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V. Volantes Populares
[Popular Broadsides]
Francisco Mora, original print
images and information below courtesy of Michael Ricker

left: El Mosquito Americano by Jose Guadalupe Posada.

"Mexico is a country of anguish, misery and terrible oppression, weakened by its heroic struggle to maintain itself as an independent and free nation. It is a country where, in small towns and farmlands, man fights stubbornly with primitive equipment for his existence. It is a country where, for many years, illiteracy has been a desperate problem and where the graphic expression in the form of broadsides (volantes) has become the most important spiritual food for the people.

"Ever since the Spanish domination, the most important events or simply the ingenuous interest in human passions have found their way into the "corridos", poems
[or folk ballads] filled with popular wit and malice and printed on colored sheets sold by wandering singers who sing them to the accompaniment of their guitars at fairs and market places."
[note: in the Chávez Morado broadside Corrido de los Tranvias, relating to a trolly car strike, the popular tune to which the ballad was to be sung is printed just below the title.]
"They are popular publications enlivened by illustrations and reached their highest peak in the art of Jose Guadalupe Posada. [Compare this Posada broadside with the Alfredo Zalce image below: Zalce knew Posada's work, and perhaps his use of the "American mosquitos" was in homage to the earlier Posada work.]

"A good percentage of the public never reads the newspapers; but you can always find these colored broadsides in the provincial centers and at the doors of the factories. These colored broadsides criticize, in a pointed way, the high cost of living or politics, or tell of strikes or speculators, and thus communicate with men and in helping them to form an opinion, evoke in them the desire for social justice."

"The T.G.P. with firm tradition and social class sense, gathers up this inheritance of the people and, with its help, seeks to educate and orient the masses, in this way aiding them to liberate themselves.
Olivia Peralta, 1949.
Average size of all leaflets: 24 x 34 cm.

The two pink linocut images from 1938 [below] are printed on one sheet, back to back. Strictly speaking, this folded sheet is not a volante because of the fold, and might better be termed a single sheet small folio. In terms of their content, these images qualify in all other respects as volantes.

left below:
Pancho Villa by Jesus Escobedo | Buen Vecino [Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt] by Chávez Morado

right below:
Oil expropriation by Alfredo Zalce | Eclipse of Peso by Chávez Morado

Other Volantes by Chávez Morado
far left: Teachers, maintain your Unity, c. 1940

left: Personal courage is not enough; seek out the help of your Community!

Thanks again to Michael T. Ricker for the use of these images and information. See also Ricker's essay on the history of the TGP.