017). 9. The boot was incorporated into another Galindo sculpture called Zapatello (2014). 10. See http://​bordercantos​.com and also the audio at https://​vimeo​ .com​/154679640.

Acknowledgments

Readers will not be at a loss to identify the point of view that informs this volume. The Cold War claimed many lives and inflicted tremendous psychological pain across the Americas. The extreme polarization that resulted from pitting capitalism and communism against each other held captive most of the creative and productive energy of the century. Solidarity movements during this period provided a force of resistance against this intractable, dividing violence. And empathy, as a practice and habit of solidarity efforts, occasionally had the ability to rearrange and heighten our experience. Bypassing acts of volition and judgment, mind and body step into the realm of the unknown, for after all, who in her right mind would claim to be able to fully apprehend another’s experience in its cognitive and emotional fullness? Art, in its ability to hold difference together without seeking resolution, opens a window into the work of empathy in social relations and cultural production. The study of exchanges that brought small communities together in solidarity across time and space reveals the tremendous significance of the work that art accomplished in the quest for social justice in the Americas in the twentieth century. This volume is our offering to readers who are interested in exploring scholarship that links social movements to cultural production and art practices in the Americas. It stresses the dimension of “work” or “labor” and the implications this may have for our understanding of forms of belonging and partaking in the suffering of others in contexts of conflict and violence. We have shifted attention from the artist to action, as in the artist-­at-­work, and from the work to function, examined in context, as embodied solidarity. This volume also provides an attempt to historicize empathy within social movements in the context of the Cold War and its aftermath. We hope engaged readers will continue to expand the

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repertoire of actions in the domain of culture and the arts that support the pursuit of peace. This piece of collaborative scholarship would not have made much sense at all, at least to us, had it not resulted from the sustained cultivation of solidarity and attunement with the sentiment of connectedness manifest in empathy. This connection point launched and guided our work at every level of the craft. Our individual commitment to working within the confines of academia has informed both our personal and professional lives, and this commitment is at the very foundation of this connection. Within these spaces, we have been fortunate to enjoy trust—cultivated and found, given and received. Empathy and solidarity in social movements fall within the domain of many disciplines in both the social and health sciences and the humanities. The task of orchestrating conversations among scholars in each of the disciplines that inform this volume can be daunting, for both editors and individual authors. One of the greatest challenges in holding interdisciplinary conversations is the continued risk interlocutors run of miscommunicating. While not all of the disciplines that have stakes in the matter of solidarity and empathy in social movements from a transnational perspective are represented, there is a sufficient number of them present to render this volume multidisciplinary in scope, interdisciplinary in method, and transdisciplinary in its breadth and capacity. The seeds out of which our collaborative work has grown were planted at the 2010 Visual Culture of the Americas Workshop, funded by Brock University through the Humanities Research Institute and the CALACS Conference in 2010. Ideas were initially developed in papers delivered in various venues, and previously unpublished and published works provided a gateway for the present volume, as it became evident that there was an urgent need to dedicate a volume to the important contribution to social change that cultural and artistic production can make. We consider ourselves fortunate to see our ideas helping to build the new community of knowledge that is represented in this book. Establishing a chain of causality to explain how this book came about would supply too mechanical and brief an explanation. Our endless curiosity and our desire to understand what makes it possible for suffering and hope to coexist find expression in a shared commitment to research for social change. For more than a third of a century we have had many illuminating conversations with a large number of people on several continents

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who know a great deal about working for social change. This book is but a fleeting reflection of our indebtedness to all of them. Concerning the vision behind this volume, we are especially aware of our debt to the work of advocating for the public use of philosophy in advancing human rights, participatory citizenship, social justice, and conflict resolution and mediation, as well as the mentorship of Guillermo Hoyos Vásquez, director of the Instituto de Estudios Sociales y Culturales PENSAR at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, as well as to research fellows and staff at the institute from 2002 to 2009. We are indebted to individual authors for their open-­mindedness and generous reception of our feedback and suggestions for revision at various stages of their writing. Fortunately, the time it took us to put this book in the hands of reviewers did not rob them of their original enthusiasm. Although the process of revision can be tedious, our exchanges always remained invigorating and fresh, something we hope readers will pick up on as they read the book. We extend to them our expression of gratitude for helping pave the way with their scholarship to what seems to us a most promising field of inquiry. May our readers find in these pages inspiration to continue sounding the depth and reach of empathy in a world that is still searching for a sense of connectedness that fosters diversity and inclusion. We are grateful for the generous attention of students and colleagues across the Americas and elsewhere who were a sounding board for some of the ideas that inform this volume. Notably, we are indebted to Brenda Elsey, Matt Karush, Anders Corr, Peter Urmetzer, Bethany Wade, Christine Hatzky, Tony Rosenthal, Margaret Power, James N. Green, Christian Helm, Liz Hutchinson, César R. Maldonado Mercado, Andrea Wüllner, Consuelo Manrique, Ximena Bernal, Camilo Trumper, Joe Norris, Tobey C. Anderson, José Armando Medina, Pamela Maw, Camilo Quintero, Catalina Muñoz, Jaime Humberto Borja, Carlos Alberto García, and participants in the Seminar in Visual History at Leibniz University, participants in the Coloquio de Posgrados of the Departamento de Historia in the Universidad de los Andes, members of the Seedling for Change in Society and Environment Collective, and Daltekian–Desarrollo Alternativo Comunitario A.C. for enriching conversations, sound advice, and probing questions. We also consider ourselves privileged for having received the close and consistent attention the anonymous readers gave to the manuscript. This edited volume is stronger in terms of structure, logic, and consistency as a result of their kind suggestions.

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We wish to acknowledge a generous study leave from the University of British Columbia for Jessica, and the invitation to Maria del Carmen to be Visiting Scholar in the Department of History at Universidad de los Andes in 2015. And finally, we would like to thank our families for their constant love and support.

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Contributors

Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda is an assistant professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University, where she directs c|MAS, a media arts research studio, and teaches visual communication, video production, and media history. She holds a BA in graphic design from the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, Mexico, an MFA in visual arts from York University in Toronto, and an MA in art history and a PhD in history from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. As both an interdisciplinary media artist and historian, she focuses her research on Latin American feminist media and contemporary art and design history and practice. Her multimedia installations have been shown in venues across Mexico and Canada and most recently in Paris at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme as part of the Fifth Computer Art Congress. She is currently working on a monograph on the histories of feminist media in 1970s Mexico. Her articles have been published in Platform: Journal of Media and Communication and Artelogie: Recherches sur les Arts, le Patrimoine et la Littérature de l’Amérique Latine. Jacqueline Adams (BA, MA, Dipl., University of Cambridge; PhD University of Essex) is the author of Surviving Dictatorship: A Work of Visual Sociology (Routledge, 2012) and Art against Dictatorship: Producing and Exporting Arpilleras under Pinochet (University of Texas Press, 2013). She is an award-­ winning sociologist whose work has focused on shantytown mothers under an authoritarian regime, including their experiences of poverty and state repression, their economic survival strategies and work, their participation in a transnational human rights movement, and their post-dictatorship experiences. She has served as an associate editor of the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography for a number of years and been a member of the editorial

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board of Sociological Perspectives. She is currently a senior researcher at the University of California at Berkeley’s Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, and a consultant for social policy and cultural institutions. Ashley Black is a doctoral candidate specializing in Latin American history at Stony Brook University. She holds a BA in international relations and master’s degrees in United States history (Wilfried Laurier University) and Latin American studies (University of British Columbia). Focusing on the political and transnational history of modern Mexico, her work encompasses US and circum-­Caribbean culture and geopolitics during the Cold War and has spanned a range of themes, from gender to solidarity and human rights. Her dissertation, “The Politics of Asylum: Cold War Revolutionaries, Human Rights, and Foreign Policy in Mexico, 1944–1961,” explores the politics surrounding the protection of political exiles, and highlights the tension between humanitarianism and Cold War geopolitics in twentieth-­century Latin America. Katherine Borland is an associate professor in the Department of Comparative Studies in the Humanities and the director of the Center for Folklore Studies at the Ohio State University. Her current research focuses on storytelling events, narratives of place and environment, grassroots activism in Ohio, and the aesthetics of solidarity. In addition to scholarly research, she is interested in public humanities research and performance that engages collaboratively with non-­university partners. She has published two books: Creating Community: Hispanic Migration to Rural Delaware (Delaware Heritage, 2002) and Unmasking Class, Gender, and Sexuality in Nicaraguan Festival (University of Arizona Press, 2006). Most recently, she coedited with Abigail E. Adams a volume of reflective essays entitled International Volunteer Tourism: Critical Reflections on Good Works in Central America (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). Ernesto Capello is an associate professor of Latin American history at Macalester College. He received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin and is the author of City at the Center of the World: Space, History, and Modernity in Quito (Pittsburgh, 2011). His research has been supported by fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, the Smithsonian Libraries, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council for Learned Societies. From 2011 to 2015, he served as the

Contributors 

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inaugural chair of the Visual Culture Studies Section of the Latin American Studies Association. He is presently working on two new book projects, one treating trans-­Atlantic representations of the Andean equator in geodesic exploration and visual culture from the eighteenth century to the present and a second concerning Latin American responses to US goodwill tours in the mid-­twentieth century, with special emphasis on Nelson Rockefeller’s 1969 Presidential Mission to Latin America. Kevin Coleman is an assistant professor of history at the University of Toronto and the author of A Camera in the Garden of Eden: The Self-­Forging of the Banana Republic (Texas, 2016). He earned his PhD in Latin American history at Indiana University, and his research has been supported by the Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Fulbright-­Hays program of the United States. In his research and teaching, he attempts to tack between conceptual, methodological, and historical inquiry. Javier González G. (PhD, University of Colorado, Boulder) is a professor of Spanish language and Latin American literature and culture at California State University–Channel Islands. He earned a BA in philosophy from the University of Northern Colorado and a master’s in jazz history from Rutgers University–Newark. He has worked as a professional musician and poster artist and taught at the college level for almost two decades. He recently coedited the collection Alternative Communities in Hispanic Literature and Culture (Cambridge Scholars, 2016) and has contributed journal articles and book chapters in the United States, Uruguay, Argentina, Mexico, and Costa Rica on the intersection of literature with other disciplines and the development and evolution of new cultural identities in Latin America in 1960s and 1970s. Lucinda Grinnell received a PhD in Latin American history and a graduate certificate in women studies from the University of New Mexico in 2013. She has a master’s degree in Latin American studies, also from the University of New Mexico. While completing her dissertation, she held an American Fellowship with the American Association of University Women. She is an independent scholar and has published articles on LGBT history in Mexico City in the Radical History Review, the Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and Debate Feminista. She has also taught

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as adjunct faculty in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Montgomery College and in the Department of Latin American Studies at the University of Maryland. Melanie Anne Herzog is a professor of art history at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin. She holds a BA in art and art history from Johnston College (now Johnston Center for Integrative Studies at the University of Redlands), and an MFA in ceramics and a PhD in art history from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She received the James R. Underkofler Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2006 and Edgewood College’s Faculty Award for Excellence in Multicultural Education in 2008. With an emphasis on socially engaged artistic practices and issues of race, gender, identity, and representation, her publications include Elizabeth Catlett: An American Artist in Mexico (University of Washington Press, 2000); Elizabeth Catlett: In the Image of the People (Art Institute of Chicago, 2005); and “Imaging History, Memory, and the Raced and Gendered Body: The Legacy of Elizabeth Catlett,” in The Female Gaze: Women Artists Making Their World (Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 2012), as well as Milton Rogovin: The Making of a Social Documentary Photographer (Center for Creative Photography, 2006); “Women of Metal: Innovation, Connection, and Education,” in Women of Metal (Crossman Gallery, University of Wisconsin-­ Whitewater, 2008); and essays on various contemporary US artists. Jessica Stites Mor (MA, international relations, and PhD, history, Yale University) was a visiting fellow at the Instituto Ravignani of the Universidad de Buenos Aires from 2004 to 2007. She currently teaches at the University of British Columbia and serves as the editor in chief of the Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. She is the author of Transition Cinema: Political Filmmaking and the Argentine Left since 1968 (Pittsburgh, 2012); a coeditor, with Claudia Feld, of El Pasado que miramos (The Past We View, Paidós, 2009); and the editor of Human Rights and Transnational Solidarity in Cold War Latin America (Wisconsin, 2013). She has also co-­edited a special issue on South–South solidarity for the Journal of Latin American and Iberian Research (2014) and authored several other journal articles. Maria del Carmen Suescun Pozas trained in studio art (BFA, Concordia University), art history (MA and PhD, McGill University), and history (PhD, McGill University). She is currently an associate professor in the

Contributors 

~ 295

Department of History at Brock University. She is a former president of the Canadian Association for Latin American and Caribbean Studies; the founding director of Seedling for Change in Society and Environment, a collective of senior and junior researchers and community partners that is based in the Niagara Region; and, with Gordon Sisler, a cofounder of the Seedling for Change Press. Her previous collaborative work includes the installation Art and History: Dialogues for the Reconstruction of Time Present at the Museo de Arte de la Universidad Nacional in Bogotá, a collaboration with painter Consuelo Manrique (2007); a special issue on the cultural history of Colombia in the 1930s and 1940s, which she coedited with historian Catalina Muñoz for the Revista de Estudios Sociales y Culturales (Universidad de los Andes, 2010); a virtual forum entitled “Corporate Social Responsibility and Extractive Industries in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Multi-­Stakeholder View from the LAC Region,” which she co-­ organized with José Blanes, a former director of the Centro Boliviano de Estudios Multidisciplinarios for the Forty-­first Congress of the Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies; and a journal article coauthored with communications scholar Nicole Lindsay and anthropologist Maria Isabele du Monceau, “Corporate Social Responsibility and Extractive Industries in Latin America and the Caribbean: Perspectives From the Ground,” The Extractive Industries and Society (2015). She is currently coediting a volume on Latin America in cultural production and the arts in Canada with art historian Alena Robin. Between 2000 and 2007 she was a visiting scholar at the Instituto de Estudios Sociales y Culturales PENSAR, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá.

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Index

The letter f following a page number denotes a figure. Abiayala, 61 abortion, 149, 153, 170–172, 174, 175, 177–178, 181 Açao Libertadora Nacional (National Liberation Alliance) (ALN), 96, 101, 114n41 Acevedo, Marta, 160, 162, 166, 168 Aceves Sepúlveda, Gabriela, 262 activist art, 2 ACT UP “die-ins,” 66–67 Adams, Jacqueline, 87, 155 Adorno, Theodor, 107 A Desalambrar (Tear Down the Walls; Viglietti), 129 advertising, television, 107–108 African American artists, US, 26–27 African American women in Catlett’s art, 24–25, 29–31, 34, 37–38, 40 Against Discrimination in the US (Catlett), 34 Agua Zarca protest, 72, 77n24, 79n53 AIDS activism, 66–69 alambre, 143n55 Alarcón, Daniel, 259 Albert, Stew, 131–132, 134, 135 Alducín, Rafael, 162 Alegre, Robert F., 26 Alemán, Miguel, 163

Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América (ALBA), 76n19 Allende, Isabel, 135 Allende, Salvador, 121, 132–136, 251, 253 Alvarado, Salvador, 162 Álvarez, Sonia, 154 American Artists’ Congress, 7 American Communist Party, 8 American Zone (Honduras), 216 amor solidario, 202, 207–208 And a special fear for my loved ones (Catlett), 30 Andrade, Oswald de, 89–90, 94, 109 anti-interventionist movement, 75n12 anti-war movement, 130–132 Árbenz, Jacobo, 218, 223, 226 Argentina, 68 arpilleras/arpilleristas, 155, 241–256, 262, 263 artists, obligations of, 46 Attucks, Crispus, 34 authenticity, 121–122, 126–128, 131, 141n19 avant-garde, 111n17 Aviña, Alexander, 173 Azoulay, Ariella, 218–219

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~ Index

Back yard of alley dwelling, Washington, DC (Mydans), 30 Baden, Nancy T., 96–97 Badiou, Alain, 232 Baez, Joan, 122 Baín, Roberto Micheletti, 59 banana workers strike: background for, 215–218; Bohemia’s coverage of, 228–238, 229f, 231f, 235f, 262; in Life, 217–218, 221–223, 222f, 225, 228, 236–237, 262 Barragán, Luis, 163 Barthes, Roland, 218–219 Bartra, Eli, 149 “Battle in Seattle,” 66–67 Beatles, the, 126 beauty pageants, 158, 173–177 Bebel, Garota Propaganda (film), 87 Bebel, que a cidade comeu (Bebel, eaten by the city; Brandão), 87 “Because the Poor Have Nothing” (I. Parra), 128 belonging, 5, 118 “Benny ‘Kid’ Paret” (Turner), 127 Bergoglio, Jorge Mario, 1 Bessa, Eduardo, 106–107 Big Clearance Sale (Grande Liquidação; Zé), 99, 104, 106 Black Arts movement, 40 Black is Beautiful 2 (Catlett), 40 blackness, 25 Black Panthers, 40 Black Power movement, 40, 43, 47 The Black Woman (Catlett), 29 “Blowin’ in the Wind,” 136 Bohemia (magazine), banana workers strike coverage by, 217, 228–238, 229f, 231f, 235f, 262 Bolivarian Alliance, 62 Bordadoras de Isla Negra, 252 Bordadoras de Macu, 252 “Border Cantos” (exhibition), 259–261, 264–265

Bourgeois, Roy, 74n1 Boyd, Nan Alamilla, 197 Brandão, Ignácio de Loyola: Bebel, que a cidade comeu, 87; solidarity practices, 13; Zero: Romance pre-histórico, 83–89, 91, 96–109, 264 Bravo, Estela, 123 Brazil: 1960s aesthetic of resistance in, 89–95; 1964 coup, 95–96; avant-garde movement in, 111n17; censorship in, 95, 97–99, 110n7; concrete poets in, 87, 89, 90–91; consumerism in, 105; military dictatorship of, 95–97; protest marches in, 114n40; and Tropicália movement, 87, 89, 91–93, 95, 96, 102, 108; women’s rights in, 149 Brito de Martí, Esperanza, 181 Bruguera, Tania, 1–2, 14 Buarque de Hollanda, Heloísa, 94 Cabeza (Catlett), 41 Cáceres, Berta, 63, 77n24, 79n53 “Camila numa semana” (One week with Camila; Brandão), 110n9 Campamento 2 de Octubre, 180 campesino activism, 77n24 Campos, Augusto de, 87 Campos, Haroldo de, 87, 89 “Canción de mi América” (“Song for My America”; Viglietti), 128 Canción Protesta (album), 125–129 capitalist modernity, 119, 133–134 Capovilla, Maurice, 87 Cárdenas, Lázaro, 36 Carías Andino, Tiburcio, 216, 236 Carillo Puerto, Felipe, 162 Cariquí (pen name), 63 Carmichael, Stokely, 141n30 Carvalho, Carlos André, 90–91 Casa Canadá (Canada House), 249 Casasola, Augustín Victor, 3 “Las casitas del Barrio Alto” (Jara), 133–134

Index 

Castillo Armas, Carlos, 221, 223–224, 226, 230 Castro, Fidel, 200 Castro, Y. (Yan María Yaoyólotl), 193, 195–208, 263 Castro de Zelaya, Xiomara, 61–62 “Catecismo, creme dental e eu” ­(“Catechism, Toothpaste, and Me”) (Zé), 104 Catlett, David, 31 Catlett, Elizabeth: background of, 26–28, 36; career of, 27, 36–37, 262; citizenship of, 38–39; family of, 24, 28, 31; and feminism, 38–39; influence of, 41–42; and Mexicanness, 24–26, 31; political/social consciousness of, 27–28, 31–34, 36, 38–43; praxis of solidarity enacted by, 23–24, 40–44, 46–47; TGP and, 24, 28–29, 31–34, 44, 46 Catlett, Elizabeth, works: Against Discrimination in the US, 34; And a special fear for my loved ones, 30; audiences for, 34, 37; Black is Beautiful 2, 40; The Black Woman, 29; Cabeza, 41; Central America Says No, 44, 45f; Chile II, 44; Civil Rights Congress, 34; Contribución del pueblo a la expropiación petrolera, 34, 36; “Elizabeth Catlett: Prints and Sculpture” (exhibition), 43; empathy in, 23–25, 29, 31, 33, 36; “Experiencia negra: Escultura y grabado de Elizabeth Catlett” (exhibition), 43; Homage to My Young Black Sisters, 40; I am the Negro Woman, 29, 31; I have always worked hard in America, 29; influences on, 27; In Harriet Tubman I helped hundreds . . . , 30; In Sojourner Truth I fought . . . , 29–30; In Phillis Wheatley I proved . . . , 30; In the Fields, 29; Malcolm X Speaks for Us, 40; Mujer (Woman), 37; “My Art Speaks for Both My Peoples,” 42; A Negro tenant farmer

~ 299

and several members of his family . . . , 29; Negro Woman (series), 29–30, 31, 34; Nos quedamos sin escuela (We still have no school), 38–39; and printmaking, 32–36, 32f, 35f, 41f, 44, 45f; El pueblo mexicano en las filas de la paz (The Mexican people in the ranks of peace), 32, 32f, 44; sculpture, 24–25, 36–38, 41, 44; The Torture of Mothers, 40–41; transnational solidarity in, 31–34, 36 Catlett, Francisco, 31 Catlett, Juan, 31 Cavalo, Cara de, 93 Ceballos, René, 108 censorship, 7, 83–84, 88, 95, 97–99, 124 Central America Says No (Catlett), 44, 45f Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), 226 Centro Libre de Experimentación Teatral y Artística (CLETA), 178, 179f Chicano Teatro Campesino, 158 Chile, 121, 131–137. See also arpilleras/ arpilleristas Chile I (Catlett), 44 Chile II (Catlett), 44 Chiquita Brands, 215 Chomsky, Noam, 218 “Choreographies of Protest” (Foster), 66 Christian Churches’ Foundation for Social Assistance (Fundación de Ayuda Social de las Iglesias Cristianas), 245 Cihuat/Voz de la Coalición de Mujeres (periodical), 172 Cinema Novo movement, 86, 87, 91, 113n37 CISPES, 65 citizenship, embodied, 159–160, 168– 169, 217 Civil Rights Congress (Catlett), 34 civil rights movement, 40, 66–67, 123, 131

300 

~ Index

Clark, Lygia, 87 Coalición de Mujeres Feministas (CMF), 171, 172–176, 178 Cold War: anti-communist zeitgeist of, 40; artists in the era of, 38; and Bay of Pigs invasion, 123–124; as frame for narratives of struggle, 6–10; justifying repression in the, 198; mass media in the, 218, 236, 264; Mexico in the, 25, 26, 38, 196, 203; music during the, 129, 263; repression by the United States during the, 225; space of critique made possible in the, 24; and Third World solidarity, 121–122 Colectivo de Mujeres, 171 Colectivo La Revuelta, 176f collective identity formation theory, 118 collectives: art, 156, 177–178; feminist, 169–172 Comayagua prison fire, 63 Comité de Cooperación para la Paz en Chile (Committee for Cooperation for Peace in Chile), 244–245, 249, 251–252 “Commentary” (Donaldson), 43 Commer, Doris, 64 communication, role of the visual in, 3–4 communism, 8, 25, 39, 221, 223, 227 concrete poets, 87, 89, 90–91 CONFABA (Conference on the Functional Aspects of Black Art), 70, 42 Congress of Woman in the Americas, 38 consumer culture, 105, 122, 133 Contras, 65, 75n12 Contribución del pueblo a la expropiación petrolera (Catlett), 34, 36 Copapayo massacre, 74n2 Cordero, Karen, 155, 157 Corpus Christi massacre, 166, 168

Craven, David, 200, 263 Cuba: censorship in, 124; Encuentro Internacional de la Canción Protesta, 117, 122, 124–126, 128, 136; and nueva trova (music genre), 126, 128; post-revolution art/music policy of, 123–124, 126, 137; socialism model of, 121 Cuban Revolution, 136–137, 201 Dagnino, Evelina, 154 Dane, Barbara, 117–120, 122–126, 128–129, 137 Davidson, Russ, 194 Davis, Frank Marshall Davis, 30–31 “Death in the Ring” (Santa Cruz), 127 Delano, Jack, 29 “Desert Cantos” (Misrach), 259 El Día (newspaper), 46 Díaz, Porfirio, 163 die-ins, 66–69 Dillard University, 36 disappeared, the, 41, 68, 251 Doctor Zhivago (Pasternak), 264–265 Dole Fruit, 215 Donaldson, Jeff, 43 Dorotinsky, Deborah, 157 Dr. Zhivago habla (Misrach), 265 DuBois, W. E. B., 39 Dunn, Christopher, 102 Dylan, Bob, 122, 130–131, 135 Ebony (magazine), 42, 43 Echeverría Álvarez, Luis, 156, 161, 164, 170 8-1/2 (Fellini), 86 Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN), 74n4, 75n6 Elbrick, Charles Burke, 114n41 “Elizabeth Catlett: Prints and Sculpture” (exhibition), 43 El Salvador, 75n12

Index 

embroiderers, 251–252 empathy: art of, 260–261, 264–265; in Catlett’s art, 23–25, 29, 31, 33, 36; transnational pathways of, 1–10, 119 Encuentro de Lesbianas Feministas Latinoamericanas y Caribeñas, 206 Encuentro Internacional de la Canción Protesta (International Festival of Protest Music), 117, 122, 124–126, 128, 136 Engels, Friedrich, 200, 203 “Epic for the Jubilee Year of Negro Freedom” (Walker), 30–31 Escandón, Carmen Ramos, 171 Escobar, Arturo, 154 Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado “La Esmeralda” (aka La Esmeralda), 28, 36–37 “Estadio de Chile” (Jara), 135–136 “¡Estamos hartas!” (We are fed up), 149, 152, 178 Estampas de la Revolución Mexicana (Prints of the Mexican Revolution; TGP), 29 Los Estridentistas, 178 Evars, Medgar, 131 “An Evening with Salvador Allende” (concert), 135–136, 145 Excelsior (newspaper), 46, 162–163 “Experiencia negra: Escultura y grabado de Elizabeth Catlett” (exhibition), 43 Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), 55–56, 55f, 74n2 Father’s Day demonstration, 166–167, 167f, 168f Fax, Elton, 43 Fellini, Federico, 86 Fem (magazine), 205 feminism: autonomous, 171; secondwave, 150, 152–154, 159, 161, 164–165, 168–169, 172

~ 301

feminist art, 205, 207 feminist collectives, 1970s Mexico, 169–172 feminist performances/protests, 1970s Mexico: aesthetic of resistance in, 180–183; beauty pageant protests, 172–177; Father’s Day, 166–167, 167f, 168f; humor in, 158–159, 175–177; IWY protests, 171–172; making shattered bodies visible, 177, 180–181; Mother’s Day, 161–162, 164, 166, 181, 182f; parody in, 158– 159, 175–177; patriarchy, attacked in, 160–169; performing trauma, 173–174; street theater as, 149–150, 150f, 151f, 152, 172; suppression of, 161; transnational pathways of, 149–150 Fernández, Emilio “El Indio,” 164 Fernández, Joseíto, 134 FIFA World Cup, 165 Fitz, Earl, 90, 97 Flusty, Stephen, 56–57 FNALIDM, 178, 180 folk music and solidarity, 117–137 Foster, Susan, 66 450 años de lucha: Homenaje al pueblo Mexicano (450 Years of Struggle: Homage to the Mexican People; TCP), 34 Franceschi, Antonio de, 85–86 Francis (pope), 1 “The Francis Effect” (installation), 2, 14 Franco, Jane, 160 Freedom (newspaper), 34 Freedomways (magazine), 39 Frente Mexicano de Trabajadores Culturales (FMTC), 177 Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular/La Resistencia (FNRP), 58, 59, 61–62, 73 Frente Nacional por la Liberación y los Derechos de las Mujeres, 178

302 

~ Index

Fundación de Ayuda Social de las Iglesias Cristianas (Christian Churches’ Foundation for Social Assistance), 245 Fuoss, Kirk W., 152 Gabara, Esther, 159 Galeano, Eduardo, 4 Galindo, Guillermo, 259–260, 265 García, Tomás, 71, 72, 79n53 García Canclini, Néstor, 111n17 Garifuna, 77n24 Garner, Eric, 80n54 Geglia, Beth, 70, 73f George Washington Carver School, 27, 36, 39 gestures, 53–54, 217 Gil, Gilberto, 87, 91, 96, 114n45 Ginsburg-Jaeckle, Matt, 63–64 Giunta, Andrea, 157 “Give Your Hand to the Indian,” 128 Goeritz, Mathias, 163 Gonçalves, Marcos, 94 González, Hank, 180 Goulart, João, 91, 94, 95–96 Gould, Carol C., 5 Goya, Francisco, 46 graffiti art, 63, 199 Grande Liquidação (Big Clearance Sale; Zé), 99, 104, 106 Grandin, Greg, 225 Green, James N., 157, 194 Grosz, Elizabeth, 160 Los Grupos, 156–157 “Guantanamera,” 134, 135 “Guatemalan Reds Worry Neighbors” (Life), 219, 220f, 221, 222f, 223 Guerrero, violence in, 173–174 Guevara, Ernesto “Che,” 93, 127, 130 Guthrie, Arlo, 135 Habermas, Jürgen, 4 Hadad, Astrida, 158

Los Halcones (The Falcons), 166 Hariman, Robert, 217, 237 Harlem Artists’ Guild, 8 Los Hartos, 178 “Hasta siempre, Comandante” (Puebla), 127 “Here’s to the State of Mississippi” (Ochs), 131 Herkenhoff, Paul, 93 Herman, Edward S., 218 Herrero Senés, Juan, 88 Herring, James, 27 Herzog, Melanie Anne, 262 Hidalgo, Miguel, 166–167, 168 Hidemi de Lima, Marcos, 85 Homage to My Young Black Sisters (Catlett), 40 Homosexual Front for Revolutionary Action (FHAR), 199 homosexual movement, 195–196, 198 homosexuals, repression of, 201–203 Honduras: 2009 coup, 58–59, 65; arts of resistance in, 59, 60f, 61–63; banana workers strike, 216–218, 221–223, 222f, 225–238, 229f, 231f, 235f; economy of, 62; human rights abuses in, 62–63; murder rate in, 63; and transnational solidarity activism, 59, 61, 75n12; and United Fruit Company, 215–216 hooks, bell, 72 Hopper, Dennis, 135 Horkheimer, Max, 107 House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), 26 Howard University, 27 human rights: abuses of, 54, 62–63, 75n12; construction of, 217–218; organizations devoted to, 244–248 human rights campaigns, transnational, 54–55, 91–92

Index 

humor in feminist performances/protests, 158–159, 175–177 “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” (Ochs), 132 I Am the American Negro (Davis), 30 I am the Negro Woman (Catlett), 29, 31 identification, techniques of, 66–67 identity: music in a shared, 134; national, 25, 121 identity formation theory, 119 “If I Had a Hammer” (Seeger), 132, 134 Ifshin, David, 130 I have always worked hard in America (Catlett), 29 “I Love the Students” (A. Parra), 128 immigration, 259–261 imperialism: cultural, 126, 128–129, 134, 136; resistance to, 200, 201 import substitution industrialization (ISI) model, 163 The Inclusion of the Other (Habermas), 4 Independent Union of Workers of Colegio de Bacvhilleres (SINTCB), 178 indigenismo movement, 128, 130 In Harriet Tubman I helped hundreds to freedom (Catlett), 30 In Phillis Wheatley I proved intellectual equality in the midst of slavery (Catlett), 30 In Sojourner Truth I fought for the rights of women as well as Negroes (Catlett), 29–30 Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, 37 Insurgentes metro station, 167f, 168f International Festival of Protest Music (Encuentro Internacional de la Canción Protesta), 117, 122, 124–126, 128, 136

~ 303

International Women’s Year (IWY) celebrations, 150, 161, 171–172 In the Fields (Catlett), 29 Jackson, K. David, 90 Jaiven, Ana Lau, 153, 171 Jara, Joan, 133, 135 Jara, Víctor, 44, 46, 71, 72, 126–127, 131–137 Jiménez, Ana Victoria, 157 Jímenez, Patría, 201 John Reed Clubs, 7 Joseph, Gilbert, 197 Kaprow, Allan, 105 Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara, 57 kitsch, revolutionary, 56 Kozloff, Max, 105 Lamas, Marta, 172 Lange, Dorothea, 29 Lee, Russell, 30 Las Leonas, 172 Lesbianas Feministas Comunistas, 201, 204 Lesbianas Morelenses, 203–204 lesbian feminist movement: artwork of the, 199–201, 203; autonomous, 195; banners and slogans employed by the, 199–200, 205; as fostering community, 203–207; Marxist, 195–197, 202–203, 205–207; member recruitment in, 199; research methodology for analyzing, 197–198; as resisting repression, 203–207; revolutionary images of, 193–195, 197, 200, 202– 203, 205, 207, 263; revolutionary movements, as supporting, 196–197; solidarity manifested in, 195–196 Lesbianism and Society (pamphlet), 200 “Lesbianism and the Class Struggle” (flyer), 202

304 

~ Index

lesbians/lesbian organizations: militant, Oikabeth and the emergence of, 198– 203; repression of, 198, 201–202, 204; revolutionary, in Mexico City (1977–1987), 193–208 Lesbinas Feministas Comunistas, 204 Lesbos (newsletter), 202–203 Lester, Julius, 141n30 LIBRE, 62–63, 72 Life (magazine): banana worker strike coverage by, 217–218, 221, 222f, 223, 225, 228, 236–237, 262; “Guatemalan Reds Worry Neighbors,” 219, 220f, 221, 222f, 223; Guatemalan Revolt coverage by, 223, 224f, 225; as model of propaganda, 217; “Reds’ Priority: Pin War on Us,” 223 Line 2 subway system, 166 “Little Boxes” (Reynolds), 133–134 Lomax, John, 140n18 Lomnitz, Claudio, 141n19 long 1960s, 120, 137 López Portillo, Jose, 161–162 Lucaites, John Louis, 217, 237 Lucha Feminista (LF), 171, 178 Luis, Edson, 114n40 Maasai, 57 Mahsun, Carol, 105 Malcolm X Speaks for Us (Catlett), 40 Manifesto antropófago (Andrade), 89, 91 Manifesto da poesia Pau-Brasis (Andrade), 89 Mansour, Shadia, 79n52 Marcos, Subcomandante, 57 María, José, 61–62 Mariel boatlift, 201 Martí, José, 134 Martinez Corrêa, José Celso, 87 Marwick, Arthur, 139n13 Marx, Karl, 200, 202 Maxit, César, 70

McCarthy, Eugene, 132 McCaughan, Edward, 194 McCombe, Leonard, 223 McQuiston, Liz, 205 Médici, Emílio Garrastazu, 97 Medina, Luz María, 199 Meirelles, Maria, 157 Memórias sentimentais de Joã Miramar (The sentimental memoirs of Joã Miramar; Andrade), 89 Méndez, Leopoldo, 33, 35f mestizaje, 25 Mexican Communist Party, 178 mexicanidad, 25 The Mexican people in the ranks of peace (El pueblo mexicano en las filas de la paz; Catlett), 32, 32f, 44 Mexican Revolution, 3, 28 Mexico: anti-communist zeitgeist of, 26; anti-labor industrialization in, 26; artists in, 25, 40; art-politics relation in, 155–157; during Cold War era, 25, 26, 38, 196, 203; earthquake response by, 204–205; feminism, second-wave, in, 150, 152–154, 159, 161, 164–165, 168–172; and feminist performances, 149–183; miners’ strike in, 33; modernization in, 26, 159, 163–166; Moral Renovation program, 203; Mother’s Day in, 161–162, 164, 181, 182f; neoliberal reforms in, 203–204; repressive measures taken by, 198– 199; student protests in, 165–166, 167; US expatriates in, 26 Mexico City: revolutionary lesbianism in, 193–208; student movement, 198 middle class, provoking the, 114n45 Milanés, Pablo, 128 miners’ strike, 131 Miskitu, 63, 77n23 Misrach, Richard, 259–260, 265 Miss America pageant, 158

Index 

Miss México beauty pageant, 173 Miss Revolución, 175 Miss Universe pageant, 158, 173–175 Mitchell, Adrian, 135 modernismo, 89, 91 modernity, 119, 130, 133–134, 159 Molina, Carlos, 122 Monasterio, Luis Ortiz, 163 Monsivaís, Carlos, 205 moral renovation, 203–204 Moral Renovation program, 203 Morse, Ralph, 223 Motherhood Monument (El Monumento a la Madre), 149, 161, 162– 164, 166, 173, 181, 183f mothers: of the disappeared, 41, 68; The Torture of Mothers (Catlett), 40–41, 41f Mother’s Day, 161–162, 164, 166, 181, 182f Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, 68, 159, 263 Movimiento de Liberación de la Mujer (MLM), 171, 178 Movimiento Nacional de Mujeres (MNM), 171, 178, 181 Mujer (Woman) (Catlett), 37 Mujeres en Acción Solidaria (MAS), 166–169, 171 Mullen, Bill V., 26 murals, 25, 63, 70–71 music: of the civil rights movement, 120–121; of the Cold War era, 129, 263; Cuba’s post-revolution policy on, 123–124, 126, 137; folk music and solidarity, 117–137; of the Old Left, 120; protest genre, 119, 121–122, 125–129, 132; shared identity and, 134 “My Art Speaks for Both My Peoples” (Catlett), 42 Mydans, Carl, 30

~ 305

National Conference of Negro Artists, 39 national identity, 25, 121 National Information Bureau (Serviço Nacional de Informaçoes; SNI), 95 National Liberation Alliance (Açao Libertadora Nacional; ALN), 96, 101, 114n41 National Negro Congress, 39 National Union of Mexican Women (Unión Nacional de Mujeres Mexicanas), 38 Negro Housing, Chicago, Illinois (Lee), 30 Negro Maid: Washington, DC (Delano), 29 A Negro tenant farmer and several members of his family hoeing cotton on their farm in Alabama (Catlett), 30 Negro Woman (Catlett), 29–30, 31, 34 Nepstad, Sharon Erickson, 66 New York Times, 223 nihilism, 88, 102–103 Nixon, Richard, 131 Noigandres (magazine), 112n23 Nonoalco-Tlatelolco housing project, 164 North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA), 76n13 Nos quedamos sin escuela (We still have no school; Catlett), 38–39 “Notes from the Border,” 259 Not Forgotten: Street Art by School of the Americas Watch, 70, 73f “Nova Objectividade” (exhibition), 87, 92 nueva canción, 119 Nueva Canción movement, 126, 132 La nueva ola del feminismo en México (Jaiven), 153 nueva trova, 126, 128 Obama, Barack, 58 Obregón, Álvaro, 162 Oceguera, Alma, 204–206

306 

~ Index

Ochoa, Amparo, 172 Ochs, Phil, 118, 120, 122, 130–137 O’Higgins, Pablo, 33, 35f Oikabeth, 193, 199–204 Oiticica, Hélio, 83, 86, 87, 88–89, 92–94, 102–103, 108 Olcott, Jocelyn, 171 Old Left, 120, 137 Olmec culture, 25, 41 Olympic Games, 165 “open veins” (venas abiertas; Galeano), 4 Opinão (magazine), 93 “La opresión de la mujer,” 149, 150f, 151f, 173 Os Brazões, 106 Os Mutantes, 114n45 other, 4–5 Palacio, Yamansu, 126 Pani, Mario, 163 “Panis et Circensis” (Gil and Veloso), 114n45 Pardido Democrático Revolucionario de Honduras (PDRH), 238 Paredon Records, 118, 124–125, 127–130 Paret, Benny “Kid,” 127 parody in feminist performances/protests, 158–159, 175–177 “Parque industrial” (Zé), 106–107 Parra, Angel, 128 Parra, Isabel, 128 Parra, Violeta, 121, 128 Partido Comunista de Honduras (PCH), 238 Partido de la Revolución Institucional (PRI), 163, 165–166, 175 Passeata dos Cem Mil (Protest March of the One Hundred Thousand), 114n40 Pasternak, Boris, 264, 265 Patterson, William, 34 Paz (Peace; newsletter), 32

people’s art, 28, 57 People’s Graphic Arts Workshop, 24 performance theory, 174 performance trauma, 174 photographs, power of, 3–4 photojournalism: audience for, demands on, 3; liberal-democratic citizenship and, 237; solidarity and, 217–219, 230, 231f, 232–233 Picasso, Pablo, 46 Pido, Donna Klumpp, 57 Pignatari, Décio, 87, 112n23 Pinochet, Augusto, 44, 155, 244, 247, 254, 263 Piva, Mairim Linck, 98 Plaza de las Tres Culturas, 165 police actions, street theater constrained by, 67–69, 71 political art, 208 Polvo de Gallina Negra, 177 Poniatowska, Elena, 205 Pop Art, 84, 87, 90, 91, 98, 105–106, 108 Popular Front, 7, 39 Popular Graphic Arts Workshop, 24 Pop-Up Magazine, 259–265 Porter, James, 27 Portilla, Jorge, 158 “Position and Program” (Oiticica), 93, 102 poster art, 192–194, 196, 200–201 Powell, Richard J., 29 Prints of the Mexican Revolution (Estampas de la Revolución Mexicana; TGP), 29 Protest March of the One Hundred Thousand (Passeata dos Cem Mil), 114n40 protest music, 119, 121–122, 125–129, 132 Puebla, Carlos, 127 El pueblo mexicano en las filas de la paz (The Mexican people in the ranks of peace; Catlett), 32, 32f, 44

Index 

“El pueblo unido jamás será vencido” (Ortega and Quilapayún), 62, 76n16 Rama, Angel, 160 Ramona, Comandanta, 57 “Reds’ Priority: Pin War on Us” (Life), 223 Reed, John, 7 Regarding the Pain of Others (Sontag), 3–4 Reimão, Sandra, 97–98 relajo, 158–159 reproductive rights, 149, 162, 169–173, 177–179, 181 resistance: aesthetics of, 89–95, 263– 264; Honduran arts of, 58–63, 60f; popularization and commercialization of forms of, 56; traditions of, 54 revolutionary art, 25, 46 revolutionary music, 126–127 Revolutionary Trotskyist Party (PRT), 178 La Revuelta (The Revolt), 149, 171, 179f Reynolds, Malvina, 126, 133–134 Robeson, Paul, 34 Rocha, Glauber, 92, 94–95 Rodríguez, Ana Patricia, 197 Rodríguez, Jesúsa, 158 Rodriguez, Óscar Andrés (cardinal), 59 Rodríguez, Patricia, 263 Rodríguez, Silvio, 126, 128 Rodríguez Monegal, Emir, 97 Romero, Oscar, 70, 72 Roque Ramírez, Horacio N., 197 Rosskam, Edwin, 29–30 Roy, William G., 120, 137, 141n19 Rubenstein, Anne, 159 Rubin, Jerry, 131–132, 134 Ruiz, José L., 36 Sáenz, Inda, 155, 157 sanctuary movement, 75n12 Sandino, Augusto, 223

~ 307

Sanger, Margaret, 162 Santa Cruz, Nicomedes, 127 “São, São Paulo” (Zé), 99–100 Scarry, Elaine, 174 Schechner, Robert, 152 Schilkraut, Enid, 57 Schneider, René, 133 School of the Americas (SOA), 70, 74n1 School of the Americas Watch (SOAW): awareness campaign by, 70; and dieins, 68; and MISSED posters, 70–71; Not Forgotten: Street Art, 70, 73, 73f; purpose of, 74n1; and street theater, 66–69; vigil at Fort Benning held by, 54, 54f, 65–66 Schreiber, Rebecca, 24, 26 Seeger, Charles, 140n18 Seeger, Pete, 121, 126, 132, 133, 134, 135 Seminario Marxista Leninista de Lesbinas Feministas (Marxist Leninist Seminary of Lesbian Feminists), 204–206 Señorita México (television show), 166 Señorita México beauty pageant, 173 Serafim Ponte Grande (Seraphim Grosse Pointe; Andrade), 90, 94 Serviço Nacional de Informaçoes (National Information Bureau) (SNI), 95 Shattuck, Milton, 221, 227 Shuman, Amy, 64 Silber, Irwin, 117–119, 123–125, 128 Silk, George, 223 Simioni, Ana Paula, 157 Sindicato 19 de Septiembre, 205 Sindicato de Obreros Técnicos, Pintores, y Escultores (Union of Technical Workers, Painters, and Sculptors), 7 Sindicato de Trabajadores de la UNAM (STUNAM, Union of Workers from UNAM), 178

308 

~ Index

Sing Out! (magazine), 123 sit-ins, 66–67 Sliwinski, Sharon, 219 social justice, 154, 169, 177 social transformation, art and, 2, 25 Solé, Marta, 202, 204 solidarity: anti-imperialist, 195–197, 196, 200, 209; arts of, 65–74; building personal bonds of, 118; defined, 64; economic, 196; ethos of, 246; North-South, 120, 121, 125; photojournalism and, 217–219, 230, 231f, 232–233; preconditions for, 217–218; rights-based, 196; in spectatorship, 215–238 solidarity activism, transnational: arts of, 65–74; campaigns of, 1–2; die-ins, 66–69; empathy in, 5–6, 119; feminist performances, 149–150; folk music and, 117–137; framing, through cultural production and the arts, 3–6; historical contexts for, 6–10; Honduran coup and, 59, 61; manifestations of, 2; North-South, 4, 9; participants in, demands on, 3; sit-ins, 66–67; South-South, 4, 9; spectatorship in, 3; success of, factors in, 5 solidarity art: aesthetics in relation to, 262; arpilleras/arpilleristas, 155, 241– 256, 262, 263; artists, 241; buyers of, 241, 244, 248–252, 254–255; content of, 252–253; defined, 241, 261–262; exporters of, 244–247, 251; intermediaries for, 242, 254; limitations of, 263; markets for, 253–254; sellers of, 244–248, 251–252, 254–255; Zapatista dolls, 56–57, 56f, 242, 255; Zero: Romance pre-histórico (Brandão), 87–89, 264 solidarity art community, 242–243, 253, 255 solidarity art products, 248

solidarity art system, 248–250 solidarity chains, 245–246 solidarity flows, 246 solidarity orientation, 246 solidarity performances, 54–58 “Somos Sur” (Tijoux and Mansour), 79n52 Somoza, Anastasio, 64–65, 221 Sontag, Susan, 3–4 Sosa, Porfirio Lobo, 58 Spanish Civil War, 7 Spanish Refugee Relief Campaign, 7 spectators, 217–218, 230, 232, 234–238 Spriggs, Edward S., 43 Standard Fruit Company, 215 street theater: die-ins, 66–69; feminist performances/protests, 149–150, 150f, 151f, 152, 172; police actions regarding, 67–69, 71; School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) as using, 66; techniques of identification in, 66–67 student protests, 165–167 Subirats, Eduardo, 106–107 Süssekind, Flora, 92, 97 Taller de Gráfica Popular (TGP), 24, 26, 28–29, 31, 33, 39, 44, 46, 262 Tamayo, Mario S., 230 Tamayo, Rufino, 46 Taylor, Diane, 174 Teachers’ Revolutionary Movement (Movimiento Revolucionario de Magesterio), 178 Teatro Oficina, 87, 94 television, 107–108 tercera raíz (third root), 25 Terra em transe (Land in Anguish; Rocha), 92, 94–95 The Third of May, 1801, in Madrid (Goya), 46

Index 

third root (tercera raíz), 25 Tibol, Raquel, 38 Tijoux, Ana, 70, 79n52 Tlatelolco massacre, 165–166, 167, 168 Tlatelolco Treaty, 165 “Too Many Martyrs” (Ochs), 131 The Torture of Mothers (Catlett), 40–41 tourist art, 242, 255 transnationalism, defined, 6 Tropicália, 86–87, 89, 91–93, 95–96, 102, 105, 108 Tropical Truth (Veloso), 92 Tubman, Harriet, 34 Tupamaro movement, 128, 129, 130 Turner, Gil, 127 12 Million Black Voices (Wright and Rosskam), 29–30 Última Hora (newspaper), 85, 87, 98 “Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today,” 2 Unión de Escritores y Artistas, 8 Unión Nacional de Mujeres Mexicanas (National Union of Mexican Women), 38 Union of Technical Workers, Painters, and Sculptors (Sindicato de Obreros Técnicos, Pintores, y Escultores), 7 Union of Workers from UNAM (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la UNAM, STUNAM), 178 unions, 205–206, 227 United Fruit Company, 215–216, 225– 227. See also banana worker strike United States: anti-communist zeitgeist of, 26, 39; Cold War–era artists and intellectual community in, 25; cultural imperialism of, 126, 134; expatriates from, in Mexico, 26; and imperialism, 129; military training programs in, 54, 70, 72; solidary activism in, 54–58

~ 309

United States foreign relations: with Brazil, 95; with Cuba, 123–124; with El Salvador, 65, 227; with Guatemala, 226–227; with Honduras, 58, 63, 65, 226–227; with Mexico, 26; with Nicaragua, 64–65, 75n12, 227 Universidad Autónoma de México, 36 Urbano, Maeztro, 63 Uruguay, 129 Valencia, Manuel Jesus, 221, 223 Varga, Getúlio, 90 Vasconcelos, José, 25 Veja (magazine), 87 Veloso, Caetano, 87, 91–92, 95, 96, 114n45 venas abiertas (“open veins”; Galeano), 4 “Venceremos” (Iturra and Ortega), 135 “Verses of Revolution” (Cabrera), 128 Vetlesen, Arne Johan, 5 Vicaría de la Solidaridad (Vicarage of Solidarity), 244–249, 252, 254–255 Víctimas del pecado (film), 164 Vieira, Vera Lúcia Silva, 85 Vietnam War, 130–132 Viglietti, Daniel, 128, 130 Villagrán, José, 163 Virgen del Carmen, 252 Virgin of Guadalupe, 159, 170 visual, role in communication, 3–4 Walker, Margaret, 30–31 Wallace, Henry, 228 Warner, Michael, 177 “Water Station Scores” (Galindo), 260 Wells, James Lesesne, 27 WHINSEC (Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation), 70, 74n1, 79n44 White, Charles, 28 Willauer, Whiting, 225, 226–227

310 

~ Index

women: African American, in Catlett’s art, 24–25, 29–31, 34, 37–38, 40; arpilleristas, 155, 241–256, 262, 263; in banana worker strike photos, 230, 231f, 232–233, 235f; chicas modernas vs. traditional Mexican, 159; equalrights for, 169–172; reproductive rights for, 149, 162, 169, 170–171, 172–173, 177, 178–179, 181; and second-wave feminism in Mexico, 150, 152–154, 159, 161, 164–165, 168–169, 172 “Women’s Oppression” (“La opresión de la mujer”), 149, 150f, 151f, 152 Wood, Grant, 27 World Trade Organization protests, 66–67 Wright, Richard, 29–30, 31

Yupanqui, Atahualpa, 121 Zadkine, Ossip, 27, 36 Zapata, Emiliano, 175 Zapata, Martha, 171 Zapatista dolls, 56–57, 56f, 242, 255 Zapatistas, 65 Zé, Tom, 87, 91, 99–100, 104, 106–107 Zelaya, José Manuel (Mel), 58–59, 61–63, 72 Zero: Romance pre-histórico (Zero:Prehistoric novel; Brandão), 83–89, 91, 96, 98–109, 264 Zolov, Eric, 141n19 Zoster, William Z., 39 Zúñiga, Francisco, 36