Cultural memory in Elena Poniatowska's Tinisima
CULTURAL MEMORY IN ELENA PONIATOWSKA’S
By Ela Molina Morelock
Elena Poniatowska, a clear example of the diversity of the Mexican people in particular,
and of the human race in general, comes from a mix of Polish, French, American, and Mexican
ancestry. Despite her family origins, of European aristocracy and the highest social class in the
deeply stratified Mexican society, through her work, she has become the memory of several
hidden social movements, and forgotten people.
As a journalist and writer, Poniatowska has become a voice for those people without a
voice: repressed students, Indians, workers, political dissidents, and women in general. One
particular woman, Tina Modotti (1896-1942) is the heroine of the novel Tinísima, a blend of
biography and fiction. Tina Modotti, like Elena Poniatowska, was a woman preoccupied with art
and social justice.
Poniatowska's work depicts the emotional and intellectual struggles of Tina Modotti, as
well as the abandonment of her artistic motivation, because of her political and social activism.
Poniatowska joins fiction and reality by creating art. During the process of 10 years of research,
interviews, and traveling, Poniatowska has effectively recovered part of the forgotten history of
the United States, Mexico, Russia, and Spain, for the periods of the 1920’s, 1930’s and the early
1940’s, through the life and eyes of the Italian-American Tina Modotti.
This thesis analyzes the responsibility we have towards recuperating the historical past,
the impact of past wounds on the present, and the importance of remembering the forgotten
voices of the dead who made that part of History.
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:modotti tina poniatowska elena tinisima guerra civil espan?ola revolucio?n sovietica anarquismo en los estados unidos anticomunismo institucionalizacio?n de la mexicana memoria cultural colectiva individual historia oficial identidad nacionalismo cosmopolitismo locos veinte new woman decadentismo bildungsroman femenino collective memory in literature
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