The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This essay proposes that a “Latin American identity” was an idea based on two facts: the influence of the decadent post-war European culture and secondly, the geopolitical circumstances of Latin American governments confronted with North American imperialistic cultural models. Accordingly, this proposition discards both the “indigenous” trend and any “identitarian” trend seeking refuge in the European cultural models. To this regard, emphasis is placed on an emancipated culture, in line with the profile of emerging “young nations” of the Americas. Additionally, it provides a purely political vision (in an anti-imperialistic sense) in constructing cultural identities across the Americas. In the opinion of the author, who has a background in philosophy, the notion of a “new art”—one that is revolutionary and with aesthetic formulations in its contents—should correspond the concept of “young nation.” This emancipatory proposal does not imply giving up on capitalistic conquests, rather it implies incorporating them according to the objectives of the respective Latin American nations.
Jesús Bentancourt Díaz (1902-85), was a historian, philosopher and a university professor with Marxist-Leninist certitude who started writing for the Agrupación de Intelectuales, Artistas, Periodistas y Escritores (AIAPE) [Association of Intellectuals, Artists, Writers and Journalists] news bulletin in the mid-thirties. This essay on “Latin Americanism” is an ostensive critique to the region’s intellectual groups and their dependence on European cultural models. The author uses as an example the North American “independence” process since it sought to detach itself from Anglo-Saxon cultural patterns in order to establish a single force on a capitalistic and imperialistic cultural base. Bentancourt assesses Latin America as being doubly attributed on the one hand with outdated and decadent European cultural matrixes particularly during the world war, and on the other hand, unquestionably absorbed and enmeshed with the activities of North American imperialism. In Betancourt’s opinion, the latter would best define the “Latin American” emancipatory path from a political and cultural perspective. His vision was an apparently paradoxical, as it was somewhat an orthodox Marxist-Leninist viewpoint on North American culture, that could be correlated with the argument on “Americanism” put forward either by Alberto Zum Felde or by Pedro Figari, both developed between 1910 and 1940.