Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

This document is an editorial page outlining the motivations for the creation of the magazine Tin-Tan. It cites its primary focus as addressing a critical absence in the print media of publications dedicated to the concerns of Mexican-Americans and the cultural heritage and artistic production of most interest to the community. The statement emphasizes the explicitly political aims of the magazine and suggests that its complex and sometimes incongruous nature parallels the duality inherent in the consciousness of its creators. It lists both global and local events occurring at the time of the magazine’s initial publication in 1975 that inform its content. The statement articulates the ultimate ambition of the project to be a forum for free speech and the open communication of issues and ideas that to this point had been given insufficient attention in the mainstream press.

Annotations

This editorial also functions as a mission statement for the magazine. Created in 1975, Tin-Tan was the first Chicano magazine to have an international perspective, but it also promoted local Chicano artists and writers. It advocated a unified, pan-Latin American approach to Latino issues, especially as they affected the San Francisco Bay Area. It was published by Editorial Poche-Che for about four years, and, along with San Francisco’s Galeria de la Raza, is credited with helping to rediscover and publicize the life and art of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. 

The magazine’s name Tin-Tan suggests an approach (perhaps a tribute) to a 1950s Mexican film star, Germán Valdez (a.k.a. Tin-Tan). Dressed in a full zoot suit-style, his main character was the promoter in Latin American milieu of the vocabulary and stances of the 1940s chicanos.—Ed.

Researcher
Tere Romo
Team
Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA