By Ageeth Sluis

In the turbulent a long time following the Mexican Revolution, Mexico urban observed a drastic inflow of girl migrants looking break out and security from the ravages of conflict within the nation-state. whereas a few settled in slums and tenements, the place the casual economic system usually supplied the single technique of survival, the revolution, within the absence of guys, additionally caused ladies to take in often male roles, created new jobs within the public sphere open to ladies, and carved out new social areas during which ladies may well workout agency.

In Deco physique, Deco City, Ageeth Sluis explores the consequences of adjusting gender norms at the formation of city house in Mexico urban via linking aesthetic and architectural discourses to political and social advancements. via an research of the connection among girl migration to the town and gender performances off and on the level, the ebook exhibits how a brand new transnational excellent woman body expert the actual form of town. by way of bridging the space between indigenismo (pride in Mexico’s indigenous history) and mestizaje (privileging the perfect of race mixing), this new girl deco physique cleared the path for mestizo modernity. This cultural heritage enriches our knowing of Mexico’s postrevolutionary a long time and brings jointly social, gender, theater, and architectural heritage to illustrate how altering gender norms shaped the foundation of a brand new city modernity.

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Additional info for Deco Body, Deco City: Female Spectacle and Modernity in Mexico City, 1900-1939

Sample text

Performan ce 27 Porfirian científicos (as members of Díaz’s circle of trusted advisers were referred to) defined class distinctions based on sexuality, sexual difference, and gender characteristics. 9 In many respects, this Porfirian grande dame was the epitome of the performative role of a “gracious woman,” expressing middle- class status as well as morals. Dressed in European finery, she commanded the admiration of onlookers while leaving or entering public buildings or private residences on the city’s posh west side.

The next-best seats went to accompanied elite women, who sat in the upscale boxes. Lower- class women viewed plays from the cazuela, a design that went back to the 38 p e r f o rm a nce late eighteenth century. ³6 Seating arrangements for women enhanced class distinctions and further coded the theater as a space of female spectacle, even offstage. ³7 In Mexico City the boxes functioned equally as alternative stages for female display and as spaces for spectators. Porfirian elites deemed the display of upper- class, accompanied women in expensive boxes tasteful.

On the east side, espectáculos such as the great circus of the Orrin Brothers entertained the masses on plaza Santo Domingo. Carpas drew colorful and boisterous crowds, while the jacalones (makeshift theaters; literally, “shacks”) offered short comedies at affordable prices. Often set up around marketplaces, east- end leisure spots were steeped in a carnivalesque focus on the body, especially the female one. Even the area’s performan ce 39 drinking establishments, such as the notorious pulquerías with names like Delirio (Delirium), La Seductora (The seductress), and El Nido de Amor” (The love nest), evoked sensual pleasures.

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