Frida Kahlo is arguably the most recognizable artist of the 20th Century. The Mexican icon has become such a fixture within cultures across the globe that even your 4-year-old sobrina might know her. After all, Barbies, cosmetics, drinks, T-shirts, even sanitary pads have been made in her likeness. And yet, while we have countless paintings, pictures, and video of the painter who has captivated audiences the world over, her fans have been deprived of her voice.
That is to say, until today.
The National Sound Library of Mexico has found what they say is the first recording ever uncovered of Kahlo’s voice.
The audio clip was discovered on a sound file dating all the way back to 1955. Made by Álvaro Gálvez y Fuentes, the file comes from the pilot of a radio show known as “El Bachiller.” In it, Kahlo describes Diego Rivera for a profile the radio show was doing on her husband.
According to the press release from the National Sound Library of Mexico, the Kahlo file was recorded on open reel tape. The tape was sent to the library back in 2007 along with other files, all of which are part of a Television-Radio collection of audio. They’re on loan to the National Sound Library so they can be converted to digital.
According to Pável Granados, director of the National Sound Library, Kahlo’s voice is the institution’ most requested sound.
In the recording, we hear Kahlo’s melodious voice talking about her husband, Rivera. She’s reading from her essay “Portrait of Diego.” The words were written to accompany the 1949 work of the same name.
Though the radio program was recorded in 1955, the Kahlo file is thought to have been made in 1953 or 1954. In the radio program, it is noted that the voice’s owner was no longer alive. This further supports the claim that the voice belongs to Kahlo.
In light of the amazing discovery, the National Sound Library will work to authenticate the file.
The “El Bachiller” files are made up of 1,300 tapes that are still being catalogued and digitized. In the same way, more audio of the artista may yet to be discovered.
All in all, this is a huge discovery and Twitter was abuzz over the finding.
This Twitter user imagined what a throughly modern Frida would look like. Of course, she’s as stylish as ever.
Some expressed surprise at the sound of the artist’s voice.
Incidentally, we have also imagined what her voice would be like. Her voice is much like Frida was: vibrant, warm, and welcoming.
Some wondered how we can authenticate the voice.
This Twitter user suggested the National Sound Library contact journalist Elena Poniatowska or another person who knew Kahlo. It might be difficult with the passage of time but we imagine Frida’s voice is one you don’t easily forget.
Others were in awe of her loving words for Diego.
Of course, Kahlo and Rivera’s relationship was anything but conventional. Still, her voice holds nothing but love for him.
The total consensus on the Internet seems to be that this is Kahlo’s voice.
We can only hope that additional Kahlo audio is found so we can learn more about the artist in her own words.
After being part of over 50 rescue operations, saving dozens of lives and finding over 40 bodies in disaster areas, Frida, a 10-year-old Labrador retriever, is calling it quits. The Mexican Navy held a ceremony for Frida that was part of “International Rescuer Day” in Mexico this past Sunday. Frida was honored with a toy that the Mexican government said: “symbolized the beginning of her new life.”
After a disastrous magnitude-7.1 earthquake rocked Mexico in September 2017, the pup became a household name. Two devastating earthquakes shook Mexico just days apart killing more than 300 people, including 205 in Mexico City. The quakes destroyed and caused major damage to multiple structures.
Frida helped in rescue efforts in both disasters as she assisted in finding more than 40 bodies and saving 12 lives. She was famously captured sniffing her way through rubble as part of the Mexican navy’s canine unite. Images showed the K-9 wearing goggles and neoprene booties as she joined first responders looking for the children that died in a school in Mexico City during the earthquake.
In total, there were 15 dogs that were deployed during the search and rescue but Frida quickly garnered the most attention. “Her bark always gave hope, and in moments of pain and uncertainty she brought relief,” Eduardo Redondo, a Deputy Naval Minister, told the BBC.
Frida’s journey as a rescue dog began before the devastating 2017 earthquake.
Ten-year-old Frida was part of multiple rescue missions involving earthquakes not only in Mexico but also in Ecuador in 2016 and Haiti in 2010. Frida was also part of rescue efforts in 2013 after an explosion at the headquarters of Mexican state oil company Pemex. She was also part of the rescue team that helped find victims after the 2012 landslide in Guatemala.
Frida was honored with a statue last year for her rescue efforts.
Frida’s international fame has made her a national symbol of Mexican strength and pride. Last summer she received a bronze statue on her honor, along with her trainer, Israel Arauz, by her side, at a park in Puebla City.
The plaque on the statue reads: “Memorable symbols of strength that Mexicans can have when we decide to unite for a greater cause.”
People on social media expressed their gratitude for Frida on an amazing career.
There has been so much love and appreciation for Frida after news broke that she was calling it a career. People who never knew or even previously heard of her took to social media to share their appreciation for Frida’s work.
“Today Frida, the heroic Mexican Navy rescue dog, retires. She saved many lives and during the Mexico City earthquake of 2017, she became a national hero and symbol of hope. GRACIAS FRIDA!,” one user wrote.
Even actor Chris Evans chimed in on Frida’s retirement asking: “What did we do to deserve dogs?” I think after hearing Frida’s incredible story we are all asking ourselves the same thing.
“Frida stole the heart of all Mexico and thousands more abroad… Her bark always gave hope, and in moments of pain and uncertainty she brought relief,” said Deputy Naval Minister Eduardo Redondo, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). “Frida, mission accomplished, with honor.”
Among the political personalities that shaped 20th-century history, Ernesto “Che” Guevara is perhaps one of the most controversial. The Argentine revolutionary traveled the continent and idealistically fought against what he saw as unforgivable injustices. Following a Marxist worldview, he led guerrilla warfare efforts in countries as diverse as Cuba, Congo, and Bolivia.
He was considered by some to be a hero, the stuff myths are made of. Others, like almost every Castro regime-fleeing Cuban-American you’ve ever met, consider him to be a cruel tyrant who used violence to impose his ideas. While his image has become a symbol for political rebellion, you might want to share this article with that friend who thinks they’re in Latino solidarity by wearing that $48 Urban Outfitter’s t-shirt with his face on it.
Here are 21 facts about Ernesto’s life, from his early years in Argentina to his last days in Bolivia.
Ernest “Che” Guevara was a ruthless, systematic assassin for his political ideology.
Too often, Che supporters like to focus on his ideology and ignore the generations of Cuban-Americans who were gunned down by his extremist, violent means to a political end. Jon Lee Anderson’s biography, which cited Guevara’s own diaries, quotes a diary entry of how he resolved deserters to the cause:
“The situation was uncomfortable for the people and for Eutimio so I ended the problem giving him a shot with a .32 pistol in the right side of the brain, with exit orifice in the right temporal [lobe].”
When he visited the UN, two Cuban exiles tried to kill him.
Exiles in the U.S. thought Guevara was far from being a hero and two attempts were made. At the time, he continued to be a source of fear for anyone who didn’t support Castro’s regime.
Castro put Guevara in charge of the firing squads, which eventually assassinated 30,000 Cubans.
There was no due process for the individuals who were placed against a wall, and waited for the order to leave Guevara’s lips that would cause their ultimate, brutal death by firing squad. In a letter to Luis Paredes López, Guevara casually writes, “The executions by firing squads are not only a necessity for the people of Cuba, but also an imposition of the people.”
His legacy includes a generation of Cubans whose own parents and loved ones died at his hands.
Don’t try talking about his revolutionary ideology to the thousands of Cubans whose families have been violently torn apart by his extremist methods. About 1.5 million Cubans fled their home country to the U.S. out of pure fear of ending up at that wretched bloody wall.
This face incites fear in a generation of Cuban-Americans whose lives were completely uprooted out of well-founded fear of this man.
It says something twisted about our limited historical lens that allowed this photograph to become a fashion symbol.
Unless you have been living under a rock all your life, chances are that you have seen this image. It was actually shot by Cuban photographer Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez, better known as Alberto Korda or simply Korda. Its title: “Guerrillero Heroico” or “Heroic Guerrilla Fighter.” Certainly one of the most recognizable images in the history of photography.
Che-inspired consumerism is ironically known as “Che Chic”.
Oh, the irony! During his lifetime Guevara constantly fought against and criticized capitalist policies and the commodification of basically everything in life. However, his image has generated millions of dollars in sales of various products, most famously t-shirts.
Cuban exiles are vehemently in protest of this strange wave of fashion that romanticizes the mans ideology while ignoring the bloodshed of his actions.
Andy Warhol even created Che pop art.
Andy Warhol was obsessed with celebrity and this 1968 painting simply titled “Che Guevara” is a testament of the guerrilla fighter’s position as a polarizing pop culture icon. It’s no wonder that many Latinos have differing views of the revolutionary war icon.
Castro emblazoned his iconic photo on the $3 Cuban peso coin under “Patria o Muerte.”
On the one hand, his fanfare makes sense given that an entire Cuban government has given him the best PR an assassin could hope for. Cubans see Che’s face on a daily basis on graffiti, posters and most commonly these coins. Above Che’s head: “Country or death”.
Sounds like a good way to continually threaten your people.
So what’s his appeal? What’s his story? Nos vemos.
Besides the obvious reasons why he’s so often commemorated (Castro regime censoring any negative image of his right hand man in order to perpetuate a glorified image of his dictatorship), many people admire his efforts to overthrow capitalism and erase poverty lines. So that’s something. Pero, to be muy claro, it’s not enough.
While Che is best known for his role in the Cuban Revolution, he was born in Argentina to Spanish-Irish parents.
Like many Argentinians, Guevara had a mostly European heritage. His ancestors came from the Basque country (a region famous for its separatist efforts), Cantabria and Ireland via his paternal family tree.
He grew up comfortably in middle-class Argentina.
Guevara, known as “Ernestito” at home, didn’t come from a poor background. Rather, his middle-class family was quite comfortable in Rosario, Argentina. His parents were left-leaning when it came to politics and they supported veterans from the Spanish Civil War. Young Guevara soon showed an affinity with social issues.
Che suffered from asthma.
Guevara had a lifelong medical condition: asthma. This limited some of his activities like rugby, a sport he was passionate about in his early years in Argentina. Wonder what would have happened to Cuba as we know it if Dios just let him breathe his way into a career of rugby. Que pena.
He graduated from the University of Buenos Aires as a medical doctor.
His first wife wrote a memoir, “My Life with Che,” and describes Guevara’s obsession with creating medical equity for the working and impoverished class of Argentina. Specifically, he viewed an elderly washerwoman that he was treating as “representative of the most forgotten and exploited class.”
He travelled the continent on a motorcycle…
As seen in the Gael-starred movie “The Motorcycle Diaries, Guevara traveled through Latin America as a young man, an experience that put him in touch with social injustice and sparked a revolutionary drive in him.
Which led him to spend a few weeks treating a leper colony in Peru.
Leprosy is a debilitating disease, no question. It’s caused by a bacteria that is thought to be spread by armadillos and reduces the ability to feel pain, which can lead to untreated wounds, causing amputations.
Guevara was especially interested in the community that the disease creates. In “The Motorcycle Diaries,” he writes, “The highest forms of human solidarity and loyalty arise among such lonely and desperate people.”
He loved reading existentialist philosophers.
Guevara was an avid reader, and among his favorite authors the French philosophers Albert Camus and Jean Paul Sartre had a privileged place. These two novelists and philosophers presented life as a senseless affair, with no answers and no way out. Existence is futile, they say.
He met Fidel Castro in Mexico City.
Guevara worked as a doctor in the Mexican capital, where he met the Cuban brothers Raul and Fidel Castro. They quick found common interests and their dislike for the way in which US corporations mistreated workers and installed puppet governments.
Castro named him his right and was the Cuban Finance Minister after the revolution.
One of the main critiques to the Cuban Revolutionary government is the fact that the newly formed government had little or no experience in public administration. Guevara went from the battlefield to a desk… he didn’t last long and single handedly destroyed the economy.
In 1964 he spoke against South African apartheid at the United Nations.
Yes, Guevara travelled to New York and gave a famous speech even if he was a sworn enemy of the US government. The hour long speech is captured by filmmaker Steven Soderbergh in his two volume epic “Che.”
He wanted to free Africa from imperialism.
After he grew apart from the Castro regime, Che set his sights on Africa. He trained guerrilla fighters in Congo, a former Belgian colony. He thought that a Pan-African dream was possible and the continent could be united.
But he also loved his Rolex GMT Master watch.
Quite a contradiction. The revolutionary leader wore an expensive piece that was often photographed.
The CIA said he was “fairly intellectual for a Latino.”
Yes, you read that right. A true WTF. Those racist words described Guevara in a government report which sums-up the framing of Latinos in the mid 20th century. As if.
It’s pretty widely believed that the CIA orchestrated his assassination.
On the left is CIA agent Felix Rodriguez, with Che Guevara and his Bolivian captors. The United States openly denounced his anti-capitalist views and saw him as a threat to democracy. Many believe he was killed by the CIA for his disruptive tendencies, rather than his murderous role in the Cuban Revolution.
Every martyr for a cause is soil for iconography.
His hands were cut off after he was killed.
Right after he was executed in Bolivia his hands were amputated and sent to Buenos Aires. The reason: his fingerprints needed to be properly identified and that somehow seemed to be the most logical way of doing it.
But what does “Che” actually mean?
His moniker is not very glamorous. “Che” translates simply as “dude”, “bro”, “ese”, “carnal” in Argentina. Because he spent most of his life abroad, “Che” was a simple way of remembering his origins.
There are no two sides to Che. There’s only the full picture.
My mami always said, “actions speak louder than words.” While his words and political beliefs were moving, and well-intentioned, there is no ‘means justify the end’ when it comes to murdering thousands of people without fair trial.
Feel free to educate your friends so they stop pissing off Cuban abuelos.