The legacy left behind by Eva Perón is unprecedented. The Argentinian leader was just as influential as her husband Juan Perón, the president of her home country, if not more. In her short life, she advocated for the poor and working class — and that is how the world and her people continue to remember her. Now, a new exhibit shows exactly how she reached even the most vulnerable people.
The Evita Museum, in Argentina, is honoring the 100th birthday of Eva Perón with an exhibit that looks at her work with children.
The exhibit, titled “Childhood and Peronism, the toys of the Eva Perón Foundation” features several dozen toys that the Former First Lady passed out to children during Christmas between 1948 and 1955, NBC News reports.
Eva, who never had children of her own and died of cervical cancer, handed out toys to the most impoverished children in Argentina.
According to the network, some children got the toys by Eva herself, and others got them from various post offices across the country.
“Children were always given particular importance in Eva’s work, especially all matters concerning children’s rights,” Marcela Genés, the museum’s curator, told The Associated Press. “She herself had a very impoverished childhood, and that stayed with her. Achieving justice for children was a particular focus for Eva.”
Some visitors who’ve seen the toy exhibit are astonished by her accessibleness, a quality that leaders today hardly ever show.
“The variety of toys and the letters the children wrote to ask her for toys caught my eye,” Paola Jaque of Chile told NBC. “She answered them personally, which I don’t believe happens nowadays.”
For many years now, when you think of the U.S.-Mexico border, you think of the families torn apart by cruel and inhumane immigration policies and of kids and families being thrown into cages.
One artist tried to highlight the cruelty happening at the border, while also providing local children with a happy distraction, through an art installation at the border zone between El Paso, TX and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.
Now, that art installation is gaining international recognition for its aim to bring together a physically divided community.
Pink seesaws installed along the U.S.-Mexico border have won a prestigious design award.
The collection of bright pink seesaws placed along the border wall between a section of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez is being recognized for its importance. The art installation/children’s playground that allowed people to interact through the border wall has won the prestigious Design of the Year award, with its creators saying they hoped the work encourages people to build bridges between communities.
The Teeter Totter Wall, which bridged across El Paso in Texas and Ciudad Juárez in Chihuahua during a 40-minute session, was described as not only feeling “symbolically important” but also highlighting “the possibility of things” by the judging panel.
Original story published July, 25, 2019:
Lately, when you think of the U.S-Mexico border, you think of the children being kept in cages, of migrant folks being kept in unthinkable conditions in detention prisons, and you think of the possible construction of Donald Trump’s beloved wall–among other negative connotations that the border brings. Then there are times when heartwarming images and scenes from the border show that despite the weaponization of the border, we’re still connected to one another in many ways.
Architect and artist Ronald Rael designed and installed pink seesaws at the border for children from the United States and Mexico to play together.
The art installation, “Teeter-Totter Wall,” was created by Rael, an architecture professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Virginia San Fratello, an associate professor of design at San Jose State University.
The custom-built seesaws were placed on both sides of the steel border fence that separates the U.S. and Mexico. The artist called it “one of the most incredible experiences of his career” in a post he shared on Instagram.
Despite the negative headlines that dominate the news cycle every day, it’s refreshing to see artists like Ronald Rael use their platform and creativity to spark positivity and strengthen our sense of community.
“The wall became a literal fulcrum for U.S.-Mexico relations and children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side,” Rael wrote in his Instagram caption. Rael also gave a shoutout to the team who helped make this powerful art installation a reality in Cuidad Juárez, Mexico.
CNN also points out that the New Mexico town is also where a militia detained migrants in April (the ACLU called it a kidnapping), and where a private group began building its own border wall with the use of millions donated to a GoFundMe campaign.
Last week, the Supreme Court also gave Trump a victory in his fight for the construction of a wall along the border. Further, the Supreme Court allowed the administration to use $2.5 billion in military funds for it.
Despite all of the negative news surrounding the border, it was a different scene there on Monday near the Sunland Park stretch. Instead, it showed a heartwarming and lighter scene compared to what we’ve recently seen.
The art installation that this artist created is also meant to serve as a reminder. A reminder that “we are connected” and “what happens on one side impacts the other.”
The pink seesaws showed people from both sides of the border coming together in a unifying act. Children and adults alike on U.S soil were recorded playing with children from the other side. These light-hearted scenes from the border make one for if only a second forget the actual reality of it all.
RAICES, a non-profit focusing on immigration legal services in Texas, shared on Twitter that “Art is such a powerful vehicle for change”
Claudia Tristán, the Director of Latinx Messaging for 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke also praised the art installation for the message it spread.
“The symbolism of the seesaw is just magical,” she wrote in a tweet. “A #Border fence will not keep us from our neighbors.”
The video of architect and artist Ronald Rael that’s also making rounds on social media shows him saying that the seesaw that there are still “good relations the people of Mexico and the United States.” Therefore, the seesaw can portray that we are “equal” and the wall, he says, cuts those relationships between us.
Ultimately, it is important to remember that with or without the U.S.-Mexico border, much of this land belonged to and will always belong to Native Americans.
So many of us have been moved the art of the late Frida Kahlo. Even in death she’s gone on to inspire entire generations with her Surrealist self-portraits, lush depictions of plant and animal life, and magical realist tableaux. Not to mention her incredible life story.
She also inspired future generations of artists, many of whom are alive today creating beautiful works of art. These are just a few of the artists who have similar techniques, subjects, and styles to Frida Kahlo that you’ll definitely love if you’re a fan of Frida Kahlo.
Maria Fragoso – Mexico City
Influenced by the style and narratives of Mexican surrealists and muralists, Maria Fragoso creates work that celebrates her Mexican culture, while also addressing notions of gender expression and queer identity. Her brightly colored canvases offer voyeuristic glimpses into intimate moments, with subjects engaging in acts that seem at once seductive and mischievous—often while gazing directly out at the viewer.
Recently featured in Forbes’s “30 Under 30” in the “Art and Style” category, the 25-year-old artist is quickly rising to prominence. Born and raised in Mexico City, Fragoso moved to Baltimore in 2015 to pursue her BFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art. While in school, Fragoso was the recipient of the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship at the Yale Norfolk School of Art. Since graduating, she has completed residencies at Palazzo Monti and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.
Nadia Waheed – Austin, Texas
Born in Saudi Arabia to Pakistani parents, Austin, Texas–based artist Nadia Waheed explores notions of relocation, displacement, and vulnerability in her work. Her life-size figurative paintings are both allegorical and autobiographical—the female figures represent her own lived experiences, as well as the multifaceted identities of all women.
Rodeo Tapaya – Philippines
Rodel Tapaya paints dreamlike, narrative works based on myths and folklore from his native Philippines. Drawing parallels between age-old fables and current events, Tapaya reimagines mythical tales by incorporating fragments of the present. “In some way, I realize that old stories are not just metaphors. I can find connections with contemporary time,” Tapaya said in a 2017 interview with the National Gallery of Australia. “It’s like the myths are poetic narrations of the present.”
While the content of Tapaya’s work is inspired by Filipino culture, his style and literary-based practice is heavily influenced by Mexican muralists and Surrealist painters such as José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and, of course, Frida Kahlo. Often working at a large scale, Tapaya has been commissioned to create several site-specific murals, including one for Art Fair Philippines in February 2020.
Leonor Fini – Buenos Aires
Long overlooked in favor of male Surrealists, Leonor Fini, a contemporary of Kahlo, was a pioneering 20th-century force. Known for having lived boldly, Fini is recognized for her unconventional lifestyle, theatrical personality, and avant-garde fashion sense. Born in Buenos Aires in 1907, Fini was raised by her mother in Trieste, Italy. She taught herself to paint and first exhibited her work at the age of 17.
Fini had one of her first solo exhibitions at age 25 with a Parisian gallery directed by Christian Dior. Her work was then included in the groundbreaking exhibition “Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism” at MoMA in 1936, while at the same time she had her first New York exhibition with Julien Levy Gallery. Today, Fini’s work is represented in many major public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Tate Modern in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.
Ramon Alejandro – Miami
José Ramón Díaz Alejandro, better known as Ramon Alejandro, paints idyllic still lifes of tropical fruits set in ethereal landscapes. The surrealistic compositions have a similar spirit to Kahlo’s less iconic but equally masterful still-life works
Coming from a long lineage of artists, Alejandro grew up with the artworks of his great-grandfather, grandfather, and uncle adorning the walls of his childhood home. After growing up in Havana, Alejandro was sent to live in Argentina in 1960 amidst political turmoil in Cuba, and has continued to live in exile since then.