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"Nosotros, los que empleamos la cámara como una herramienta": Tina Modotti's photographs on the mexican periodical El Machete (1928-1929)

Grant number: 23/17987-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2024
Effective date (End): May 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of America
Principal Investigator:José Alves de Freitas Neto
Grantee:Fernanda Brenelli Rueda
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The aim of this research project is to conduct a historical analysis of a segment of Tina Modotti's photographic creation, published in the Mexican communist periodical El Machete, as an intellectual production that is organized around visuality, elaborated discourses and the intellectual circuit itself. Based on a selection of five photographs published between 1928 and 1929, the purpose is to pay detailed attention to the means of publication and dissemination of the images and the specific genres of the sources in question. Emphasis will be placed on the ways of thinking, speaking and imagining within the contextual framework. To achieve this goal, we will consider the development of a visual culture - whether photographic or not - directly linked to post-Revolutionary Mexico, as well as the historical processes of dispute and construction of a Mexican cultural and national identity in the period understood as post-revolutionary. Starting from the conception that, as John Berger asserted, the content of a photograph is invisible and derived from a play with time, it is imperative for the objectives of this research to pose questions regarding the tensions between form and content, ethics and aesthetics, art and politics concerning the production and dissemination of photographs in certain historical contexts, aiming to identify the discursive protocols of these images.

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