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  • ICAA Record ID
    764028
    TITLE
    A los soldados, a los obreros y a los campesinos : Los tres somos víctimas, los tres somos hermanos : Farsa en varios actos titulada : La caída de los ricos y la construcción de un nuevo orden social / Por D. y G. Alfaro Siqueiros
    IN
    El Machete : periódico quincenal (México, D. F., México). -- Abr., 1924
    DESCRIPTION
    p. 5 : ill.
    LANGUAGES
    Spanish
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Newspaper article – Farsa
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Siqueiros, David Alfaro and Graciela Amador. "A los soldados, a los obreros y a los campesinos: Los tres somos víctimas, los tres somos hermanos; Farsa en varios actos titulada; La caída de los ricos y la construcción de un nuevo orden social." El Machete: Periódico quincenal (Mexico City), April 1924.
    ADDITIONAL AUTHORS
Editorial Categories [?]
Synopsis

Following the prologue to the farce “The Fall of the Rich and the Construction of a New Social Order,” is a scene in the first act entitled, “The Army of the Soldiers, Workers and Peasants.” In a triumphal panorama of the socialist revolution, the three sectors of the title march in a military formation, singing the hymn, “The Internationale”. As the first action of the government, the officials, who represent the experience of the worker, the energy of the soldier, and the faith of the peasant, propose to set up a court to judge the enemies of the people (landowners, hoarders, usurers, generals, clergy, public officials, and so on), whom they have taken prisoner. However, their opposite numbers—workers and soldiers who represent the values of naivety, weakness, and hypocrisy—intercede for them, stating that they will work with the new regime if the regime will grant them their lives. The voice of experience declines to grant them the pardon and sets up a people’s jury. The first person to be interrogated is a soldier/traitor, who confesses to being an instrument of the bourgeoisie to perpetrate crimes against his class and brothers by race. This scene concludes when the soldier is ordered not to use force against the poor again. In an aside, the readers are offered advice from a communist actor on how to perform this theatrical drama.

Annotations

The language, the style, and the plot of the farce are typical of Social Realism, in vogue in the USSR at that time. Based on the Bolshevik Revolution, a set of ideas became articles of faith and the leitmotivfor communists around the world. Hence, revolutionary triumph was in the unity of the three "victims" and class "brothers" (the soviet of workers, peasants, and poor soldiers) and that power could only conquer by spilling blood. Moreover, the obsession with summary trials (a reference to the archetype of the final judgment) reveals a desire that masquerades as a thirst for justice. In the Soviet Union, these [beliefs and desires] were acted out through Leninist post-revolutionary purges. However, this did not take place in Mexico, apart from some settling of accounts between caudillos. Given this lack of concrete experience, the Mexican communists could raise their rhetoric to the point of asking for their enemies’ heads, but the reality could hardly be called offensive. 

This first act of this farce was also illustrated with a print by David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896–1974) showing the trinity of the "good forces," the opposite of the mural rendered by José Clemente Orozco (1883–1949) with the same motif at the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria in 1923. The preference for prints over other graphic modes may be attributable to the influence of the muralist from France, Jean Charlot (1897–1979), on Mexican communist painters. In addition, there was also an incipient trend toward reassessing both the nineteenth-century street gazettes and the pages of illustrated ballads. These forms, which combined prints and text, provided the ordinary people with more or less immediate information about the most interesting or surprising events of the time. 

In this respect, there is evidence that Charlot discovered José Guadalupe Posada around 1923, but it was not until August 1925 that the Frenchman published his article "Un precursor del movimiento del arte mexicano: el grabador Posadas" (sic) [A precursor of the Mexican art movement: the printmaker, Posadas] in the Revista de revistas. In this journal, Charlot maintained that the quasi-primitive work of Posada showed his native essence; therefore, he represented the most genuine trend in Mexican visual art. Later, this circular interpretation would give rise to the related idea that Posada had been an assiduous critic of the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz. The combination of the two fictions led communist artists to declare themselves followers of the printmaker.

Researcher
Adela Cedillo : CURARE A. C.
Team
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Credit
© 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City, Mexico
Location
Biblioteca Guillermo Bonfil Batalla de la Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Fondo José Toribio Medina del Instituto Panamericano de Geografía e Historia