woman Archive

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Tina Modotti – a Red Woman-Photographer

16.01.2015 Posted in History No Comments

January 5 was the birthday of Tina Modotti. I would like to mark the date of birth of this remarkable Red woman with a few words, even if it is a couple of weeks late. The legendary Tina! Many women who strive to succeed would have like to live Tina’s life. Passion, beauty, talent, accomplishment, love and mystery – were all a part of the destiny of this Italian photographer, model and actress. Born in Italy in 1913, she moved to the US in 1923 where she eventually met the photographer Edward Weston, quickly/soon becoming his favorite model. The two moved to Mexico, where she met Manuel Alvarez Bravo who helped her to develop her talent as a photographer. She also became good friends of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, who painted her in his frescos, as well as Pablo Neruda, who dedicated a poem to her. It was in Mexico that Tina decided to join the Communist party. Accused of an attempt on the life of the Mexican President, Pascual Ortiz Rubio, in 1929, she was forced to leave the country. At the beginning of the 1930s she lived in Moscow and then in Spain, becoming an active antifascist. Eventually her ban on visiting Mexico was lifted and Tina moved back to her ‘adoptive homeland,’ where she died in 1942. The circumstances of her death are unclear. Officially she died of heart failure. Many suggested that her death was orchestrated by those who thought she knew too much about […]

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Violeta Parra – On the birthday of a Red Woman

4.10.2013 Posted in History No Comments

Today, October 4, is Violeta Parra’s birthday. Only a few days ago I myself knew  nothing about her. Every month my husband and I rent movies from our local public library. Coincidentally “Violeta” was one of the October picks. I chose the film because of its cover. There was something intriguing in the image of this poetic-looking woman holding a guitar. The remarkable film told a rather brutal story of the well-known Chilean leftist poet, folklore singer and composer. It revealed the little-known life of a self-taught musician, a talented and innovative singer and painter; her complicated personality and the intricate existence she led rebelling against the accepted norms of society. Invited to the Warsaw Music Festival, she  dashed off to Europe to establish herself as a singer outside of the South American continent, leaving behind her two young children and a newborn. During her lifetime she became the first South American artist to have an exhibition in the Louvre, and she greatly contributed to the evolution of Chilean music.  Violeta committed suicide at the age of 49 because of an unhappy love affair with Gilbert Favre, nearly twenty years her junior. Many liked the film because of the actress Francisca Gavilan, who created an excellent interpretation of Violeta, and because of the beautiful music. For me it raised thorny issues about the fate of a woman who chose to live an unconventional life. Forced to make difficult decisions between maintaining her career and being a mother, between her personal freedom and duty, she lived her life the way she […]