In Mexico, a Universal Struggle Against Power and Forgetting
Friday 11 November 2011
by: John Pilger, Truthout | News Analysis
Alameda Park is Mexico City’s languid space for lovers and open-air ballroom dancers: the gents in two-tone shoes, the ladies in finery and heels. The cobbled paths undulate from the great earthquake of 1985. You imagine the fairground sinking into the cobwebs of cracks, its Edwardian organ playing forlornly.
Two small churches nearby totter precariously: the surreal is Mexico’s facade.
Hidden behind the poplars is the museum where Diego Riviera’s mural “Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park” occupies the entire ground floor. You sink into sofa chairs and journey for an hour across his masterpiece. Originally painted at the Hotel Prado in 1947, it was rescued and restored when the earthquake demolished things all around. More than 45-feet long and 14-feet high, it presents the political warriors of Mexico’s past, from the conquistador Hernando Cortes to Rivera himself, depicted as a child holding the hand of a fashionably dressed skeleton, the iconic symbol of the Day of the Dead. Standing maternally beside him is his wife, Frida Kahlo, Mexico’s artistic heroine. Around them parade the impervious rich and unrequited poor.