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 farce is written in verse and consists of two scenes, though the second was never published. The action takes place in Mexico City’s Roma neighborhood, where six “rorros” [gay boys] meet in the evening at twilight to commemorate the reception they gave to the ship “Italia” in the port of Veracruz. Among continual allusions to their homosexuality, the rorros praise the greatness of Italian Fascist art, a far cry from that of the hack Mexican painters. In this respect, they quote the words of Salvador Novo, rejecting the painters’ cant about the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. In an orgiastic demonstration, the rorros sing the fascist anthem and compose their own hymn. In it, they exalt educated people and demand the death of the workers, villagers, and Indians. “Fascist Fame,” a kind of winged victory figure, descends to congratulate them on behalf of Benito Mussolini, crowns them with laurels, and is thankful for the reception of the ship “Italia” by the Mexican army. However, perceiving in the distance that Mussolini’s government is about to fall due to a popular insurrection, “Fame” takes flight, while the “rorros” faint.
When a delegation from the government of Benito Mussolini (1883–1945) arrived in the port of Veracruz on the ship "Italia" in August 1924, the Mexican Communist Party deployed a campaign against fascism. When they called on workers and villager organizations to unite in an antifascist front, the lack of interest was resounding. Only three years later, the Italian Communist Vittorio Vidali (alias Enea Sormenti) would succeed in founding a modest Antifascist League in Mexico, with the support of Tina Modotti (1896–1942) and other immigrants. But as of 1924, there was no unanimous reaction against fascism, and some public figures had even declared their sympathy with the doctrine. So, when representatives of both the government and the intellectual community put out the welcome mat for the ship "Italia," the only people scandalized were the communists. Some contributors to El Machete wrote a farce to make fun of them. Based on the homophobic tone of fascism and the association between fascism/reactionaryism and homosexuality, by comparison, the farce highlights the pairing of communism and virility. It is not known who wrote this text. However, it forms a whole with the caricature that illustrates it, which, for stylistic reasons, may be attributed to José Clemente Orozco (1883–1949). The only easily identifiable person is Salvador Novo (marked with the numeral 3); the identity of the other five can only be based on speculation. They may be writers subsequently linked to Los Contemporáneos group and/or public officials whose homosexuality was an open secret. In any event, the sexual preferences of this group were only one more reason for the communist painters to hate them. In their Europeanizing elitism and their scorn for both native cultures and the poor majority, these painters saw a defiant hurdle to the ideological hegemony of revolutionary nationalism.