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Five years after their first manifesto Actual [see doc. 737463 and doc. 754048], Germán List Arzubide recounted the early activity of the estridentista group. The author began with a description of the group’s leader, the poet Manuel Maples Arce. He writes about the day that the first manifesto Actual subversively appeared on the walls of the city. List Arzubide also writes about Elguero, the pseudonym that Maples Arce created and used to carry on polemical debates in the newspaper Excélsior. List Arzubide tells how Maples Arce’s book Andamios Interiores [Interior Scaffolding] [see doc. 809622] came to be published as well as VRBE, the Bolshevik poem [see doc. 737564]. List Arzubide likewise writes about El Café de Nadie, the meeting place of the group, which was also the location where Arqueles Vela and Maples Arce first met. At the end of his essay on the Etridentista movement, the author also relates how the group disseminated ideas through El Universal Ilustrado, whose editor-in-chief was Carlos Noriega Hope.


Estridentismo, an early Mexican avant-garde movement, arose at the end of 1921, at the same time as the Muralist movement. Its creator, and for some time its only member, was Manuel Maples Arce, a poet from Veracruz who openly denounced modernist poets and the pictorial academy. As evidenced by the group’s publications, the movement was related to Dadaism, Futurism, Ultraism and Creationism—in their European and Latin American strains. Estridentismo was a movement focused on agitation strategies through its deep connection to a mechanical aesthetics. The group promoted a new urban sensibility, wherein experiences amassed together simultaneously, at the same pace as modern life. The very name of the movement refers to the hustle and bustle of the city, but also to its will to be acknowledged both for its embedded transgressions and excesses. 

The movement included artists working in literature, music, painting, engraving, photography and sculpture. The headquarters of the Estridentistas was El Café de Nadie in Mexico City, and then later in Xalapa, Veracruz, where its members became involved in an education revolution that was then taking place.   The Estridentista movement had various publications, such as the magazine Ser [Being], Irradiador [Irradiator] and Horizonte [Horizon].

Not withstanding its primary occupation with literary works, a good number of the illustrations in El movimiento estridentista [The Stridentist Movement] are unique, given the loss of a large portion of the works by the painters and engravers associated with the group, especially oil paintings.

El movimiento estridentista was re-issued in Mexico City by the Secretaría de Educación Pública [SEP, Ministry of Public Education] in 1967, in its series Cuadernos de Cultura Popular, number 107 and, in 1986, in Lecturas Mexicanas, number 76; second series.

Francisco Reyes Palma
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Courtesy of Eric List, Mexico City, México
Donación Blanca Vermeersch de Maples Arce : Museo Nacional de Arte