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Ghosts of the Revolution in Mexican Literature and Visual Culture

Revisitations in Modern and Contemporary Creative Media

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Erica Segre

The official centenary commemorating the Mexican Revolution of 1910 provided scholars with an opportunity to consider memorialization and its legacies and ‘afterimages’ in the twentieth century through to the present time. This collection of new essays, commissioned from experts based in Mexico, Europe and the United States, plays on the interrelated notions of ‘revisitation’, haunting, residual traces and valediction to interrogate the Revolution’s multiple appearances, reckonings and reconfigurations in art, photography, film, narrative fiction, periodicals, travel-testimonies and poetry, examining key constituencies of creative media in Mexico that have been involved in historicizing, contesting or evading the mixed legacies of the Revolution. The interplay of themes, practices and contexts across the chapters (ranging from the 1920s through to the present day) draws on interdisciplinary thinking as well as new findings, framing the volume’s discourse with a deliberately multi-dimensional approach to an often homogenized topic. The contributors’ scholarly referencing of artists, novelists, poets, photographers, foreign correspondents, critics, filmmakers and curators is detailed and wide-ranging, creating new juxtapositions that include some rarely studied material.

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Jesse Lerner The Proletarian Camera

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: Héctor García and the Reconfiguring of the Mexican Street1 The Mexican photographer Héctor García (1923–2012) had a long and varied career that spans more than half a century of professional activity, several continents and multiple genres. He created ethnographic photo- graphs and films, advertisements, mixed media assemblages incorporating painting, photography and found objects (often in collaboration with visual artists) as well as every sort of photojournalism. In spite of the range of styles and places in which he photographed, the core of the body of his work has been street photography from Mexico City between the late 1940s and the early 1990s. García not only defined himself unequivocally ‘yo soy un fotógrafo callejero’ (I am a street photographer),2 he also posited street photography as central to the medium itself by stating that ‘el mundo de fotógrafo está en la calle, y que allí está el elemento esencial para lograr buenas fotografías: el aspecto humano’ (the world of the photographer is the street, for it is there that one finds the element essential for good photographs: the human factor).3 This chapter will focus on his street photography – raw, socially engaged and (at least seemingly) spontaneous. It will argue that this work subtly but significantly revises the norms of the 1 My special thanks to María del Carmen Sánchez García of the Fundación Héctor García who generously provided unrestricted support and to Cristina Faesler at...

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