Stridentist Movement (1921–1928) By Caplow, Deborah
The Stridentist Movement [Movimiento Estridentista], founded by poet Manuel Maples Arce (1898–1981), was the only avant-garde Mexican literary and artistic group in the 1920s. The movement was centered in Mexico City from 1921–1925 and in Jalapa, Veracruz from 1925 until it disbanded in 1927. Stridentist writers wrote poetry characterized by formal and linguistic experimentation, which were illustrated by Stridentist artists. In this way they developed a style specific to the movement. They produced illustrated books, magazines, pamphlets and manifestos, in which text and image work together in a symbiotic fashion that shaped the political and artistic character of the movement. Like the Futurists, their aesthetic embraced such symbols of modernity as skyscrapers, aeroplanes, telephones, railroads and electric wires. Their influences were Cubism, Spanish Ultraismo, German Expressionism, Futurism, Dadaism and Constructivism. In an unusual combination of artistic internationalism and political nationalism, the Stridentists saw themselves as revolutionary, both artistically and politically, and their works included themes of the Mexican Revolution and its aftermath. Unique in Latin America at this time, the sophisticated appearance of the group, the cubo-futurist fragmentation and the dynamism that characterized the portraits, epitomize the inventiveness of the Stridentist vision.