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In this text, Juan Acevedo explains the cartoon methodology as a means of popular communication. He summarizes the system he developed in a number of workshops he gave on the topic, workshops that culminated in November 1979 with the Primer Taller Nacional de Historietas, organized by the Centro de Publicaciones Educativas TAREA. He draws a distinction between the mass-scale cartoon (“conditioned by its status as merchandise”) and the people’s cartoon (“the people’s response to the imposition enacted on it by the system of a means of communication, assimilation, and transformation”)—a distinction he understands in terms of “the opposition between the people’s culture and bourgeois culture.” He underscores the differences between the two in terms of questions such as production, authorship, meaning, content, form, objective, and ownership by means of production. At the same time, Acevedo recognizes that “the division between the mass-scale cartoon and the people’s cartoon is not always so categorical.” Why is that? Because there is a drive to the image in Peru that his workshops reorganize in pursuit of a method.
In this text, Peruvian cartoonist and communications theorist Juan Acevedo (b. 1949) explains the importance of the cartoon and its methodology as a means of popular communication. This document is complemented by a text published one week later (“El Taller de Historieta Popular,” Marka, Nº 135, December 20, 1979, 4–5 [on that subject, see in the ICAA digital archive the homonymous text (doc. no. 1141933)].
Acevedo is now recognized as one of the greatest Peruvian cartoonists; his most well-known creation is El Cuy, a guinea pig character closely associated with Peruvian leftist culture. Through his graphic work and workshops in popular communication, Acevedo supported Velasquismo, the economic, social, and cultural policies enacted during the first phase of the so-called Gobierno Revolucionario de las Fuerzas Armadas under General Juan Velasco Alvarado (1968–75). In 1978, Para hacer historietas was published. That celebrated book was based on the workshops he gave in the province of Ayacucho (1974) and in the Lima neighborhood of Villa El Salvador (1975), a section of the city representative of urban struggle. Para hacer historietas has been republished a number of times and translated into different languages. It upholds the idea that to make cartoons it is not necessary to know how to draw; the systematized method has been applied to a number of different educational experiences in countries throughout Latin America.
[For further reading, see in the archive the following texts by Juan Acevedo: “El taller de historieta popular” (doc. no. 1141933); “La Escuela Regional de Bellas Artes de Ayacucho: una experiencia revolucionaria” (doc. no. 1139339); and “Historieta popular en Nicaragua” (doc. no. 1139355)].