The Mexican Revolution was a hugely significant moment in modern Mexican history. By 1911, the 34-year dictatorial rule from the Porfirian regime had come to an end, eventually overthrown at the Battle of Ciudad Juárez by a group of revolutionaries, thrusting the country into a decade of social unrest, uprising and uncertainty. Despite this defining moment in Mexican history, it is often hard to reduce the revolution to a singular driver. Political leaders like Francisco Madero represent bourgeois sentiment, yet populist figures like Francisco ‘Pancho’ Villa and Emiliano Zapata played a significant role in mobilising the agrarian classes. What can we learn from the photography of the revolution?
Colonialism is often defended as a moral mission, a mission to educate and civilise the non-western world, and often used Christian Missionaries to convey their message. However, this perspective stands to much debate, as through the years the Empires have often been questioned on what the true intentions behind colonialism were. Were they purely moral? Or were they based on profit, and excavating the best resources from foreign land?
Amidst empty streets in a fearful nation, Chilean women met at churches and in neighbours’ houses to stitch compassionately into fabric their stories of an uncompassionate truth. These pieces documented the realities of life under Pinochet’s military dictatorship and provided the women who made them with a voice, a community, and a means of receiving economic solidarity from abroad.
Between 1930 and 1961, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina ruled the Dominican Republic under a regime that has often been described as one of the bloodiest in Latin America. The dictator created a cult of personality in the Caribbean nation, awarding himself the titles of “Father of the New Nation” and “El Jefe”, holding excessive parades in his honour, and even changing the name of the capital city Santo Domingo to Ciudad Trujillo. In this environment of severe oppression, the Mirabal sisters were a symbol of courage and resistance.
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on the 7th December 1941, thousands of people of Japanese descent were rounded up by the United States’ army, FBI and local police. Those detained included leaders of the immigrant community such as Buddhist priests, language teachers, a handful of women, Nisei (Japanese Americans whose parents were immigrants) and Kibei (Japanese Americans who received their education in Japan).