How the Mexican Stridentist movement tried to build a national identity following the Civil War

Art and social action after the Mexican Revolution

Leopoldo Méndez, Retrato de Manuel Maples Arce. Frontispiece for Manuel Maples Arce, Poemas interdictos (1927) Courtesy of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Reproduced by Permission from Pablo Mendez

Stridentism (estridentismo in Spanish) is the style term used to describe the avant-garde multidisciplinary (visual arts and letters) movement, founded by the poet Manuel Maples Arce (here in a portrait by Leopoldo Méndez, 1927) that took place in Mexico in the 1920s following the Civil War. Sharing many similarities with contemporary European movements —Cubism, Dadaism, Futurism - Stridentism had its own social-action aspect that distinguished it from the better known,"elitist" Modernism of Los Contemporáneos. Lynda Klich describes in detail the movement's ambitious attempt to mould a national and cultural identity.

  • Lynda Klich, The Noisemakers: Estridentismo, Vanguardism, and Social Action in Post-Revolutionary Mexico, University of California Press, 360pp, £47, $60 (hb)