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.
Diego Rivera speaks at length to the newspaper Excélsior on learning that President Miguel Alemán’s administration has refused to send his mural to the 1952 Paris Exhibition. In the first place, Rivera claims that the government has ridden roughshod over his right to freedom of expression. He goes on to say that Carlos Chávez and Fernando Gamboa were taking decisions concerning Mexican art based on their own agenda, whereas the artists themselves should have the final say in these matters. As his third point, Rivera proposes the dissolution of the INBA (Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes), to be replaced by the Ministerio de Bellas Artes y Letras de México [Ministry of Fine Arts and Letters of Mexico]. In his fourth point, Rivera assumes that the key factor in the decision is that the mural would be sent to the United States as well as to Paris. Finally, Rivera excoriates the above-mentioned directors, claiming that young people will not attend the event because of this porfiriano-musolinesca decision [a reference to the kind of authoritarian rule].
In this article, Diego Rivera lists all his objections to the decision taken by the Mexican authorities, who refused to send his mural to Paris. His arguments, however, do not clearly establish the role played by the conservative government of Miguel Alemán (1946-1952), which radically altered the country’s direction by reducing expenditures on social programs, education, health, and culture. The expression “porfiriano-musolinesco” is an allusion to the authoritarian nature of both governments: Porfirio Díaz governed Mexico from 1876 to 1911, and Benito Mussolini was in power in Italy from 1922 through the end of the Second World War.