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 document is a letter sent by two Uruguayan intellectuals to David Alfaro Siqueiros, who had been held at Lecumberri jail in Mexico City since 1960; the letter was sent through the artist’s wife, Angélica Arenal. It was a message of solidarity and a fraternal greeting on the occasion of Siqueiros’s sixty-sixth birthday on December 29, 1962. Although mostly a personal document, the letter contains commonplace references to the internationalist communist discourse while also demonstrating a friendship between the Sosa/Portela couple and Siqueiros that began during the Mexican artist’s visit to the Río de la Plata in 1933.
In February 1933, David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896–1974) arrived in Uruguay, and Jesualdo Sosa and Francisco R. Pintos—both of them writers and historians, and members of the Uruguayan Communist Party—offered the painter support and assistance in the name of the party. María Carmen Portela, who was from Buenos Aires, was one of the signers of the letter. She had been married to celebrated communist lawyer Rodolfo Aráoz Alfaro, a man with a wide social circle who became friendly with Siqueiros. The artist made a portrait of María Carmen using the painted medium of pyroxylin. [For further reading, see in the ICAA digital archive the following texts by Siqueiros: “Los vehículos de la pintura dialéctico-subversiva. Experiencias técnicas del Bloque de Pintores (Sección Los Ángeles)” (doc. no. 1238676); the letter by Siqueiros to the Comité Central del Partido Comunista Uruguayo: “Al Comité Central del Partido Comunista del Uruguay” (doc. no. 1238917); “La escultura policromada: así lo presentó ante el mundo artístico el mexicano David Alfaro Siqueiros” (doc. no. 1100301); and “A Siqueiros, al partir” (doc. no. 864589)].