Every uprising has eyewitnesses, but not all are as well documented as the Mexican Revolution. In the decade from 1910–1920, while Mexico experienced an unprecedented level of violence and upheaval, local and foreign photographers flooded the countryside to document the country’s painful transition from a repressive dictatorship to a modern society. Images in the media played a crucial role in communicating the rapidly changing social and political landscape. Photographer and entrepreneur Agustín Casasola followed the unfolding events, creating the most important visual archive of Mexican history in the first half of the 20th century. His son Gustavo continued his legacy by creating his own archive, overseen today by the Fundación Gustavo Casasola.
Viva la Cámara includes material drawn from the collections of the Gustavo Casasola archive and the USC Libraries Boeckmann Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies. Among the items on display are pictures of legendary figures of the Mexican Revolution, such as Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa, as well as ordinary people who are symbols of the popular struggle—men, women, and children whose names are lost to us. Together, these images tell a story of a time in Mexico’s history that continues to shape the country’s cultural and political identity a century later.
Please join us for a discussion about the crucial role photography played in the 1910–1920 Mexican Revolution,followed by the opening reception for an exhibition in Doheny Library, drawn from the Gustavo Casasola Foundation in Mexico and the USC Libraries Boeckmann Center Collection. Photojournalist Gustavo Casasola, UCLA professor Maarten Van Delden, and USC professor Liana Stepanyan will explore the causes of the decade long upheaval, the local photographers—including many members of the Casasola family—who followed the
unfolding events, and how the revolution continues to shape the country’s identity.
!VIVA LA CÁMARA! Photographs of the Mexican Revolution from the Gustavo Casasola Foundation—will open on Wednesday, September 16, and I hope you will join us for the panel at 4:00 p.m. followed immediately by the opening reception at 5:00p p.m.