Back in 2013, Self Help Graphics & Art invited me to put together a cultural program for their 40th Día de los muertos celebration. It was truly an honor to work in my community and bring a rich program full of tradition but also bring in new perspectives. In the process of doing the work of putting together art workshops, ofrendas, and artwork for an exhibition, I realized that buried in books and file cabinets there is a large archive of scholarly works and personal impressions on Día de los muertos that needed just as much attention. I set to work on gathering material and decided that newspaper would be a great way of disseminating the work, harking back to the days when Posada would illustrate articles of the penny press. That’s how this newspaper came to be. In it you will find the works of respected scholars as well as poetry and literature all giving us different perspectives on Día de los muertos. Hopefully this can be a tool to help you in your research or enrich you in your understanding of this beautiful celebration of life.
Click here or on the image to view the newspaper.
El Hijo de el Ahuizote was a newspaper that was published in 1902 by Juan Sarabia and Ricardo Flores Magón in Mexico City. They where committed liberals who denounced the tyrannical government of Porfirio Díaz who had been in power since 1876. In 1903, the Flores-Magón brothers were forced into exile by the Díaz regime to the U.S. where they continued to publish their work and smuggle it into Mexico.
Flash forward to 2014, one-hundred and eleven years later, Diego Flores Magon, great grandson of Enrique Flores Magon, has managed to recover the building from which they were exiled that once housed the presses that published the incendiary newspaper, and turn it into a museum. The museum doesn’t have an old iron jobber press and type cabinets as it once did but it does count with a newly acquired Risograph printing machine. Seeing the political climate that Mexico finds itself in, it’s difficult not to see how the times do not lend itself to action.
For many years now Mexico has turned into a devil’s playground. Plagued by rampant violence and a corrupt government with close ties to drug cartels, citizens have finally had enough. When 43 students from Ayotzinapa in Guerrero state “disappeared”, people mobilized and staged strikes, protests, performances, and marches throughout Mexico. The world has joined in global actions of solidarity with Mexico.
In an impromptu action, artists and poets from different cities in the U.S. came together to send a message of solidarity by sharing their work, which was printed at La Casa del Hijo de el Ahuizote and distributed freely during the December 1st and 6th marches. Here is a link where you can view the results of the collaboration. If you would like to show your solidarity with La Casa and our project, please share photos and posts using #MexicoNoEstaSolo.
For the next couple of weeks I will be shuttling back and forth between Los Angeles and Phoenix to give my monumental paper mache puppet workshop at Xico Arte y Cultura in Phoenix, Arizona. Xico is a multidisciplinary arts organization that was created in 1975 by a group of local Chicano and Native American artists. Their vision is to promote indigenous arts and culture through community based arts programs.
Workshop Dates & Hours
Weekdays 5-8:00 p.m. Saturdays 9-3 p.m.