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Mexico Says They’ve Found A Recording Of Frida Kahlo’s Voice But I’m Mostly Excited About What She Says About Diego

Frida Kahlo is arguably the most recognizable artist of the 20th Century. The Mexican icon has become such a fixture within cultures across the globe that even your 4-year-old sobrina might know her. After all, Barbies, cosmetics, drinks, T-shirts, even sanitary pads have been made in her likeness. And yet, while we have countless paintings, pictures, and video of the painter who has captivated audiences the world over, her fans have been deprived of her voice.

That is to say, until today.

The National Sound Library of Mexico has found what they say is the first recording ever uncovered of Kahlo’s voice.

Twitter / @fonoteca

The audio clip was discovered on a sound file dating all the way back to 1955. Made by Álvaro Gálvez y Fuentes, the file comes from the pilot of a radio show known as “El Bachiller.” In it, Kahlo describes Diego Rivera for a profile the radio show was doing on her husband.

According to the press release from the National Sound Library of Mexico, the Kahlo file was recorded on open reel tape. The tape was sent to the library back in 2007 along with other files, all of which are part of a Television-Radio collection of audio. They’re on loan to the National Sound Library so they can be converted to digital.

According to Pável Granados, director of the National Sound Library, Kahlo’s voice is the institution’ most requested sound.

Twitter / @cultura_mx

In the recording, we hear Kahlo’s melodious voice talking about her husband, Rivera. She’s reading from her essay “Portrait of Diego.” The words were written to accompany the 1949 work of the same name.

Though the radio program was recorded in 1955, the Kahlo file is thought to have been made in 1953 or 1954. In the radio program, it is noted that the voice’s owner was no longer alive. This further supports the claim that the voice belongs to Kahlo.

In light of the amazing discovery, the National Sound Library will work to authenticate the file.

Twitter / @tictoc

The “El Bachiller” files are made up of 1,300 tapes that are still being catalogued and digitized. In the same way, more audio of the artista may yet to be discovered.

All in all, this is a huge discovery and Twitter was abuzz over the finding.

Twitter / sweeterdan_

This Twitter user imagined what a throughly modern Frida would look like. Of course, she’s as stylish as ever.

Some expressed surprise at the sound of the artist’s voice.

Twitter / @Mauro_Benh

Incidentally, we have also imagined what her voice would be like. Her voice is much like Frida was: vibrant, warm, and welcoming.

Some wondered how we can authenticate the voice.

Twitter / @joeynaborn

This Twitter user suggested the National Sound Library contact journalist Elena Poniatowska or another person who knew Kahlo. It might be difficult with the passage of time but we imagine Frida’s voice is one you don’t easily forget.

Others were in awe of her loving words for Diego.

Twitter / @femcondition

Of course, Kahlo and Rivera’s relationship was anything but conventional. Still, her voice holds nothing but love for him.

The total consensus on the Internet seems to be that this is Kahlo’s voice.

Twitter / @ElPapaMomero

We can only hope that additional Kahlo audio is found so we can learn more about the artist in her own words.

Listen to the clip below.

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This App Can Tell You The Indigenous History Of The Land You Live On

Things That Matter

This App Can Tell You The Indigenous History Of The Land You Live On

Erika Reid / Getty Images

Wondering about the Indigenous heritage of your city, your neighborhood or even your street? Well, there’s an app for that. Native Land, a Canadian nonprofit, has mapped Indigenous territories across North America, South America, and parts of Europe and Asia. 

For all the selfish and banal uses of social media out there, sometimes developers use the geolocative capabilities of smartphones to make the world a more inclusive place.

This app looks at the history of a place and reveals how it was originally organized by the traditional owners of the land before processes of colonization and dispossession reshaped the maps of what is now known as the Americas. This app is digitizing Indigenous history, so next time you step on indigenous land you can quietly acknowledge it. 

Native Land is the app to better understand the extent of Indigenous communities around the world.

Whose land are you on? Start with a visit to native-land.ca. Native Land is both a website and an app that seeks to map Indigenous languages, treaties, and territories across Turtle Island. You might type in New York, New York, for example, and find that the five boroughs are actually traditional Lenape and Haudenosaunee territory.

On the website and in the app, you can enter the ZIP code or Canadian or American name for any town. The interactive map will zoom in on your inquiry, color-code it, and pull up data on the area’s Indigenous history, original language, and tribal ties.

The project is run by Victor Temprano out of British Columbia, Canada. A self-described “settler,” he said that the idea came to him while driving near his home—traditional Squamish territory. He saw many signs in the English language with the Squamish original place names indicated in parentheses underneath. He thought to himself, “Why isn’t the English in brackets?”

As a ongoing project, the app clearly states that: “This map does not represent or intend to represent official or legal boundaries of any Indigenous nations. To learn about definitive boundaries, contact the nations in question. Also, this map is not perfect — it is a work in progress with tons of contributions from the community. Please send us fixes if you find errors”.

Ready to find out more about the place that you call home? Click here

Remember: maps are only political and not set on stone, so the map you know was drawn by colonial powers.

Credit: Native Land

Contrary to what we might believe, maps are hardly set in stone. In fact, how a territory is named and where boundaries sit is evidence of historical processes through which lands are taken.

Just look at this map of North America and think about all the blood that has been shed by the original owners of the land just so we can identify only three countries today. There were hundreds of discreet ethnic groups in Canada, Mexico and the United States before the European superpowers of Britain, France and Spain landed and created havoc. 

But the past is past, right? So why should we care? Well, we should care, a lot, particularly in today’s political climate. Let’s take this map of the California area as an example.

Credit: Native Land

So why is becoming familiar with the indigenous past of place important? Because it tells us that the borders that exist today are practically a human invention rather than something set in stone, and that unless you have Indigenous heritage, we are all guests.

California, for example, was populated by a wide variety of peoples who were conquered by the Spanish or assimilated into mestizo culture through religion and language. So when white supremacists get all “America for the Americans” on Brown folk, they should be reminded that the land is and has always been Indigenous.

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Google Paid Tribute To Mariachi Music With A Doodle And Break Out The Mezcal Because It’s Gonna Give You Tears!

Things That Matter

Google Paid Tribute To Mariachi Music With A Doodle And Break Out The Mezcal Because It’s Gonna Give You Tears!

ULISES RUIZ / Getty

Mariachi is officially getting the search engine clout it deserves!

Google Doodle’s latest feature celebrates the musical genre of mariachi. As an ode to the anniversary of the week that UNESCO inscribed mariachi on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The genre of Regional Mexican music goes back to the 18th century.

Google’s latest Doodle features an animated video of mariachi serenading.

Remote file
Google

Singing “Cielito Lindo,” which is a song that encaptures Mexican pride, the doodle features a band of mariachi members.

Together they sing the following lyrics”De la Sierra Morena/cielito lindo, vienen bajando/Un par de ojitos negros/cielito lindo, de contrabando/ Ay, ay, ay, ay/Canta y no llores/Porque cantando se alegran/cielito lindo, los corazones.”

The lyrics translate to “From the Sierra Morena/Lovely sweet one, is prancing down/A pair of little black eyes/Lovely sweet one, is sneaking by/ Ay, ay, ay, ay/Sing, don’t cry/Because singing makes rejoice/Lovely sweet one, our hearts.”

For the doodle, the mariachi band wears traditional trajes de charro (charro suits) while strumming the traditional instruments of the genre.

Plucking away at the guitarrón, vihuela, and violin, other members use a trumpet and harp. According to Newsweek, “The tradition of mariachi originated in west-central Mexico around the turn of the 19th century, though its exact origins are murky. The musical genre began as entirely instrumental, made up of the sounds of stringed instruments, before vocals and the trumpet were eventually added.”

No doubt Google’s latest Doodle has won over the hearts of various searchers.

“What a beautiful tribute… thank you!” one user wrote.

“The Google doodle for today is a tribute to mariachis & it’s a little video that plays cielito lindo I am not okay, cielito lindo is my favorite mariachi song, it’s too cute,” another commented while another user wrote “I was so shocked when I clicked on this last night. What a wonderful surprise.”

Sweetly, the doodle really seemed to hit home for so many. “The Google Doodle today nearly made me cry,” one very happy user noted. “It was so unexpected and made me miss home for the first time since I moved.”

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