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.”
La Revolución by Chiapas artist Fabian Cháirez depicts Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata riding a white horse. Zapata has his eyes closed as if he was lost in reverie, he’s totally nude, wearing high heels, and a shimmering pink hat — and the horse has a massive erection.
The painting isn’t new, it is one of 141 works included in the exhibit Zapata Después de Zapata to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the revolutionary’s death. When the Mexican Secretariat of Culture shared the image on Facebook, many users had a polarizing response. Cháirez believes the negative responses are rooted in sexist and homophobic attitudes.
Zapata’s grandson says he is taking legal action against the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature.
“We are not going to allow that. That’s why they’re going to take legal action”. Zapata´s grandson said in a statement. “We came here to exhibit the nonsense they did… to exhibit a photograph of our general (Emiliano Zapata) in Bellas Artes”
One would think the issue a critic would have with the image is that there might be an implication of bestiality. No, according to Zapata’s grandson, Jorge Zapata who held a press conference in Cuernavaca says the problem is that Cháirez painted him as “gay.”
“What could we call him? An unknown painter, who I think wants fame… he portrays general Zapata as, gay. So I believe that as a family, as a people, where we are clearly Zapatistas, we are not going to allow that,” Jorge said according to the Yucatan Times.
Does Jorge think being gay means two men love each other or that a man and a horse love each other? Jorge appears to be more repulsed by the thought of his grandfather possibly liking another man, more so than him being attracted to a horse.
“Now we’ve done what’s right, we are going to sue them, and we´ll have demonstrations and hold press conferences. We are going to sue both the painter and the person in charge of Bellas Artes.” Jorge said at the conference.
Art is subjective and isn’t always meant to be literally interpreted, Cháirez appears to be trying to evoke a feeling and a response from the viewer about what the image might mean rather than creating something intended to be taken at face value.
Many people on social media were also offended by the painting.
“I truly think that the image is offensive for the Mexican leader and hero. I’m not at all against homosexuality . . . but Zapata deserves respect. He was a leader who fought for land rights and freedom. I will never accept the denigration of his image in this way,” Jonathan Gómez Rios wrote on Facebook.
However, others defended Cháirez’s painting, commending the artist for being able to stir controversy as it was clearly intended.
“I love that a simple painting causes so much controversy. People argue and seethe because of a painting, A PAINTING! Well done to the Secretariat of Culture and whoever’s behind this post. Congratulations!” said another user on Facebook.
Cháirez speaks out in defense of his work of art.
“The feminine [form of Zapata] is what causes contempt . . . We’re in a super sexist society. There are some people who are bothered by bodies that don’t obey the norms. [But] in this case, where’s the offense? Are they offended because he’s feminized?” he told El Universal.
Cháirez says portraits of Zapata usually glorify his masculinity, while his own works intend to do just the opposite. According to the Yucatan Times, the Chiapas painter is part of the Neomexicanism movement and his works typically portray bodies in ways that challenge traditional stereotypes about masculinity and social mores about sexual orientation.
“His piece, ‘The Revolution’ questions the macho stereotypes that make up the national identity and makes visible the movements of sexual diversity,” the Yucatan Times writes. “The image has caused great offense among those who defend the memory of General Emiliano Zapata the ‘Caudillo del Sur’ and reject the idea of portraying him as a homosexual.”
Working in the international world of diplomacy has its perks. Whether your on a job in Armenia or Argentina, if you’re an ambassador you get the gift of diplomatic immunity. Diplomatic immunity means you can get away with pretty much anything – from parking tickets, drug arrests, some even say murder. But just because you can’t be arrested or tried legally for your crimes, doesn’t mean you get to keep your job. As the Mexican Ambassador to Argentina recently found out.
The Mexican government recalled its foreign ambassador to Argentina back home after a video circulated showing what appears to be the diplomat stealing from a bookstore.
Oscar Ricardo Valero Recio Becerra was recalled on Sunday by Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard after newspaper reports that he tried to steal a 590-peso (about $10 USD) book from one of Buenos Aires’ most famous bookstores. The book he tried to steal: Casanova. Yes, that Casanova – the famous 18th century playboy.
Ebrard said in a Twitter post that he asked the ministry’s ethics committee to analyze the accusation against the 76-year-old diplomat and if a video of the alleged theft that’s circulating proves to be true, he’ll be removed from his job immediately.
“Zero tolerance for dishonesty,” Ebrard said.
The ambassador has a long history as one of Mexico’s top diplomats, adding to the confusion as to why he would do something so risky.
Mexico’s ambassador to the South American nation was named by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and had previously been a researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He spent much of his academic career studying political science and Mexico’s role in international relations, and was also ambassador to Chile from 2001 to 2004.
But video evidence of the international incident is pretty damning.
The security footage shows ambassador Oscar Ricardo Valeo Recio Becerra grabbing a book from a shelf in a Buenos Aires bookstore. He appears to hide the book between a pile of papers and attempts to walk out of the store. A security guard stopped him and looked through his belongings.
Meanwhile, the man who nominated him to his post, President AMLO, has called the incident “regrettable.”
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador called the incident “regrettable” but has asked for people to wait until an ethics committee has finished investigating before coming to conclusions.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is addressing this case to see what happens and [to ensure] that there are no public lynchings,” the Mexican president said in a press conference on Monday.
Lopez Obrador added that the ambassador will be fired if the committee finds evidence that the ambassador stole the book.
The Mexican president won his position on the promise to rid corruption from the government. The recent incident is a blow to the president’s goal of making the Mexican people more trusting of their public leaders.
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