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 dispute begun by Luis Cardoza y Aragón against the frente único [single front] policy of the Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios (LEAR) [League of Revolutionary Writers and Artists] culminated with this declaration in El Machete. The publication belonging to the PCM [Mexican Communist Party] ended the debate and not without making it clear to Juan de la Cabada that the leaders of LEAR had been consulted before including Cardoza’s article; it was considered necessary in order to break the general silence of the press and to keep the group from becoming isolated. After criticizing those involved in the dispute in a less than fraternal tone, El Machete took Cardoza’s part by stating that his ideas were closer to the conclusions reached by the antifascist intellectuals in the USSR and the United States, as well as to the slant taken by the French writer Romain Rolland.
El Machete considers the absence of David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896–1974) and the “failure to confront the work of Diego Rivera, but rather to ignore what he is producing, as inexcusable.” The publication took a critical position regarding the LEAR’s show, so that it concluded by questioning the work that was then being produced by Rivera, the Trotsky sympathizer (1886–1957). Nevertheless, it adds: “it should not surprise us that there were works of poor quality in the exhibition. This happens in all exhibitions.”
The month after the El Machete article on the LEAR show appeared, the group’s publication, Frente a Frente [Front to Front], included a long article by the French writer Romain Rolland (1866–1944) entitled “Lenin and Art”. Translated from Commune, it was far removed from the critical tone used by Luis Cardoza y Aragón (1901–1992) in the quarrel against the single front of the arts; it was also removed from the tone of the letter that Rolland had written to Soviet writers demanding that they abandon art produced on orders; this was an oblique way for Frente a Frente to continue the controversy. And even if El Machete appeared to agree more with Cardoza than with Juan de la Cabada, it contradicted the former by concluding: “the ensamble of works in the exhibition accentuates the successes of the frente único . . . .”