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 article provides thoughts on the meaning of land and the mother country. For José Moreno Villa, a Spanish artist exiled in Mexico during the Spanish Civil War, the mother country is made up of “my friendships, my stuff—or small material goods, familiar paths, streets and landscapes, the speech and the whole moral and aesthetic array that it has scattered around in books, paintings, monuments, laws and customs.” Although exile has taken many of these elements away, others remain, such as speech and urban life (or the landscape) that no revolution can take away.
Many exiled intellectuals emphasized the value of their language as a mark of identity and as the greatest, most important thing given to them by Mexico and all of Latin America. José Moreno Villa (1887–1955) was a poet, critic, painter, and art historian who was born in Malaga, Spain, and died in Mexico City. He learned how to integrate himself into the new country as few writers have done. While admiring Mexican art and customs and writing about them, Moreno Villa kept mining those immutable values in his Hispanic soul, that is, his language as a land that could not be expropriated, a language that was his legitimate mother country. Through it all, Moreno Villa held strong against the State, which may change its outlook and blow “those you call your children to smithereens.”