"The mexican 'Festivales de oposición' as space of international networking and cultural transferes for the mexican left (1977-1982)"
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Stefan Rinke (FU Berlin), Prof. Dr. Ricardo Pérez Montfort (CIESAS), Prof. Dr. Marianne Braig (FU Berlin)
Songs like „Hasta Siempre, Comandante“, „El Pueblo Unido“ or the Andean flute song „El Condor Pasa“ are known around the world. These songs belong to the political art movement (arte político) of the 1970s that denounced US-imperialism, spread revolutionary ideas, and promoted international solidarity and unity within Latin American countries in Marxist terms. A great part of musicians, film-makers and artists considered themselves part of the arte político movement, touring in different countries around the globe and taking part in the Festivales de Oposición which were organized from 1977 to 1982 by the Mexican Communist Party (PCM) and its newspaper in Mexico City. At the time, Mexico was a good place for leftists to meet. It was one of few countries not ruled by military dictatorships and it gave shelter to many refugees of South and Central America. Moreover, the ruling party PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) had recently enacted reforms that made festivals possible and attracted a dissident youth eager to escape PRI-promoted culture. Lastly, PCM maintained good relation with eastern countries and leaned towards a eurocomunist view, inviting both delegation of socialist countries and big European Communist Parties. The political debates, movies and protest songs staged on the festivals facilitated international networking within the Latin American left, visitors from the US and Europe, and delegation of socialist countries. This research is concerned with functions, characterizations and impacts of international networking for the leftist and for the ruling Mexican party. If the festivals served as relatively free meeting spaces that promoted solidarity and Latin American unity, what were their effects on the local level and Mexican concept of nation? Did the political art serve to create an image of Latin America within the socialist left of other countries? If so, what did this image consist of? Can these networks be seen as spaces of cultural transfer that had transformative effects on socialist members of these times?