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25 Intimate Facts About Frida Kahlo That Will Give You A Better Of A Perspective Of The Artist And Her Life’s Struggle

Frida Kahlo has gained attention across all corners of the globe for her artistry and work. Perhaps one of the greatest influences and well-known facts about her artistic narrative are the pain and perseverance of her life. Getting to truly know and understand Kahlo’s work is to understand her story.

Here are 25 facts that will help you to better understand Frida Kahlo and the experiences that shaped her greatest pieces of work.

1. Frieda not Frida.

Kahlo
CREDIT: Miramax Films

Frida Kahlo was born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón. The name Frieda comes from the German word for “peace,” Friede. Around 1935, she dropped the e from her name and became known as Frida.

2. She once went to an art show in an ambulance.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

In the last years of her life, the painter was sick but she refused to allow this to keep her from celebrating her accomplishments. In 1953,  the painter had earned her first solo exhibition in Mexico. Despite being stuck in the hospital and doctor’s’ orders she made her way to her exhibit.

3. A third of her paintings were of herself.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Kahlo painted 55 surreal self-portraits of herself which included symbols of her Mexican culture and allusions to her personal life. She once said of these paintings that “I paint myself because I am so often alone because I am the subject I know best.”

4. She died in the same house that she was born in

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907, in a blue building called “La Casa Azul.” She was raised in the same house by her mother and father. Years later, after meeting her husband  Diego Rivera the couple made the house their own as well. When she was 47 she passed away in the same house.

5. The same home she was born is now a museum you can visit.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Today, Casa Azul is known as The Frida Kahlo Museum. Her husband donated the house in 1958 as well as all of the artwork inside of it so that fans could come and get a glimpse into her life.

6. She had a severe accident that completely derailed her plans for the future.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

When she was 18-year-old Kahlo took a bus with her boyfriend Alex Gómez Arias which left her forever injured when it collided with a train. Kahlo’s ex Arias said that he remembered the bus “burst(ing) into a thousand pieces,” and seeing a handrail rip through Kahlo’s back.

He later recalled the experince saying. “Something strange had happened. Frida was totally nude. The collision had unfastened her clothes. Someone in the bus, probably a house painter, had been carrying a packet of powdered gold. This package broke, and the gold fell all over the bleeding body of Frida. When people saw her, they cried, ‘La bailarina, la bailarina!’ With the gold on her red, bloody body, they thought she was a dancer.”

7. Her artistry stemmed from the accident.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Frida’s bus accident broke her spinal column, collarbone, ribs, and pelvis, fractured her right leg in 11 places, and dislocated her shoulder. The number of severe injuries left her in pain for the rest of her life and often bedridden. But during these times, Kahlo would paint.

8. She initially planned to be a doctor.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

After contracting polio as a child Kahlo became interested in medicine. Sadly her injuries from the bus accident forced her to abandon any plans she had of studying medicine.

9. She had poor health her whole life which affected her heart

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Kahlo underwent 30 surgeries throughout the course of her life. This included the amputation of her foot. The artist touched on concepts related to her body’s limited condition with paintings like “The Broken Column,” which depicted her spine and “Without Hope,” which referenced a period in which a doctor prescribed force-feeding.

10. Kahlo didn’t think she was a surrealist.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Many describe her as a surrealist but she once said “They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.”

11. Kahlo’s troubled marriage inspired her work.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Kahlo met Rivera when she was a student and he was a father of four and making an exit on his marriage. There was a 20-year age difference between the pair but they quickly fell in love. Despite being each other’s greatest supporters, their 10-year marriage was riddled infidelities from both. They divorced in 1939 and remarried a year later.

12. One of her greatest pains was the children she never had.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Today’s doctors suggest that her bus accident had damaged Kahlo’s uterus rendering any possible pregnancies to be carried to full term. Her painting “Henry Ford Hospital” from 1932 was self-portrait that and focused on her miscarriages.

13. She was rumored to have gone to bed with several celebrities.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Kahlo led a life riddled with pain and illness, but when she wasn’t confined to her bed she led a vibrant and full life. She danced and loved to socialize. She had a brief affair with American sculptor Isamu Noguchi and three years later while in Paris she struck up a romance with Josephine Baker.

14. She was fiercely in love with her heritage.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Kahlo traveled the world and lived in New York, San Francisco, and Paris. Still, her life in Mexico City always drew her back home. She dressed in traditional Mexican clothing.

15. She loved animals and collected several pets.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Kahlo’s home, Casa Azul, has a lovely garden where Kahlo kept her own collection of animals including a Xoloitzcuintli,  spider monkeys and an Amazon parrot called Bonito.

16. She is considered a key face in the feminist movement.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Kahlo’s art was celebrated and loved by Pablo Picasso and Edward G. Robinson. After her death, the 1970s feminist movement sparked a new interest in her artistry. Eventually, her popularity grew so that she became one of the world’s most famous painters.

17. She had impeccable style.

CREDIT: Miramax Films

Frida’s art wasn’t the only impression she left on people. She had a distinctive fashion style that inspired designers like Raffaella Curiel, Maya Hansen, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Dolce & Gabbana. She was also featured in Vogue Paris while she was alive.

18. She broke records with her artwork even after death.

CREDIT: Miramax

On May 11, 2016, her 1939 painting “Dos desnudos en el bosque (La tierra misma)” sold for over $8 million. It was the highest auction price any Latin American artist ever.

19. She had a thing for monkies.

CREDIT: Miramax

Kahlo often used monkies in her work. In Mexican mythology, monkeys are symbols of lust.

20. She had an easel that was used to paint in bed.

CREDIT: Miramax

Kahlo’s mother made her a special easel that allowed her to paint in bed.

21. she was open about her sexuality.

CREDIT: Miramax

Kahlo’s affair with Josephine Baker happened in the mid-1900s when relationships with women were even more taboo than they are today. And much more restricted.

22. She was a communist.

CREDIT: Miramax

Kahlo joined the Communist Party of Mexico in 1928,

23. She lied about her age.

CREDIT: Miramax

Despite being born on July 6th, Kahlo claimed to have been born on July 7th, 1910  the same day the Mexican revolution started. 

24. She left behind quite a bit.

CREDIT: Miramax

When she died at the age of 47 on July 13, 1954, she left paintings, love letters to friends and journal entries.


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A PhD Student Made History By Writing Her Entire Thesis In An Indigenous Peruvian Language

Culture

A PhD Student Made History By Writing Her Entire Thesis In An Indigenous Peruvian Language

Lino Obarallumbo / DailySol

Scholars at Lima’s San Marcos university say it’s the first time a student has written and defended a thesis entirely in a native language. Roxana Quispe Collantes made history when she verbally defended and wrote her thesis in Quechua, a language of the Incas. While Quechua is spoken by 8 million people in the Andes with half of them in Peru, it speaks volumes that this hasn’t happened before at the 468-year-old university, the oldest in the Americas. 

Quispe Collantes studied Peruvian and Latin American literature with a focus on poetry written in Quechua. The United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages program has Peru a part of a global campaign to revive 2,680 indigenous languages at risk of going extinct. Peru is home to 21 of those languages. 

Roxana Quispe Collantes brings Inca culture to her doctoral candidacy.

Quispe Collantes began her presentation with a traditional Inca thanksgiving ceremony. She presented her thesis “Yawar Para” (or blood rain) by using coca leaves and chicha, a corn-based alcoholic beverage in the ritual.

For seven years, the student studied Andrés Alencastre Gutiérrez, a poet who wrote in Quechua, and used the pen name Kilku Warak’aq. For her thesis, she analyzed his mixture of Andrean traditions and Catholicism. 

“I’ve always wanted to study in Quechua, in my original language,” she told the Observer

Quispe Collantes traveled to highland communities in the Canas to confirm the definitions of words in the Collao dialect of Quechua used in the Cusco region. 

“I needed to travel to the high provinces of Canas to achieve this translation and the meaning of toponyms that I couldn’t find anywhere,” she said. “I asked my parents, my grandparents and teachers, and [it didn’t prove fruitful].”

Quechua entering the academic discourse can help preserve it. 

“Quechua doesn’t lack the vocabulary for an academic language. Today many people mix the language with Spanish,” she said. “I hope my example will help to revalue the language again and encourage young people, especially women, to follow my path. It’s very important that we keep on rescuing our original language.”

Her doctoral adviser Gonzo Espino told The Guardian he believes Quispe Collantes’ thesis was a symbolic gesture. 

“[The language] represented the most humble people in this part of the world: the Andeans, who were once called ‘Indians’. Their language and culture has been vindicated,” he said. 

It should go without saying but the doctoral candidate received top marks on her project.

Quechua is the most widely spoken indigenous language in South America. 

The oldest written records of Quechua were in 1560 in Grammatica o arte de la lengua general de los indios de los reynos del Perú by Domingo de Santo, a missionary who learned and wrote the language. Before the expansion of the Inca Empire, Quechua spread across the central Andes. The language took a different shape in the Cusco region where it was influenced by neighboring languages like Aymara. Thus, today there is a wide range of dialects of Quechua as it evolved in different areas. 

In the 16th century, the Inca Empire designated Quechua as their official language following the Spanish conquest of Peru. Many missionaries and members of the Catholic Church learned Quechua so that they could evangelize Indigenous folks. 

Quispe Collantes grew up speaking the language with her parents and grandparents in the Acomayo district of Cusco. Quechua today is often mixed with Spanish and she hopes that “Yawar Para” will inspire others to revisit the original form. 

Peru takes Quechua to the mainstream. 

Under the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages campaign, this year, Peru began the official registration of names in its 48 indigenous languages.

The U.N. launched its initiative to preserve indigenous languages in 2019 after the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues determined that, “40 percent of the estimated 6,700 languages spoken around the world were in danger of disappearing. The fact that most of these are indigenous languages puts the cultures and knowledge systems to which they belong at risk.”

According to the Guardian, for years, Peruvian registrars refused to recognize indigenous names on public records. They would then force indigenous people to register Hispanic or English-sounding names on government forms while keeping their real names at home. 

“Many registrars tended not to register indigenous names, so parents felt the name they had chosen wasn’t valued,” said Danny Santa María, assistant manager of academic research at Reniec. “We want to promote the use of indigenous names and recognize the proper way to write them on birth certificates and ID documents.”

In 2016, Peru began airings its first news broadcast in Quechua and other native languages, ushering into the mainstream. 

“My greatest wish is for Quechua to become a necessity once again. Only by speaking it can we revive it,” Quispe Collantes said.

A Christmas Theme Park Is Coming To Guadalajara — Complete With ‘Posadas’, ‘Reyes Magos’ And ‘Santa Claus’

Things That Matter

A Christmas Theme Park Is Coming To Guadalajara — Complete With ‘Posadas’, ‘Reyes Magos’ And ‘Santa Claus’

Navidalia

It looks like the people of Guadalajara love a theme-park. Earlier this month the capital city of Jalisco, hosted the ‘Dia de Muertos’ themed amusement park; ‘Calaverandia’. And now, from the same creators, we‘re getting  ‘Navidalia’ a Christmas-themed amusement park full of lights, fake snow and vibrant shows.

The park will be divided into four Yuletide-inspired worlds, the flagship of which will be that of Mexican Christmas traditions.

Much like Disneyland, which is divided into kingdoms, the Mexican Christmas-themed park will be divided into four Yuletide-inspired worlds, the flagship of which will be that of Mexican Christmas traditions, called “Posada Navideña”. Another world will be dedicated to the holiday’s Nordic origins.

Attendees will be able to see a recreation of baby Jesus’s birthplace in Bethlehem.

Naturally, for a predominantly Catholic country, one of the worlds will recreate the Middle Eastern atmosphere of Jesus’s birth in Bethlehem, this section of the park will also include a show featuring the three wise men, known in Mexico as “Los Reyes Magos.” The fourth world will celebrate European Christmas traditions.

It wouldn’t be a Mexican Christmas without a ‘Nacimiento’.

A standout display will be a giant nativity scene, in which the spectators will also be part of the decorations. There will also be a giant Christmas tree, an ice road (not rink) for ice skating around the park, a large lake in the park will be used for boat rides and dance presentations. The organizers spared no efforts to get the best artificial snow. They said in an interview with a Mexican newspaper that they hope that the artificial snow will help kindle the Christmas spirit in the hearts of visitors.

‘Navidalia’s parent company has also produced other theme parks and events like ‘Calaverandia’.

In addition to Calaverandia, the Day of The Dead theme park, Alteacorp —the parks’ parent company— has also organized Festival GDLuz, which lights up Guadalajara in an array of bright colors in February. The company hopes to repeat the success of those festivals with Navidalia in December.

Alteacorp CEO Marcos Jiménez said that the group wanted to offer something different from stereotypical U.S. Christmas celebrations. Instead, they chose to focus on creating multisensorial journeys dominated by images of a very Mexican-infused Christmas.

Such imagery and customs will include traditional lanterns, piñatas, warm fruit ponche, the sweet fried snacks called buñuelos and the Latin American Christmas observance of Las Posadas. Other attractions will include an 18m tall Piñata which will offer a light show, 8 meter tall ‘Reyes Magos’, a medieval Santa Clause and 30 other attractions spread across the 4.5 acres that make the theme park grounds.

Visitors must buy a ticket to take part in the park’s attractions at night, but the grounds will be open to the public free of charge during the day. Tickets cost 255 pesos (US $13) for children and 495 pesos (US $26) for adults. VIP tickets cost 685 and 1,999 pesos respectively. Discounted presale tickets will be on sale until November 18. Navidalia runs from December 13-25 at Parque Ávila Camacho in Zapopan.