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    Agitación y propaganda : artistas plásticos en el conflicto de Fabril, 1969 May, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    [3] p. : ill.
    Typed sheet – Interviews
    "Agitación y propaganda : Artistas plásticos en el conflicto de Fabril," 1969. Personal archive of Roberto Jacoby, Buenos Aires .

    Comité de Huelga de Fabril Financiera; Tucumán Arde

This unsigned report, published in Sobre Nº 1 [Envelope no. 1], documents the experiences of a group of artists who joined the strike committee of Fabril Financiera in February 1969. It discusses the difference between producing a work of art or an exhibition “on Florida Street, albeit with a revolutionary theme,” and getting involved in a workers’ dispute. The report describes the latter as “a call to action” within a very specific context, and identifies the two alternatives as “art for the people” and “art with the people.” The report wonders whether workers’ demonstrations can be considered “art” and prefers to define them as “cultural experiences of a new kind” which diverge from bourgeois sensitivity. According to the report, artists produced new types of fliers and posters intended as political weapons, using forms of communication that resonated in both factories and neighborhoods. They mainly expressed themselves in the language of comic strips and other simple, inexpensive media with none of the frills of other forms of publication.


Shortly after the 1968 itinerary that exposed the rapid political and artistic radicalization among the avant-garde in Rosario and Buenos Aires, some of the artists involved voiced their ideas concerning the development of “a new aesthetic,” as they call it. They expressed disappointment with certain aspects of the event; proposed new modes of cultural action (which in some cases are adopted); and took part in the discussion over the exact meaning of the proposal known as Tucumán Arde [Tucumán Is Burning], showing their own particular material as part of the process.

Some of these yearly balances by Buenos Aires artists—mainly Roberto Jacoby (b. 1945), Pablo Suárez (1944-2006), Margarita Paksa, and León Ferrari (b. 1920)—appeared in the (anti-) magazine Sobre [Envelope] that was published by Jacoby and Octavio Getino, Fernando Solanas (with the Cine Liberación group), Beatriz Balbé (the poet), and Antonio Caparrós (a member of Psicólogos para la Liberación [Psychologists for Freedom]). Sobre, true to its name, was a brown wrapping paper envelope containing a range of materials in a variety of heterogeneous forms. It had a mimeographed list of contents and a brief appeal to the reader to use any of the material wherever it could do some good. Two issues of this (anti-)magazine appeared between May and July 1969.

Among other articles on the 1968 itinerary published in the first issue of Sobre, this anonymous report documents the experience of the artists who joined the strike committee of Fabril Financiera during the workers’ dispute in early 1969. One of them, Pablo Suárez, was part of a group that designed, produced, and distributed posters and comics in support of the labor conflict. Though they are not signed, he likely produced the vignettes and posters that illustrate the article.

Ana Longoni.
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Archivo de Roberto Jacoby, Buenos Aires, Argentina.