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.
The Manifesto of the Sindicato de Obreros Técnicos Pintores y Escultores (SOTPE) [Technical Workers, Painters, and Sculptors Union] was published in El Machete toward the end of June 1924. It was an attempt to warn the proletariat and the indigenous populations of the imminent military coup in support of a government of the middle class. It expressed both points of view; their side supported an ideological social revolution, the other side stood with the armed middle class. The proclamation expressed pride in the art of the Mexican people, describing it as the healthiest and most spiritual in the world, a bond with their indigenous tradition—their best one. The goal of the manifesto was to explain the fundamental aesthetic objective of the times to socialize artistic expression, encouraging the total extinction of pro-middle class individualism.
In fact, countless researchers mention this manifesto of the SOTPE, but they always quote the same paragraph, the one that discusses the Mexican aesthetic and speaks in favor of public art but against easel painting. An inspection of the document in its entirety, however, also reveals that union members supported a different presidential candidate in the election, General Plutarco Elías Calles.
The proclamation was published in El Machete no. 7 (Second half of June 1924): 4.