latin american history

Open today:  Viewpoints: Latin America in Photographs
The geography, people, and rich culture of Latin America have long inspired photographers to capture visually their experiences and impressions. Their photographs, in turn, entice viewers to marvel at that which is foreign or to reminisce about the familiar. Viewpoints: Latin America in Photographs exhibits over 100 images from the 1860s through the present. Presented in parallel trajectories, the photographs trace the perceptions of foreigners and locals and offer insight into varying cultural perspectives. The exhibition, drawn exclusively from the Library’s immense Photography Collection, is the first devoted solely to the subject of Latin America.

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December 22nd 1992: Archives of Terror discovered

On this day in 1992, the lawyer Dr. Martín Almada and judge José Agustín Fernández discovered the ‘Archives of Terror’ in a police station in Paraguay’s capital city of Asunción. The records detailed the violence perpetrated against thousands of Latin Americans during Operation Condor, which began in the 1970s. The terror campaign was carried out by the intelligence agencies of right-wing dictatorships in Latin America against supposed communist influences, and was supported by the United States government. The secret archives listed 50,000 people murdered, 30,000 disappeared, and 400,000 imprisoned. Almada was himself a victim of the violent regime of Alfredo Stroessner in Paraguay, and had been searching for fifteen years for the documents that would prove his claims when he received a tip to search the police station. The evidence found in the 700,000 documents have since been used to prosecute former military officers, the most high-profile of which was the case against General Augusto Pinochet, the Chilean dictator from 1973 to 1990.

“I cried with joy, because people used to treat me as though I was making up everything I saw. It was like an explosion of memory. I felt that each folder we opened up would help us go back to the past and understand the regime of terror which we suffered. Every document revealed terror and tragedy.”
- Dr. Martín Almada

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December 9th 1824: Battle of Ayacucho

On this day in 1824, the climatic battle of the Peruvian war of independence occured at Ayacucho, ending in a decisive victory for the revolutionaries. The South American countries had been Spanish colonies for centuries, but their grip on the distant outposts began to falter at the beginning of the nineteenth century. At this time, Spain was wracked by political turmoil following Napoleon’s invasion of Spain and the capture of King Fernando VII. In this climate, other Spanish colonies - including Chile in 1810 - had declared their independence. Peru, however, remained loyal to the Spanish crown until the 1820s, when the regional campaign for self-determination spilled into Peru. There, revolutionaries led by Venezuelan Simon Bolivar sought to rout royalist forces, who were under the leadership of Viceroy Jose de la Serna, and engaged in protracted warfare in the effort to liberate Peru. The revolutionaries were initially repelled by Spanish troops, but Bolivar capitalised on political instability in the colonial administration to recruit soldiers from neighboring countries and launch further attacks. By December, the revolutionaries had amassed a considerable army at Ayacucho, made up of Peruvians, Venezuelans, Colombians, Argentines, and Chileans. Here, they were able take higher ground, giving them a tactical advantage over Spanish troops. Masterful military leadership by Bolivar’s second-in-command - Antonio Jose de Sucre - helped to secure the revolutionaries’ victory at Ayacucho. The royalist defeat, and capture of the viceroy, led to the end of the Peruvian war of independence, with Spanish surrender secured. The next year, Upper Peru (modern Bolivia) was also liberated. The last of the Spanish forces finally departed Peru in 1826, and with them ended Spanish rule in South America.

Today In History: The Haitian Independence

While the Haitian Revolution initially began as a white planter revolt and a free colored insurgency, largely in response to the French Revolution of 1789, an additional group was soon to be added. Indeed, in 1791, the slaves of Saint-Domingue began their own uprising. Through they originally fought to free themselves form their masters and still held emotional ties to France, with the Leclerc expedition of 1802, the capture of the black leader Toussaint-Louverture and his subsequent death in prison, the slave revolt soon became a complete Revolution to overthrow the colonial order. Although the proclamation of Haitian independence is still regarded as trivial by many today, in 1804, the people of Haiti accomplished what was unconceivable in an 18th and 19th century landscape. On this date, 210 years ago, Haiti became the first country in the modern world to be born out of a successful slave rebellion, the first modern “black” republic, the second independent state of the Americas (after the United States) and the first in the Caribbean and Latin American region. To that list must be added that Haiti was the first country to founded on of three core principals: it was anti-colonial, anti-slavery and egalitarian. Indeed, independent Haiti guaranteed citizenship to all its inhabitants, regardless of color, class or property. Furthermore, Haiti was among the first states to equip itself with a constitution (constitutionalism as a written process being a new development at the time).

* That these facts about the Revolution remain largely unknown to a larger public speaks very well of the silencing of the Haitian Revolution in academia and popular culture.

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Precious Knowledge Trailer by Dos Vatos 
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[Latin American] History Meme → Six Women | 3 of 6
   Policarpa Salavarrieta (born c.1791-1796 and died 1817)

Policarpa Salavarrieta (also known as La Pola) was a spy (posing as a seamstress) and revolutionary for the Neogranadine independence movement (modern day Colombia, then referred to as the Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada), recruiting many young men for the movement before her execution on November 14th 1817. Her impending execution did not silence her even in her last moments. She was told to turn her back, as traitors were supposed to before their executions, and there she said her final words: “Indolent people! How different you would be if you knew the price of Liberty! But it’s not too late. See that I, female and young, have more than enough courage to suffer this death and a thousand more. Do not forget my example.” When the firing squad began shooting, she turned around to die facing them. 

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A coloring of John Dee’s Hieroglyphicon Britanicon, from the frontispiece to Rare and General Memorials, pertayning the Perfect Arte of Navigation (written in 1577 - 1578). It was designed to urge Queen Elizabeth to pursue the colonization of North America. There’s a great breakdown of the symbols Dee employed in Jim Egan’s Elizabethan America, from Cosmopolite Press. 

The image depicts a sequence of events concerning John Dee’s proposed British Empire and the colonization of North America (which Dee refers to as “Atlantis” on his maps). A common woman on her knees pleads in Greek to Queen Elizabeth (who is joined by Europa and her bull, Zeus) to “Send forth a sailing expedition,” and the banner to her left continues, “to build a steadfast watch-post.” The river depicted represents The John Dee River (which is now called Narragansett Bay), and it is occupied by five ships representing the Cinque Ports, Elizabeth’s naval force. Below the ships, new colonies prosper with trade, well guarded by watchmen to the left. 

In the skies above, YHWH is written in Hebrew, the concept represented as an emanating glory of rays distinct from the sun, moon and stars. The archangel Michael (again labeled in Hebrew) flies overhead; Egan asserts that Michael was inserted as clue towards the location of the proposed colony, as Michael’s numerical value in the Shemhamphorasch is 42, and Dee’s world map placed Rhode Island at 42 degrees latitude north of the equator, and 42 degrees longitude west of the Prime Meridian. 

Below Michael stands a statue of Lady Occasion (a British, female Caerus figure) with a laureled wreath extended towards Queen Elizabeth. She stands upon a tetrahedron, the fundamental building block of the geometer’s universe; John Dee has an especial affinity for triangles, and used the Greek letter Delta to sign his own name.

There is far more going on in his Hieroglyphic illustration; Dee was a master of riddles and puzzles. The Latin banner which accompanies the original frontispiece states: “Plura latent quam patent,” which Egan translates as “More is hidden than is out in the open.”

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A War Over Bananas — The Banana Wars of the 1920’s and 30’s

Before the Spanish American War the United States was a very isolationist nation.  Generally, the government and the military did not get involved overseas unless the nation was directly involved.  Then, quite suddenly American interests began to expand across the globe with the capture of Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and the annexation of Hawaii.  Suddenly then, America became an imperial colonial power, with whole armies stationed overseas and American corporations spreading out to foreign nations.  It was the beginning of the time when the US would get involved in international affairs.

By the turn of the century, the United States came to dominate the banana industry, which was primarily centered in Central America.  The top dog of the banana business was United Fruit Company (now Chiquita Brands International), which also traded in Central American goods such as coffee, tobacco, and sugar.  There were other American competitors in Central America, such as Standard Fruit Company (now Dole Foods), and Cuyamel Fruit Company.  The fruit companies became so powerful, they influenced and even controlled their host nations laws, government, and elections.  Many government services were run by the fruit companies, whole controlled the national railroads, postal services, radio services, electric services, and telegraph/telephone services.  Essentially, the countries of Central America were controlled and run by the fruit companies (and other American companies) who made a fortune in bananas, hence they were often termed the “Banana Republics”.

The fruit companies tended to install conservative politicians in office who supported policies beneficial to the companies.  However these politicians tended to be highly unpopular with the people living in those countries.  Around the time of World War I, the 1920’s, up to the early 1930’s a series of rebellions and revolutions broke out in Central America, typically liberal revolutions with the purpose of overthrowing conservative (and often oppressive) fruit company controlled governments or pro-America governments.  For the American economy, the financial stakes were very high as a disruption of American business in Central America could lead to high losses for those businesses, high losses for stock and bond holders, high losses for banks, and high losses for subsidiary industries that worked with the fruit companies.  Not to mention, in this age of imperialism, it seemed vital that the United States maintain Latin America as a strong sphere of influence, especially since a destabilized Central America could pose a threat to US control over the Panama Canal.  Finally, it would not be a leap of imagination to assume that the fruit companies had many US politicians in their pockets.

In 1904 President Theodore Roosevelt issued the Roosevelt Corollary, the doctrine that the US had the right to intervene in Caribbean and Central American countries in order to maintain economic stability, especially in nations who owed the US money.  Such a policy was totally revolutionary.  During the Spanish American War and Philippine War, the justification for foreign intervention was that it was America’s destiny to civilize “backward” nations and spread American style democracy and Christianity around the world — the so called “White Man’s Burden”.  Now, the US had no grand moral idealistic pretenses, this was all about protecting America’s cash flow.

Thus in the early 19th century up to 1934, a series of military interventions and occupations would occur to put down on control the various revolutions in Central America, with the goal of protecting US business interests. In 1912, US Marines invaded and occupied Nicaragua.  The occupation would last until 1933, would lead to the deaths 125 US Marines, and an untold hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans.  Between 1903 and 1925 hundreds of US troops conducted operations to fight Honduran rebels who threatened the business interests of the United Fruit Company.  Finally, while bananas were not involved, the Dominican Republic and Haiti were both occupied in 1915 and 1916 to protect American business interests in the region, and to end German political and military influence in the region as well.

At the time the use of military and political intervention to protect American business interests was something that had rarely ever been done before.  The Banana Wars would make such a policy normal routine.  From overthrowing the Prime Minister of Iran in 1953 to protect oil interests to supporting tinpot dictators for cheap consumer items, it’s all good business.

8. You’re part of an elite US Joint Task Force aiding agrarian socialist rebels (a very common alliance in Latin American history, of course (lmao)) in fighting against both 1.) a reactionary, environmentalist Christian cartel from Mexico and 2.) a corrupt and violent Bolivian military organization. Very early on one of your squadmates unironically refers to waterboarding as “softball” torture. At another point, a squadmate asks how an educated, “cosmopolitan” white woman could join a Mexican cartel, which he refers to as something along the lines of savages/barbarians/etc.

It’s fucking bad, but even more so, it’s just incoherent and ahistorical.

saltyshiro  asked:

im a senior in high school in Arizona and that other ask was talking about Bill 2120, which would have expanded AZ's ethnic studies ban from HB 2281 to public universities/community colleges. There was a lot of backlash (especially from educators and students) and tbh it's not a law that I've ever seen enforced. I mean the bill sucks but there's so many Hispanic students here idk how it would ever actually work lol AZ teachers don't give a shit about those laws in my experience

ok phew thank god because i was straight up about to pack my bags and fly down to Arizona and start teaching about Latin American History with nothing more than a Prezi, a crate of dragon fruit vitamin water, and spite fueled determination 

Mar 12-19 - Eames Does Shit [Concussion Blogging]
  • RLST (BA Thesis - BS Seminar): polished thesis draft [3/18]
  • MAPH (MA Thesis - Work): Partial Draft 10-15pp [3/15]; Partial draft 15-20 [3/31]; Complete Draft 25-35pp [4/17]; Thesis Abstract [5/8]; Thesis [5/19]
  • ARTH (Modernism on the Margins): three annotated bibliography entries on the topic of modernism [3/17]; final paper [3/16]
  • ARTH (Reading Artists Writing): final paper [3/15]
  • SPAN (Theater and Performance in Latin America): final paper [3/17]
  • @avventurierisenzapaura homebrews:  The Cult of the Keeper; CTA Dungeon Crawl; Pandemonium Day; Police Station Dragon; Lich in the Library; Tooth Fae, Snow Day, the funeral of Cuthbert Enlon, flesh out Bayla Delve, the creature from the Michigan lagoon, Jeopardy!
  • Maybe the real campaign was the friends we made along the way? [3/18]: area maps (0/6), set piece encounter maps (0/7), random encounter tables (0/7), NPC name table, Items table, type up handwritten notes
  • Classical Entertainment Society: bring KBP and Bacchae props and costumes to CES Storage, CES storage inventory
  • Attori Senza Paura: rework High Noon Hijinks, write the real estate drama
  • Sundry Chores: ship thread-up clean out bag, ship goodwill donation, go to ups store, take out trash, clean bathroom, pick up dry cleaning

I think this is my last week of concussion blogging…

Daniel R. Quiles and Klara Kemp-Welch take a close look at the current MoMA exhibition Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980 in two new essays

[Juan Downey. Video Trans Americas. 1973-76. Installation view, Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, September 5, 2015–January 3, 2016. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2015 Estate of Juan Downey & Marilys B. Downey. Digital image © 2015 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Thomas Griesel]

i’m getting ready to apply to a transfer college in the fall and i’m sorting through so many options and i think before i based my judgements of where i wanted to go on notoriety instead of taking a closer look at what a school has to offer me personally, but i’ve opened up my options and process and i finally found a place that encompasses everything i’ve been looking for ( and it’s been underneath my nose the whole time)!  It’s got a textile program as a part of a solid under recognized art department, an anthropology program w/ a really good course catalog of Latin American history classes, and it’s only $6,000 a year for California residents. I’m excited about school again for the first time since I was in 5th grade, it’s honestly such a relief. 

Klara Kemp-Welch discusses how artists politicize spaces—from stairwells to streets—in a new essay on the current exhibition Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980


[Oscar Bony. 60 metros cuadrados y su information (60 Square Meters and Its Information). 1967. Installation view, Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, September 5, 2015–January 3, 2016. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2015 Oscar Bony. Digital image © 2015 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Thomas Griesel]

Screening this week: rare Latin American and Eastern European films from our collection. 

[The Battle of Chile. 1975. Directed by Patricio Guzman. Courtesy Tricontinental Film Center/Photofest © Tricontinental Film Center]