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Harvard Educational Review
Cultural Negotiations: Puerto Rican Intellectuals In A State-Sponsored Community Education Project, 1948-1968
Kennerley, Cati Marsh
October 1, 2003
Harvard Educational Review
The Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico (autonomous commonwealth), established in 1952, redefined the political relationship between the United States and its colony. The ambiguous political status - autonomy without sovereignty, self-government without self-determination - created new social, political, and cultural contradictions. The island's first elected governor, Luis Munoz Marin, was committed, to promoting an essentialized Puerto Rican culture centered around the idealization of traditional rural life, while simultaneously creating a new democratic citizenship, both of which would bolster the new government's legitimacy before its people. In this article, Puerto Rican scholar Cati Marsh Kennerley explores the collective work done by the Division de Educacion de la Comunidad (DivEdCo), the government educational agency charged with promulgating Munoz Marin's ideas about Puerto Rican culture and citizenship.
Marsh Kennerley draws from a wide variety of sources to reconstruct an untold history, analyze its contradictions, obtain lessons from DivEdCo's negotiations, and point out its relevance for understanding contemporary Puerto Rican culture.
A New Beginning for Puerto Rico: The Institutionalization of Culture
It was the time of Munoz Marin. It was the time of hopes that still smelled like new.1
It was a time of magnificent projects, of a modernizing frenzy, when everything "smelled like new." At the dawn of Puerto Rico's contradictory political status in 1952 as an Estado Libre Asodado (ELA), or autonomous commonwealth, with U.S. Congressional approval, anything could be built from scratch - even culture.2 Luis Munoz Marin, whom many Puerto Ricans viewed as a patriarch par excellence, became Puerto Rico's first elected governor in 1948. The experience of democracia itself was new for Puerto Ricans, as were industrialization, modernity, and a multitude of new government institutions in charge of everything from hygiene to culture.
Under Munoz Marin's leadership, the new autonomous state was deeply committed to education beyond mere instruction, and the administration invested a great deal in developing a grand cultural-pedagogical discourse. The state's promotion of a veiled cultural nationalism was part of this discourse: Puerto Rican culture was to be preserved and strengthened, even as the island and its people remained subject to the will of the U.S. Congress and the profit-maximizing strategies of U.S.-based businesses. The island's government told its people that (institutionalized) culture was non-negotiable, even as it was, in fact, negotiating how that culture would be defined with by pro-independence Puerto Rican intellectuals working for the ELA.
With the election of Munoz Marin, the island entered a period of creating key cultural institutions. The Institute of Puerto Rican Culture was founded in 1955. The University of Puerto Rico continued to host intellectuals from Spain and Latin America, and the Casals Festival was inaugurated by cellist Pablo Casals, one of several prominent Catalonian intellectuals who chose Puerto Rico as their place of refuge from the Spanish dictatorship. The Division de Educacion de la Comunidad (Division of Community Education, or DivEdCo, as it was known) grew out of these efforts. Through these institutions, the state promoted its vision of Puerto Rican culture and legitimated itself in the eyes of its citizens as the primary and authentic representative of their culture, even though it had no political sovereignty.
The Munoz Marin administration's cultural policy sought to create a basis for conceiving Puerto Rican-ness apart from the island's ambiguously defined political status. Lacking political sovereignty, which was the basis of discourses of "national culture" elsewhere in Latin America, the Puerto Rican state required a new way of understanding and legitimizing its culture. Munoz Marin recruited intellectuals who defined and imagined the nation in their literary production as a way to institutionalize culture. The national identity, to be built upon the symbols of sovereign nationhood, could exist within the confines of institutionalized culture through the artistic works that writers and artists created and re-created in the printed word and visual image.
The Munoz Marin administration sponsored experiences that would leave deep imprints on the Puerto Rican people's collective memory. The period of institutionalization of the Estado Libre Asociado marked a watershed in the development of Puerto Rican culture with the number, novelty, and intensity of the cultural projects initiated. It was during this period that munocismo - the political ideology combining populist assertions of cultural nationalism and Puerto Rican autonomy with loyalty to the U.S. government and Constitution, and a commitment to economic development based on market forces and the provision of tax incentives to lure U.S. corporations to the island - became foundational to people's understandings of culture and government, and legitimized itself through educational projects aimed at creating new citizens.
Drawing on Edward Said's distinction between origins and beginnings, it is hard to say if this period, "when everything smelled like new,"3 can be considered one or the other. For Said, "beginnings" is a more historical term that refers to an activity that repeats itself, rather than to linear-time events; origins, he maintains, refers to the divine. Said states that beginnings cannot come to be without the interplay of the new and the familiar. Conceiving the Munoz Marin era's cultural projects as beginnings invites different reflections. On the one hand, the government inaugurated a new way of conceiving Puerto Rico through its institutions and its charismatic leader, Munoz Marin himself. However, it was also creating a populist, quasi-divine generative myth. If anything characterizes the period of Munoz Marin's governorship, it is the continuous negotiation between the pragmatic and the Utopian. The flurry of modernization coincided with the construction of a Puerto Rican culture based as much on the disappearing rural way of life as on elements of modern "democratic" culture. Said explains that "an interest in beginnings is often the corollary result of not believing that any beginning can be located."4 Indeed, the new state needed a "place" to locate the beginning of the Puerto Rican and symbolic dates for celebrating and legitimating the new nation. The strategy, then, was to use the ELA's founding to create institutions that could construct the culture of the nation-without-a-sovereign-state while the state constituted itself.
As a Puerto Rican born in 1968, I think of my generation as the "grandchildren" of the ELA, born and raised in the contradictions that munocismo left firmly implanted in the Puerto Rican imagination. Puerto Rican culture, always the object of struggle on an island where the political status and "nationhood" are open issues, was substantially the product of a conscious, pedagogical enterprise conducted by the state. In this article I analyze some of the principal negotiations that gave that pedagogical enterprise its early power, but ultimately limited its options.
I spent eight years away from Puerto Rico, during which I followed events there via the Internet, telephone, printed matter, and my own periodic visits. I was surprised, perhaps aided by distance, to see cultural nationalism being used to sell anything from Medalla beer to political candidates, even by the pro-statehood New Progressive Party in its gubernatorial campaign. Advertising - both political and commercial - now makes extensive use of the Puerto Rican flag and other symbols identified with nationhood.5 Benedict Anderson argues that nations are imagined as bounded, free entities where hopes and purposes are realized in sovereign nationhood.6 Puerto Rico, where many citizens seem able to imagine the island as a state of the U.S. without fear of cultural assimilation, appears to be an exceptional case. How has Puerto Rico come to be imagined as a nation without a sovereign state? What practices and institutions forged the discourse that has made this possible?
The cultural projects of the ELA, in which many intellectuals and artists have participated over the years, have laid the groundwork for this "lite" cultural nationalism, which affirms the distinctness of Puerto Rican culture without challenging the legal and economic power relationships that mark Puerto Rico's status as unmistakably colonial. While many of those intellectuals have criticized the way Munoz Marin and his autonomist successors have handled the issue of culture since the 1940s, his cultural projects and the institutions he created to implement them are essential to understanding contemporary popular culture in Puerto Rico.
DivEdCo: Heirs of the New Deal
Founded in 1955, the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture sought to define what ought to be understood as the nation's culture. Prior to this, DivEdCo was the first project in which the state created a relatively autonomous space for a group of Puerto Rican intellectuals to create art that pedagogically enacted that vision of culture.
In 1949, Munoz Marin himself wrote Law #372, in English and Spanish, which established DivEdCo. The law's preamble states that DivEdCo's pedagogical material ought to be relevant to the Puerto Rican reality. Male and female citizens should recognize themselves as part of the community in which they live. Besides an "imagined community," Munoz Marin's project could also be said to be searching for a "concrete community." This project did not assume its audience to be a tabula rasa; rather, it had to locate itself in its subjects' reality so as to include them in the process. The language of Law #372 stated, "The community must not be civically unemployed." In fact, democratic community involvement was to be the project's foundation.7
DivEdCo had four units: Administration, Field and Training, Analysis, and Production, which included the film, editorial, and graphic arts sections. The formation of DivEdCo consolidated Munoz Marin's search for a more "modern" way of educating the people, not only about basic problems such as health care, but about what the new citizens of Puerto Rico would be like as the twin processes of industrialization and democratization evolved. The law states:
The purpose of community education is to communicate basic teaching about the nature of man, his history, his life, his way of working and governing himself in the world and in Puerto Rico. This teaching, aimed at adult citizens meeting in neighborhood groups in rural areas, small towns and cities, will be communicated by means of film, radio, books, pamphlets, posters, phonographic recordings, lectures and group discussions. Its aim is to provide the good hand of popular culture with the tool of a basic education. In practice, this means giving the communities, and the Puerto Rican community as a whole, the desire, the tendency and the means to use its aptitudes for solving many of its own problems in the areas of health, education, cooperation, and social life, through the action of the community itself. The community must not be civically unemployed. The community can be continuously and beneficially employed for itself, in terms of its members' pride and satisfaction.8
The modernizing project's starting point would be "the good hand of popular culture" or, rather, a carefully selected sampling of people's beliefs and practices. Munoz Marin was often concerned about distinguishing his political program from more radical nationalist programs, and he did so by highlighting its peaceful, nonmilitary character.
Although much of the documentation of DivEdCo's internal workings has been lost, a substantial if fragmentary amount of minutes of meetings among the different sections of DivEdCo is available. There are also valuable copies of memoranda that reveal the internal difficulties involved in constructing a pedagogical corpus prepared by artists and intellectuals under state sponsorship. This research draws from a number of these unpublished and hitherto unstudied documents found in the personal archive of Rene Marques, chief of DivEdCo's editorial section, as well as interviews with surviving DivEdCo employees (graphic artists Rafael Tufino and Antonio Maldonado, former director of Field and Training and widow of DivEdCo's director Fred Wale, Carmen Isales, and former organizer Ismael Zapater), and an analysis of the entire surviving collection of films and pamphlets, which were called Libros para el Pueblo, or Books for the People.
It is estimated that DivEdCo produced over one hundred films - including feature-length films, short musical numbers, news clips, and documentaries and more than forty books and pamphlets, plus countless posters and mural-newspapers. Of these, I was able to examine forty films, forty-one books, and seventeen screenplays that did not reach the production stage.9
It could be said that DivEdCo's form, and perhaps its seed, may have come from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal; its substance, however, reflected Latin American intellectuals' nation-building mission. Roosevelt had established the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to provide employment for many Americans left jobless by the Depression. Under the WPA, the New Deal Arts Project was set up to employ jobless artists and writers; within it, the Federal Writers Project (FWP) employed writers to create "American Guides" intended to promote automotive tourism and local pride. Under fire from congressmen who saw it as a communist threat, the program ended with World War II.
Inspired in part by the New Deal, Munoz Marin began the popular education project that would later become DivEdCo while he was still president of the Puerto Rican Senate. Munoz Marin lived in the United States during part of the New Deal era, and Rexford G. Tugwell, the last non-Puerto Rican governor of the island, was a member of Roosevelt's New Deal "Brain Trust." Tugwell was a self-identified socialist who was banished to Puerto Rico as the United States moved toward full participation in World War II.10 In addition to its New Deal roots, the Puerto Rican project enacted an older tradition, the Latin American intellectuals' involvement in pedagogical institutions as nation builders.11
Unlike the FWP writers, DivEdCo's intellectuals were not hired to follow rigid formulas imposed by a central authority. The Puerto Rican project generally allowed much more creativity than FWP, and writers had ample discretion in producing the stories, essays, and screenplays used in Libros para el Pueblo and the films that accompanied them. The state gave them a space and entrusted to them a privileged task - to carry out its cultural-pedagogical mission. For example, Lorenzo Homar and Rafael Tufino - perhaps the two most famous Puerto Rican graphic artists of the twentieth century - developed and perfected their technique in silk-screening (for movie posters), engraving (for book illustrations), and easel and mural painting at DivEdCo's graphic arts studio. DivEdCo was of crucial importance in the development of Puerto Rican graphic arts - Puerto Rican silk-screening is generally recognized as among the best in the world - and literature.
Ironically, the first people charged with developing Munoz Marin's brainchild were U.S. liberals, steeped in the more left-leaning currents of New Deal philosophy: Edwin Rosskam was DivEdCo's administrator, and Jack and Irene Delano headed the film and graphic-arts sections, respectively. Rosskam and the Delanos had worked for the U.S. Farm Security Administration (FSA), Rosskam designing publications and exhibits, Jack Delano as a photographer, and Irene as his assistant. The Delanos arrived in Puerto Rico fresh from photographing U.S. rural life. It was through his FSA work that Jack Delano met Munoz Marin, whom he quickly came to think of as a "New Deal liberal."12
In 1946, the division that would become DivEdCo was called the Cinema and Graphic Arts Division of the Parks and Recreation Commission. Jack Delano produced the division's first films and trained young Puerto Ricans in filmmaking for the first time. Meanwhile, Irene Delano introduced the silkscreening techniques with which the first educational and movie-advertising posters were produced. She also insisted on involving all the division's employees in artistic production because of her interest in discovering new Puerto Rican talent.
Rosskam laid the theoretical groundwork for DivEdCo in his "Program of People's Education and Information."13 This document expressed ideas at odds with the New Deal project that Rosskam knew from first-hand experience. Arguing that a certain freedom for artists was essential for the effectiveness of any popular education undertaking, he also advocated a democratic pedagogy:
A program using artists to disseminate understanding and information will be successful to the degree to which it offers the artist the opportunity to dedicate himself to the broadest possible mass of the people - naturally, flowingly, with the least possible correction of commas and re-drawing of lines for purely bureaucratic reasons . . . no language is duller than "governmentese." A small producing unit of devoted people tied together by a common ideology and operating as an intellectual task force can give the people simultaneously what they want and what they need. In a relatively short time it can become an essential weapon in guaranteeing the continuity of a people's government.14
Rosskam foresaw the need for Puerto Rican artists and writers to know the audience for whom their material was intended. As a New Deal veteran, Rosskam knew that extreme censorship, centralization, and prescribed formulas would not produce interesting and educational material:
The opportunity for artists and producers to get the "feel" of their subject matter directly from life is an advantage that cannot be exaggerated. . . . You cannot send an artist all over Montana, South Carolina and Massachusetts before you produce each relatively minor publication. The constant contact of the artist with the people who are his audience and subject matter is the basis on which this whole program rests. In it lies the hope of giving Puerto Rico a continuity of its own art production for the people, by its own artists.15
Rosskam also recognized the need for a program that would address different social groups and that this need was greatest in the rural areas:
In the rural areas literacy is low, difficulties of distribution and low buying power combine to keep even newspapers at a minimum, not to speak of magazines or books. Here every subject is a new subject . . . the reading habits and formats must be created from scratch, and "How to bathe your baby" or "Why boil your water" is as potentially fascinating a subject as "Puerto Rico and the U.S.A."16
In 1947, Rosskam prepared a report on the division's accomplishments and difficulties in its first year of operation. Discussing the successes and mistakes from which DivEdCo would emerge, Rosskam documented details like the short lifespan of a poster in Puerto Rico - due to inclement weather and political opposition - and the need to hire personnel to research public reception of the material. He explained the problems that he and the Delanos faced in communicating with rural people due to their appearance, language, and culture.17 This report reflected two overarching objectives of these early efforts: publicizing the Puerto Rican government's work and teaching citizenship. The latter meant educating people about the value of their vote and the rights and obligations of citizens in society in the context of "the peculiar position of the island and its peculiar economic conditions."18
Rosskam also emphasized the need to create the position of "Informational Writer II," and hoped he could offer adequate remuneration to recruit well-qualified candidates. Rosskam said he would begin the search for such a writer by giving freelance work to Puerto Rican writers. It was not until the time of Rosskam's report that the division received a budget beyond basic payroll expenses. In a letter to Governor Jesus Pinero, Rosskam reported the low cost of producing books in Puerto Rico and how the reception of the books had surpassed his fondest hopes:19
So great is the hunger for reading matter, that the cars carrying the almanaques are besieged by people, as soon as their cargo becomes known. We have gone into the country ourselves with almanaques, and invariably this is what happens: Everybody takes one. Then all conversation stops while the book is examined. Usually everybody looks for his saint's day, and finding it correct, joins somebody else to start discussing the section about hurricanes. This usually takes quite a long time. Sometimes during this period, you can begin to hear the voices of children singing either the juegos cantados or the coplas at the end of the book. About this time too, somebody generally comes up to the car to ask (pointing to the first page), "Can I put my name here?" or "Is it alright to make a hole in the corner and put a string in it?" And gradually groups form, going through the book slowly, from cover to cover. 20
Munoz Marin recruited another U.S. liberal to work for DivEdCo. Fred Wale was a Harvard College graduate recommended by the New School for Social Research in New York City, who had experience in New Deal programs and the Boston Public Schools. In a letter to Wale, Munoz Marin indicated that he hoped to begin a wide-ranging adult education program. He wrote that those in charge of starting the program were artists rather than teachers, but that they had a great store of optimism. He also said that the program would take the form of "a pretty autonomous division of the Department of Education."21 Wale accepted Munoz Marin's invitation to lead the program.
Within its pedagogical mission, DivEdCo would also become an important space of training and experimentation for artists and intellectuals. It produced the first Puerto Rican films, gave an enormous boost to Puerto Rican graphic arts, and employed many writers to work for el Pueblo. As an educational undertaking that used images as well as words, DivEdCo created a collection of cultural icons ranging from book illustrations to posters, mural newspapers, and films - images that defined a new citizenry against a carefully selected backdrop of Puerto Rican culture.
The Puerto Rican Bauhaus: La Generacion del Cuarenta and the Issue of Puerto Rican Culture
There were, together at one time, filmmakers, writers, painters, etc. It was a way of reaching the people through good art. We knew it wouldn't lead to a sovereign republic, but it was a Bauhaus, the Puerto Rican Bauhaus.22
Lorenzo Homar, world-renowned Puerto Rican artist, thus explained why many of his DivEdCo colleagues, the writers of the so-called Generacion del cuarenta (Generation of the Forties), including Rene Marques, Pedro Juan Soto, and Emilio Diaz Valcarcel, as well as artists like Rafael Tufino and Homar himself, decided to work for DivEdCo. In the late 1940s and 1950s, such an artistic and pedagogical project was attractive because of its novel and interdisciplinary nature. Moreover, it was not at odds with the artists' puertorriquenista concerns. The role that these artists and intellectuals would play in the community education project began to be negotiated at the intersection of Munoz Marin's populism and their concept of Puerto Rican art. As an agency of the Departamento de Instruccion Publica (Department of Public Instruction, now called the Department of Education), DivEdCo had relative autonomy, space, and materials with which to create literature, film, and graphic arts. Like the Bauhaus movement in Weimar, Germany, DivEdCo promoted a school of practice that encouraged the integration of artists and society.
DivEdCo's experimental nature, the space it afforded artists' creativity, and the broadness of its charter were, unquestionably, significant incentives to work in the program. During the period of rapid modernization in Puerto Rico (1948 to 1968), DivEdCo was a space of praxis for artists and intellectuals. By all accounts, it was an artists' workshop, a laboratory of democratic practice, and a vehicle for building a Puerto Rican cultural citizenship.23 More importantly, through DivEdCo they could reach a considerable segment of the island's population and train a new generation of artists.
Among the intellectuals and artists who worked in DivEdCo, Rene Marques stands out as the writer who most directly influenced his generation. As an intellectual, Marques was profoundly pedagogical and moralistic. Arcadio Diaz Quinones argues that Marques' "didactic concern" is fundamental to his work, as he sought to "give clear, resounding moral lessons." Diaz Quinones adds, "One does not 'read' Rene Marques: one practically has to obey him."24 Extremely well known and recognized as an author, Marques was prepared to rise to the task he had laid out for himself: the defense of Puerto Rican national sovereignty. DivEdCo, born in Munoz Marin's contradictory cultural nationalism, took shape in the complementary discourse developed under Marques' guidance.
From DivEdCo, where Munoz Marin's cultural nationalism protected one of the few spaces for free expression of political dissent in McCarthy-era Puerto Rico, Marques severely criticized the governor's acceptance of U.S. sovereignty over Puerto Rico, his support of industrialization based on investment by U.S.-based corporations, and the Occidentalism promoted by Jaime Benitez as chancellor of the University of Puerto Rico. Marques remained for nearly two decades as chief of DivEdCo's editorial section, until a new prostatehood administration forced him out in 1969.
Although he worked for the Department of Education, Marques allowed himself the freedom to criticize - and occasionally to caricature - the department's policies concerning Spanish as the vernacular language and the teaching of Puerto Rican history. In a 1960 essay, which the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party published as a pamphlet, Marques addressed the problem of the language of instruction in Puerto Rico's colonial situation. He concluded: "only the enjoyment of complete national sovereignty will cleanse the pedagogical problem of all extra-pedagogical baggage." 25
Despite Marques' bitter criticisms of Munoz Marin's policies, however, at times his didacticism brought him very close to Munoz Marin's discourse. Marques essentially agreed with the project's basic concepts. He knew that the goals of the government's education program went far beyond the preparation of educational pamphlets about how to prevent parasites, or the nutritional value of different foods. The presentation of the material had to be relevant to the Puerto Rican reality, and he was extremely interested in the cultural lode that the project permitted him to mine.
With his own pedagogy laced with absolutes, Marques affirmed Puerto Ricanness in the agricultural way of life, even as that way of life was quickly disappearing. Whereas Munoz Marin took great pains to link certain elements of rural culture, which he deemed "authentically Puerto Rican," to the process of modernization, Marques, bent on conservation, clung more tightly to what was disappearing. He created "an aesthetic and static vision of man and objects, which of course was an ahistoric vision, to counterpose - implicitly or explicitly - the corruption of the customs of the present day."26
At times Marques tried to bring both tendencies - the education of a democratic citizenry and his struggle to conserve rural values as authentically Puerto Rican in the face of Americanizing modernity - to his work at DivEdCo, but it is apparent that the conservation of rural values was the dominant theme in his educational work. This discursive operation was to become one of the foundations of munocista cultural nationalism, and it made possible, at least at the outset, a jibaro pedagogy.
Jibaro Pedagogy: A School for "The Learned City" 27
"This book has been made in Puerto Rico for Puerto Ricans." 28
Jibaro is a term that refers to Puerto Rican peasants; it indexes a whole way of life, now folklorized as "that which is essentially Puerto Rican," since the disappearance - precisely during DivEdCo's heyday in the 1950s and 1960s - of the agricultural economy that was its material basis. The narrative of what could be called jibaro pedagogy sprang from the marriage of Marques' transgressive/conservative thought with Munoz's populism. In a certain way, the writer's literary constructions - charged with binary oppositions such as sin/innocence, docility/heroism, true patria (motherland)/false patria, heroic founders/barbarian invaders29 - affirmed the munocista generative myth. In the literary world, agrarian Puerto Rico was still possible and could be preserved. At the same time, the resulting pedagogical narrative required a selection of the most "essential" characteristics of rural life, which might and must be conserved amidst the rapid modernization.
DivEdCo proposed transforming rural communities in a dual, contradictory movement, wanting and not wanting them to modernize, meticulously selecting what might be changed while expressing a longing for it to remain the same. The peasantry became lo puertorriqueno: identified as what was essentially Puerto Rican in the face of a modernization process that, though managed and encouraged by Puerto Ricans, inevitably promoted the imitation of U.S. patterns of mass production and consumption. Rural Puerto Rican culture was subjected to a winnowing process, and those elements that were to be preserved were taken and turned into the ideological foundations of puertorriquenidad. The task was to sanitize it - literally and figuratively - eliminate superstition, and create a new democratic citizenship.
DivEdCo's charter was quite broad, permitting the implementation of a pioneering political education in Puerto Rico: a homegrown pedagogy like the Books for the People and, as Tufino described DivEdCo's films, "caseras, como hacer arroz y habichuelas" (home-made, like rice and beans).30 In DivEdCo's educational materials, the basic lesson was that an informed citizenry took charge of its community and turned authoritarian patterns into collective democratic processes. Initially, at least, there was plenty of incentive for all parties to participate in the project: the intellectuals and artists had a broad audience for their art; Munoz Marin furthered his cultural nationalism and strengthened his grassroots political base; and the rural communities gained basic education and help in addressing their most immediate problems.
In 1957, Marques published an article titled "Writing for a Community Education Programme" for UNESCO, in which he mentioned the DivEdCo writers' academic credentials and solid literary background. However, he noted that they had no special training or experience in the field of education. He said that the ivory tower did not exist for Puerto Rican writers, and that it was necessary to go to the field in order to write educational materials:
Our main objective was to stir the hearts and minds of people so as to help them identify themselves with the truth of our message. The more an individual feels his own dignity as a human being, the more apt is he to feel respect and responsibility toward others and to work with them in the development and improvement of the community. Factual information is of course needed, but facts alone will not move people to re-examine deep-rooted cultural practices and prejudices. We frankly did not know where to go to learn this kind of writing, except perhaps to the rural communities in our own country.
The writers in the Editorial Unit go frequently to the country as part of their job, either to do personal research or to make informal interviews, to get first hand information about community recreational meetings in which our books are read and community problems discussed. The direct contact with rural reality is often a preparation for the actual writing; it might be called the educational-writer-being-educated-by-the-people-he-is-writing-for step.31
Thus, DivEdCo was a school not only for the recipients of its educational products, but also for the artists, writers, and young college students who worked there. There were discussions about what training ought to be given to students in the film unit. "The Learned City" and its apprentices went forth to the island's countryside to learn its texture, its colors, and its essence, to transform and fix it in images or in words.
DivEdCo's internal workings were complicated by the fact that the artists' work had to be done collectively, following a thematic unit with a clear educational message, and in different media, with books, films, and posters all related to one another. In 1954, although coordination issues among the different sections were the order of the day, there was a sense of great enthusiasm and efforts to organize the program effectively. That year, a program committee was proposed in an attempt to improve DivEdCo's operations. It was to include representation from the different sections: editorial, graphic arts, film, administration, and field and training. At these meetings, there were discussions of the details of filming, how themes ought to be treated, cultural values, and other agencies' interest in DivEdCo products, as well as reports of the products' reception in the field. These rich testimonies of everyday effervescence demonstrated how a new agency was being built in an attempt not only to create materials with which to teach democracy, but to actually function democratically in the process.32
Some conflicts between the editorial and film units centered on artistic concerns within the program. For example, one filmmaker expressed concern over how the rural areas were being represented. Upon beginning to film Cuando los Padres Olvidan (When Parents Forget), filmmaker Amilcar Tirado noted that the film's topic, recreation, was not dealt with realistically. He said that in conversations with residents they had told him they liked getting in cars and seeing the lights of the city, not the stereotypical gathering to make an asopao (a thick stew with rice) as Marques' screenplay proposed. For Tirado, this showed Marques' ignorance of rural life and highlighted the problem of representation. The discussion also revealed the problem of how to modify the screenplay without abandoning the film's, or any other product's, original pedagogical focus, which had already been agreed upon. The argument between Tirado and Marques plunged deep into the issue of the agency's fundamental educational purpose and the hope of harmonizing art and education.
DivEdCo's constant negotiations were both artistic and ideological. How artistic could DivEdCo's books and films be? The difficulties of carrying out an educational program with artists and intellectuals (only two of DivEdCo's personnel had formal training in education) were beginning to show. Still, pedagogical considerations were not the only stumbling block; there were also concerns rooted in ideology and day-to-day work. This subject would come up repeatedly and was clearly a source of tension.
We place art at the service of our educational program, and not our educational program at the service of art. Experience has shown that there have been no truly irreconcilable conflicts between the artistic means and the educational ends. We have succeeded in producing educational products of great literary, graphic and cinematographic value.33
The importance of artistic considerations would continue to be the subject of complaints, debates, and constant clarifications - these were the difficulties of creating a jibaro pedagogy. One of the filmmakers advocated experimental innovations and artistic values, while the director, Fred Wale, was constantly setting boundaries and reminding his colleagues of the program's educational purposes. DivEdCo continued producing despite the coordination problems, the difficulty of reaching consensus, and the constant questioning of goals and purposes. In interviews, graphic artists Rafael Tufino and Antonio Maldonado both said that they were often unable to remember who created which illustrations in the Libros para el Pueblo. Because they frequently worked closely together, they did not bother to sign the illustrations.34
At the outset, the program's populist ideology allowed ample room for artists and intellectuals to work. However, as DivEdCo's canon became established and more of the agency's effort was channeled into organizing communities to contribute sweat equity to public works projects, the negotiations began to stall. In a 1957 letter to Fred Wale, Marques criticized the recruitment of unpaid labor for rural public works, while no such contribution was being asked of middle-class city residents.35 A few months later he voiced his frustrations with the limitations that came up time and again in their internal discussions.36 The project was growing more contradictory and exhausting its possibilities, due to both its statements and its yearnings. What was the result of the negotiations between artists and intellectuals employed by the state? What pedagogies did they create in film, graphic arts, and literature? What memory of these processes can be traced through the cultural production sponsored by Puerto Rican populism?
Cultural Production: The DivEdCo Canon
DivEdCo was created as an urgent effort to teach the basic lessons of a new democracia. The new rural citizenry - "the people who have just come on stage"37 - had to treasure its roots as it replaced the old authoritarian political habits with modern, democratic ones. The high rate of illiteracy made it impossible at first to rely solely on the printed word. Film, together with the illustrations that gave life to posters and books, would bring vivid examples of democratic practice before the jibaros in their own communities: neighbors gathering to discuss community problems, making decisions by consensus, overcoming apathy, and forming cooperatives. The screenings were often followed by discussions moderated by the DivEdCo organizers, who also distributed free Libros para el Pueblo on the same subject to all who attended.
By 1947, still under the Parks and Recreation Commission, Rosskam reported that the film unit had produced three documentaries and ten color posters in large quantities.38 The first pamphlet, designed by Irene Delano, bore the title Por que la Pina? (Why the Pineapple?), and explained the need for this fruit to be cultivated on the island of Vieques, where the U.S. Navy had expropriated some two-thirds of the land.39 By the time DivEdCo's charter became law in 1949, Jack Delano had already directed several more documentaries, including La Montana (The Mountain),40 Una Gota de Agua (A Drop of Water)41, and La Cana (Sugarcane).42
These first documentaries would lay the cornerstones of the new citizenry - health, hygiene, and agriculture - that would be referred to constantly in DivEdCo's narratives. In Una Gota de Agua, a drop of water is taken to a laboratory in San Juan to determine its purity. This film communicated scientific health information, such as the need to boil drinking water. Advertisements for the documentaries and other films supported the hygiene messages: "DANGER, flies bring sicknesses. Cover your food or wash their [children's] hands before eating."43 La Cana featured sugarcane as Puerto Rico's most important product and a valuable export. The film stated that today there were unions, a minimum wage law, and a legislated eight-hour working day; it concluded that workers had more rights than yesterday. Yesterday - the dark past of Spanish and later U.S. colonial rule, exploitation by absentee-owned sugar companies, poverty, and ignorance - and today - since Munoz Marin's peaceful democratic revolution and the advent of modernization that accompanied the founding of the ELA - marked the poles of a simple story that began from a remote, primitive, and unjust origin to contrast it with the recently inaugurated period of progress.
During the transition to the Puerto Rican cadre who would take charge of DivEdCo, Jack Delano produced several more documentaries, including Desde las Nubes (From the Clouds),44 La Voz del Pueblo (The People's Voice),45 and Las Manos del Hombre (Man's Hands).46 He also directed his first feature-length film, Los Peloteros (The Baseball Players),47 now considered a classic in Puerto Rican cinema. This period also saw the publication of the first Libros para el Pueblo and Almanaques del Pueblo (People's Almanacs) .48 The cover of the first Almanaque del Pueblo 1949 featured a peasant family in front of their house: a woman with a child in her arms and the man with a farming tool. The almanac, profusely illustrated and apparently disorganized in its presentation of the material, might seem to lack a clear purpose. Nonetheless, by virtue of the democratization of its content, it constituted a new pedagogy. Moreover, the material was unmistakably didactic in intent, written for a readership adults as well as children - with a fourth-grade reading ability.49 This first almanac is notable for the presentation of a story about the origins of humanity in which the essential elements were the development of transportation, industrialization, and struggles to assert the rights of man. The theme of origins and the contrast between yesterday and today would remain throughout DivEdCo's educational production; the texts' didacticism would complement the munocista discourse.
In a section titled "How the world is getting smaller," readers learned that
the world is not so large as it was before. Telegraphs, telephones and radio make New York as close to San Juan as Ponce. The seas are not a wall that man cannot cross. Today, Puerto Rico is closer to New York than the states of Texas and California.50
Through decimas (a 10-verse form used in popular poetry throughout the Spanish-speaking world), readers were informed of labor legislation that permitted "a more just distribution." The government imitated the "Farmer's almanac" genre to disseminate information about its cultural and political program. One section, "Puerto Rico moves towards a brighter future," presented achievements in education, health, and recreation, among others:
Our country has little land and many people. It cannot support its growing population if it does not become part of the industrial world which surrounds it. . . . No nation, no matter how large or powerful, can exist by itself in today's world. What is happening today, is happening to the world, and Puerto Rico is part of the world.51
Although all the texts tried to make various connections with the film products, it was the first Libro para el Pueblo that, together with Jack Delano's film Desde las Nubes and the poster portraying a map of Puerto Rico, constituted DivEdCo's first formal pedagogical unit of film, book, and poster. Delano recalled in an interview that "the idea was always to have, along with the film, some booklets on the same subject. After seeing the film, the people would take something home with them."52 Desde las Nubes framed the national territory by showing it from the air as it told the story of the origins of the island's major products. It ended with people singing, "with pick and hoe, let all the people work together." As the camera dwelled on the island's landscapes, the narrator stated, "We owe this land everything we are." As the city of San Juan was viewed from the air, the narrator said, "Not everyone can fly in a plane," and therefore maps were necessary. It showed factories, agriculture, dairy production, a new public housing project, and ended with the narrator saying "The task of those of us who live in the island of enchantment" is to "march on toward the future."53 The film's pilot's-eye view underlined technology and progress, as it affirmed the idea of a "whole" nation.
One of the most characteristic elements in DivEdCo's products was the resolution of conflict through dialogue. This is the case in the films Belen (La del traje blanco) (Belen, the one with the white dress),54 where the protagonist must deal with her father's patriarchal objections to her desire to become a nurse; Modesta,55 in which women unite to confront domestic violence through dialogue; and Ignacio,56 in which the death of the illiterate protagonist's son's makes him speak out against undemocratic leadership. Later, other DivEdCo products would try rather timidly to introduce more complexity into the development of democratic process. This complexity, however, scarcely sprinkled the DivEdCo corpus as a whole. The books made great historical leaps (e.g., Rene Marques' treatment of "human rights" in Los Derechos del Hombre [the Rights of Man]),57 and avoided mentioning the conflict inherent in processes of industrialization and urbanization. None of the films dealing with these processes was distributed; most remained as unproduced screenplays, and the only one that was completed, Un Dia Cualquiera (Any Day), was shelved by Munoz Marin himself because it "gave no hope."58 The conventions that governed this didactic literature and the films emphasized the narration of origins, the construction of a past as a series of progressive leaps, and the promise of a prosperous future through democratic dialogue, which proved impossible to represent in the context of urban poverty.
DivEdCo's "foundational" products sought to constitute a sort of modern, democratic citizenry through hygiene, science, and health; the optimism about the march of "progress" toward the future; emphasis on manual labor and the importance of close community ties; and the story of the nation's origin. These starting points were the beginning of the DivEdCo canon, and they shed considerable light on the content of its pedagogy. Every Libro para el Pueblo had a space for writing the family's name, and urged people to create a small family library of books "made by and for Puerto Ricans."59
DivEdCo's first products, created by its U.S. founders, Rosskam and the Delanos, were more obvious in their promotion of government projects. The Puerto Rican cadre distanced itself somewhat from the government as it began to take charge of the production. Planting the pedacito de tierra (small piece of land) was promoted as an activity for the whole family, the privileged unit that served as the basis for the (local) community, as well as for the nation.60 The first illustration of the book LaFamilia is illuminating (see Illustration #1): men, women, and children holding up the country, which is made up of countryside, city, and industry. The illustration was explained:
The family is the smallest group or unit in a society. It is the basis or foundation of a nation. The family is made up of individuals. The community is made up of families. The nation is made up of communities. But the pillars, the zocos [posts upon which raised wooden houses were built] that hold up the society, are the families. . . . The virtues, vices, attitudes, prejudices and feelings of individuals will affect the family. And if the family is affected, the community will be affected. And if the community is affected, so will society, in other words, the country or nation. So we can see that the individual cannot act alone, without affecting the other individuals around him. To a greater or lesser degree, the individual affects the structure of the whole society with his attitude and behavior. This is a reality that we can see quite often. Perhaps because we shut ourselves up as individuals in our egotism. And we don't realize the responsibility we have to our family, our community and our nation.61
The book ended with the following sentence, centered in the final, otherwise blank, page: "What we are to be as a people, as a nation, depends greatly on how you are, and how your family is."62 The facing page showed a group of workers with tools in hand, and a lone woman in the center holding a basket of fruits or eggs, flanked by two girls and a boy. ILLUSTRATION 1 La familia aguanta el pais (The family supports the country)
The products emphasized a new citizenry made up of men and women, children, grandmothers, and grandfathers. The populist "democratic circle" included them all. Women were called upon to learn to read, and to speak at meetings even if their husbands opposed it. Physically challenged boys and girls were also among the voices of the new democracy. The new citizens entered into dialogue guided by democratic principles, knew the laws, stayed healthy, loved and worked the land, and created a family.
The inclusive view of citizenship and the teaching of democracy were the outstanding characteristics of DivEdCo's production throughout the 1950s and 1960s. The characters in the cultural products were the people themselves: the members of the rural communities. The stories were their stories, framed by the rural landscape. For example, El Pueblo en Accion (The People in Action) was a series of documentaries about different communities' efforts and self-help projects as they built wells or gardens. Despite the different roles assigned to men and women in this system of representation, many of the products portrayed an inclusive community.63 There were also distinctly experimental film products, with considerable artistic/cultural content. Nenen de la Ruta Mora (Little Boy from the Moorish Way), filmed in color by the newly trained filmmaker and screenwriter Oscar Torres, stands out in this sense. This film, Torres' first, is a treatment of the feast of Santiago Apostol (St. James the Apostle), patron saint of the largely Black north coast town of Loiza, from the perspective of a child, Nenen, and his play with a vejigante, one of the mischievous masked characters of the yearly carnival procession.64 Afro-Puerto Rican culture, often shrouded in silence, had been brought to the screen, and the narrator said the carnival was for "blancos, negros y mulatos," inviting all Puerto Ricans to claim African, as well as Spanish (and, much less controversially, indigenous Taino) heritage. By showing women actively participating in community improvement, and showcasing non-European roots of Puerto Rican culture, the films sought to weaken racial and gender divisions within the community that they invited rural viewers to imagine.
DivEdCo's films, print, and graphic arts products created an archive of words and images that consolidated a collective memory. The people, framed by their landscape, had come on the stage of history. People could see themselves on screen. The movies' protagonists were often residents of the community where the film was shot, as were the extras and lesser characters.
DivEdCo's films would follow certain conventions established by Jack Delano in Los Peloteros (The Baseball Players). The camera focused on faces that later films would frame in the windows of rural houses as "the Puerto Rican face." Delano's films were foundational in both image and experience. As Delano said in an interview:
When we would go to a film screening, for example, we'd leave here at nightfall, and as we approached the place we'd see the posters stuck to trees, announcing the movie. Each poster said, "Pelicula hecha en Puerto Rico - Entrada gratis" [Movie made in Puerto Rico - Free admission]. As we got closer, we could hear music from a loudspeaker and see the people gathered there, and people coming down the mountainsides, mostly barefoot, women with children in their arms. There was no seating, everybody had to stand. We'd get to the place, and there'd be 200 or 300 people waiting to see the movie. For many, it was their first experience of film. Some, who had seen movies, had never seen Puerto Rican faces on the screen.65
DivEdCo's film and print images reveal a compact set of icons, a visual canon. The community, not individuals, is at the center of this system of representation. The democratic circle is one of the icons that best represents DivEdCo's pedagogical thrust (see Illustration #2) and it was repeatedly used throughout DivEdCo's products. Most of the time it took place in a rural setting. This was the circle Munoz Marin had inaugurated in his early electoral campaigns - outdoor conversations away from the learned cabinet, in the batey (a Taino word referring to an open meeting or ceremonial gathering place). ILLUSTRATION 2 Circula democratico sencillo (Democratic circle)
Its opposite was the meeting where participants couldn't see each other. This image exemplified, in both texts and movies, anti-democratic proceedings in which decisions are not taken by the community as a whole.
There are two large absences in this first phase of DivEdCo's production: rural-urban migration and emigration to the United States, both massive social processes that were peaking during DivEdCo's most productive years. The Libro para el Pueblo titled Emigracion (Emigration), the only product to deal with the enormous population movement, was finished in 1954, a year after the emigration peaked.66 Its implicit message was not to emigrate. Housing units in the United States tended to be too small for large Puerto Rican families and there were examples of prejudice against Puerto Ricans. For example, a sign that read "No Puerto Ricans allowed" led to a claim that racial prejudice was not as bad in Puerto Rico as in the United States, because slavery on the island had been peacefully abolished. Readers were urged not to "trade our customs for the American ones."67 The book ends with information about the Puerto Rican Department of Labor's U.S. offices, which promised to guarantee migrant farmworkers a contract including housing, medical care, and other benefits. It clearly states several times, and with an illustration showing a large X over dollar bills changing hands, that those offices would not provide financial assistance or transportation. Thus, the book embodied the contradiction between DivEdCo's idealization of the rural, and the government's promotion of industrialization and emigration.68
Like the film Un Dia Cualquiera (A Day Like Any Other), the proposed Libro para el Pueblo, El Arrabal (The Slum) - both rather bleak depictions of life in the urban slums to which thousands were migrating from the countryside - was not allowed to circulate, ultimately by Munoz Marin's decision. The disagreement between DivEdCo's promotion of rural community values and the government's policy encouraging industrialization and emigration stands out as a great contradiction in the treatment of these subjects.
DivEdCo's work from the 1940s through the 1960s saw the construction of a particular rhetoric about progress. Its homegrown pedagogy sought to identify modernity not with industrialization, but with a new attitude toward the community itself. Modernity was also marked in the discourse on the power of science to control sickness. Systems of knowledge that might interfere with the discourses of medicine and science - from folk medicine to midwifery - were dismissed.
Citizenship was integral to the democratic polis. The rights of men and women held a place of honor in the democratic circle, which sought to be the basis for the country. Communication and the open discussion of ideas were the foundation of this new Puerto Rico that was on its way to a promising future. War was barbarism that threatened the peaceful people of Puerto Rico, who had made great strides through democracy and avoided the conflicts that had plagued other countries.
DivEdCo's first decade of cultural production, referred to in later memos as the "golden age," was the most innovative. By the late 1960s, themes were becoming repetitive, books were being reprinted, and production dropped off. Interestingly, stories of Taino and African origins from DivEdCo's early texts resurfaced in the late 1960s, in an apparent attempt to present Puerto Rico as a racially integrated and harmonious society during a time when racial tensions in the United States were at their peak. The images of families were complemented by narratives populated by characters named Jose and Maria, like the parents of Jesus, adding yet another originary spin. The rural family was a Utopian icon, an idealized moral standard: within the domestic space, a woman serving or making coffee was almost obligatory (see Illustration #3).
This gesture was a ritual, part of the iconologic inventory: the toasting, straining, or serving of coffee. This scene was repeated in many DivEdCo products, and would remain even in a 1976 Libro para el Pueblo. At the center of this iconology was the jibaro, whose image would become classicized. Films and book illustrations made up an iconologic work that would travel through time to create a visual memory of the nation. For example, Munoz Marin's Popular Democratic Party's logo is still the pava (the jibaro's straw hat), more than sixty years after its founding. Craft fairs teem with colorful silk-screens of rural houses, and Puerto Ricans in New York have built casitas - replicas of Puerto Rican rural houses - on abandoned lots as community gathering places, bearing witness to the power of these images. ILLUSTRATION 3 Mujer cuela cafe (Woman making coffee)
In the ELA's institutions, the appeal of populism to a range of social groups simultaneously brought together technocrats and literati as pueblo an enormous fictive family:
"Populism," as a particular inflection of popular interpellations, can never constitute the articulating principle of a political discourse - even when it constitutes a feature present in it. It is precisely this abstract character of "populism" which permits its presence in the ideology of the most varied classes.69
Thus, cultural production that can be called populist may contain, in words and images, multiple contradictions.
By the 1960s, the convergences that Munoz Marin's populist discourse brought together began to collapse. As people left rural communities for the anonymity of urban life and the allure of material prosperity, DivEdCo tried to keep alive the dream of an idealized citizenry. The identification of the jibaro, defined by Puerto Rico's mountainous landscape, with the essence of Puerto Ricanness excluded progressively more people, and in the quest for "progress" the term came to be associated as much with backwardness and ignorance as with the values DivEdCo sought to promote.
Locally recruited paid organizers, critically important in DivEdCo's rural educational work, were never portrayed in its cultural production; all their work remained backstage. In DivEdCo's imagery, it was as if communities organized themselves spontaneously, without government intervention. In reality, the DivEdCo organizers brought residents together to view movies, discuss local problems, and start self-help projects. In exchange for the residents' "sweat equity," the organizers mobilized technical support, tools, and materials from government agencies. Though DivEdCo used nonprofessional actors in its films and trained new graphic artists and filmmakers in its San Juan workshop, the agency never fully made the transition to being of the community, as its title suggested. The ideal of "spontaneous organization" of communities may reflect a hope that rural people might not wait for the government to send an organizer to their community, as much as a desire to avoid accusations of "manipulating" the supposedly ignorant jibaros. It was important, from Munoz Marin's perspective, to show "the people" taking charge of their lives; showing the role of government employees in that process would weaken this idea. DivEdCo remained an outside influence, albeit a sympathetic and culturally congruent one.
The project's initial contradictions between the rural ideal and modernization grew into impenetrable, fixed limitations. Agrarian Utopias had to yield to modernization, and the emphasis on the spirituality of manual labor was more and more illusory as industrialization replaced agricultural activity throughout the island. The stories of returning to the land and developing community life had, as their backdrop, massive emigration. Similarly, DivEdCo's democratic pedagogy existed alongside the Ley de la Mordaza (Gag Law), a colonial counterpart to the McCarthyite repression in the United States, which criminalized support for independence in the wake of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party's 1950 uprising and 1954 attack on the U.S. Congress.70
Another important contradiction in DivEdCo's work, and the hardest to resolve, was between gender and citizenship. The democratic discourse proclaimed equality among men and women as citizens, yet DivEdCo's products praised motherhood as women's fundamental role, and all the while the state was aggressively promoting the massive sterilization of women.71 Similar contradictions occurred in other countries. Jose Vasconcelos, a Mexican minister of education and one of the great intellectual pedagogues of Latin America, called artist Diego Rivera from exile to paint murals on public buildings, complementing Vasconcelos' messianic national pedagogy that sought to bring "progress" to Mexico after the chaos of the 1910 Revolution. Rivera turned Vasconcelos' ideology of la raza cosmica (the all-encompassing race) into striking public images.72 But outside the ideological canon of Mexicanness lay the work of Rivera's companion, Frida Kahlo, whose images of fragmented bodies, bleeding nakedness, and miscarriages subverted the nationalist discourse; to invoke or include wounds undermined the "unitary" utopian discourse of the nation/patria.
Barbara Melosh argues that New Deal art in the United States embodied a strategy of containment of feminism, creating a gendered iconologic system of concessions and limitations. Among the fundamental icons of New Deal art, Melosh identifies "the comradely ideal" among heterosexual couples as a trope for democratic citizenship. Women's strong role in the pioneer family, seen as the basis of agrarian democracy, was recognized, but still seen as supporting "the manly worker."73
These two pedagogical projects occurred at times of profound change. As U.S. and Mexican societies made the transition from mostly rural to mostly urban, Vasconcelos' educational program and New Deal public art revealed the need to define the roles of the new citizens, especially marginalized subjects. Whether to avoid any depiction of confrontation between Whites and Natives, to create a comradely ideal, or to subsume the native in a cosmic race, these great projects sought, with their immense faith in education, to create new citizens for the new epoch that was dawning.
As the ELA was established, the Puerto Rican state organized roles, as it organized knowledge, in a moment of national redefinition. It is no coincidence that Munoz Marin's government sought, with its new political autonomy, to establish the rituals of nationhood and harmoniously blend modernity with tradition. Most of DivEdCo's cultural products that focus on women and offer clear prescriptions as to the role of female citizens appeared after the foundation of the ELA in 1952. However, different discourses were at work that disrupted the space assigned to female subjects. On the one hand, women's traditional roles were reaffirmed, while on the other their participation in democratic community work was called for to help define and solve collective problems. For example, the documentary film Que Opina la Mujer? (What Do Women Think?) showed University of Puerto Rico professor Margot Arce in her home, speaking of herself first and foremost as a mother.74 Meanwhile, Modesta is famous for its assertion of women's rights within the domestic: sphere, and an illustration in the Libro para el Pueblo entitled El Nombre de la Sonrisa Triste (The Man With the Sad Smile) shows a woman speaking in the "democratic circle."75 Marques' La Mujer y sus Derechos (Woman and Her Rights) was an explicit treatment of this issue.76
Masiello argues that roles are reaffirmed or restructured according to the needs of the state. In the order of discourse, the family is a microcosm of the state and the foundation and stability of the nation. She states that, in the Argentine foundational project, maternity and domesticity played a significant rule in the national program; the family was the arena where citizens were trained.77 In Puerto Rico, a third element was added to the family and the prescribed roles for female citizens: the insistence on developing communal ties and democratic participation for all citizens. Redundant though it might seem, the inclusive character of Puerto Rican democracy was shown extending even into the domestic or private sphere.
One of the discourses that seemed at times to complement the state's project and at others to lead down more conservative paths is seen in DivEdCo's editorial leadership. The state needed to create the idea of a new Puerto Rican woman citizen, and the DivEdCo intellectuals, especially Marques, took on the task of outlining this archetype for the modern state. Throughout the 1950s, several conflicting dimensions or levels can be identified in the recodification or resignification of the Puerto Rican woman citizen's national role in DivEdCo's educational program. At the macro level, the massive sterilization and birth control campaign defined women's bodies as a site for scientifically controlling the population problem, while DivEdCo simultaneously insisted that women and men become active participants in democracy. These two agendas stand in contrast to the desire expressed in Marques' and other writers' ideological convictions to dominate the psychology and treatment of their female characters.78 These conflicting agendas led to a destabilization, a fissure, a rupture in the discourse on what Puerto Rican woman citizens' democratic participation ought to be.
As Agnes Lugo Ortiz has noted, it is in the regulation of the female citizen that the programs of the state and the writers of Marques' generation fit seamlessly together. Her reading of Marques' discourse starkly illuminates his role as intellectual leader of his generation and head of DivEdCo's editorial section:
To discipline the female body - to rationalize its procreative potential, surgically penetrate it to cancel its reproductive capacities - was one of the touchstones of Puerto Rican social modernity. No modernity, whether social or literary, was conceived without the regulation of women.79
In his 1959 essay, El Cuento Puertoriqueno en la Promocion del Cuarenta (The Puerto Rican Short Story in the Generation of the Forties), Marques argued that his colleagues of the generation del cuarenta had
lived through precisely the initial upsurge of Anglo-Saxon matriarchy in Puerto Rico and, plausibly, some of them have not been able to accept, as docilely as their North American counterparts, the role of mere breadwinners which the matriarch has assigned them within this cultural pattern which is now common to both societies.80
In his most famous essay, El Puertoriqueno Docil (The Docile Puerto Rican), Marques advocated recovering machismo:
The young writers seem to take ferocious vengeance on matriarchy - a foreign pattern recently imported to their culture - often portraying women in the most adverse light they can bear, as characters. Apparently, they - the writers - are the only ones in Puerto Rican society who have reacted with aggressiveness and rebelliousness against the disappearance of the last cultural bastion from which the collective docility could, in part, be combated: machismo, the Creole version of the fusion and adaptation of two secular concepts, the Spanish honra [honor], and the Roman paterfamiliae.81
DivEdCo's cultural nationalism was a gendered discourse that created static national symbols, tropes of femininity, and a masculinized heritage and memory. A body of literature was created specifically to regulate women's role as citizens. The images went from the simple obligatory scene of the woman serving coffee to her role in religion, hygiene, and marriage.
Perhaps the icons that best represent the internal struggle within DivEdCo's pedagogy were the house and the democratic circle. From these recurring images, we can read the outlines of women's space. At first glance DivEdCo might seem to be presenting a homogeneous archetype of female citizenship, but a space was opened between the house and the democratic circle in which the recodification of women's roles was less than clear. Although the state's and the writers' discourses agreed on the need to control women in order to achieve modernization, another subdiscourse destabilized this insistence on control. DivEdCo's pedagogy, by virtue of its charter, emphasized the importance of all citizens' participation in the construction of Puerto Rican democracy. In the web of limitations generated by state projects and intellectual discourse, DivEdCo's program called for the inclusion - albeit limited - of women as citizens. The democratic ideal of the community meeting, the original batey, and, in principle, even the urban plaza and public policy debates required ignoring the marked female body that limited women's entry and circulation in public spheres.
The 1955 film Modesta is perhaps the DivEdCo product that presented the greatest breadth of options for women. Modesta employed nonprofessional actors from the town of Guaynabo's rural Barrio Sonadora, and won the first prize among short films at the 1956 Venice Film Festival. Festival audiences marveled that this film was an official, state-sponsored production.82 The movie presents the story of Modesta, who defends herself with a piece of wood against her husband's abuse, and gathers together other women in her community with similar problems to demand their rights. The iconic democratic community meeting changed; now it was women coming together to solve "women's and family" problems, which were also community problems. Modesta, visibly pregnant, becomes the president of the "League of Liberated Women" and asks her daughter to write down the new rights they demand. Modesta proclaims that the raja de lena (piece of firewood) with which she defended herself from her husband would be the group's symbol, and announces the following resolution: "Now that we have taken our first step towards our emancipation, we must, become vigilant to defend our rights. Therefore, we must join efforts for this to be so."83
The decision to make the film originated with DivEdCo field organizer's request. Melendez Centeno, recounting a 1993 interview with Luis Maisonet, one of DivEdCo's film directors, explains:
The film Modesta came out of a DivEdCo meeting in which an organizer brought up the subject of machismo. Maisonet told of how, during a community meeting in a rural barrio, a woman was told to shut up by a male peasant, as she was trying to explain her ideas. This required the group organizer's intervention, who brought the incident to the attention of the DivEdCo leadership. This was how the problem of male dominance came to be one of the problems DivEdCo dealt with, because it was seen as an obstacle to modernizing Puerto Rico, and would therefore be a subject continuously discussed at Division meetings.84
In an opening characteristic of DivEdCo films, Modesta begins with a narrator evoking the oral tradition, Hobia una vez . . . (Once upon a time . . .) that was one of the recurrent constructions in DivEdCo narratives: time out of time, an imagined country where what was presented no longer took place because democratic progress had been achieved. It was a way of marking a new beginning, in which anything that did not contribute to the recent modernity was forgotten.
These DivEdCo films debated concurrent discourses on the position of women in the new ELA, a discourse of comradely democratic equality next to another expressing longing for patriarchal stability. DivEdCo's writers' treatment of the subject of women in their educational books was similar to that in the films. In one of DivEdCo's basic narratives, promoted by the editorial section, women were portrayed as needing to be in the home, guarding the family's harmony, the essence of Puerto Ricanness. A number of screenplays that were not produced are populated by modern consumer-minded women who destroy family unity. DivEdCo's cultural production would not show many women doing paid work; most female characters appeared doing domestic activities such as housework, sewing, and childrcaring. However, the tension produced by the concurrent discourses on the rural house and participation in the democratic circle can be felt in all cultural products. DivEdCo's charter democratic message contended not only with the discourse of its writers, but also with the technocratic discourse of the state that employed them.
Final words: La Brega
In all the marvelous plasticity of the term la brega, probably the most complex meaning is the one which manifests a special cultural and political affinity for negotiation. That bregar has to do with action within the bounds of a restricted freedom, a framework not chosen by the subject, rather than with the transgressive will to revolution. La brega always expresses a necessity, a position of the speaker, or the desire to accomplish a dream.85
It was the continuous negotiation, the brega, that characterized the intellectuals' attempt to inhabit a state-provided space. They negotiated their position as employees, who were simultaneously artists and writers, within the process of rapid modernization. They chose to assure their own agency in pedagogical-cultural decisions without ruling out the creation and promotion of alternative forums of criticism. They were initially able to find a space in the common areas created by populist discourse, but their negotiations began to stall as DivEdCo's very nature did not allow it to respond to the period's deepest socioeconomic transformations. DivEdCo was largely dismantled by the prostatehood administration that took power in 1969, following twenty-eight years (1941-1969, going back to the presidentially appointed governors) of popular hegemony. It endured four more changes in administration before it was finally dissolved in the 1990s, but its cultural production had ended well before Marques' forced resignation in 1969.
Could the state sponsor a project to develop democratic communities? How could cultural politics be enacted to promote inclusiveness and autonomy? DivEdCo's production, despite the fact that these intellectuals were salaried government employees and that the material had to be relevant to its audiences, signals a more inclusive pedagogy. Traveling from their offices in San Juan to the rural areas, the intellectuals tried to create an art for the people. At the outset, Irene Delano had sponsored the open workshop that, according to Tufino, allowed Puerto Rican silk-screening to reach such a high level. On the other hand, the film and editorial sections were less open; they could have been more organic, like true workshops. The Division of Community Education, then, never became of the community. Beyond the community organizer, a state employee, and the lessons prepared in the city, rural residents were not invited to construct a pedagogy of their own.
How could intellectuals' participation in state projects be remodeled? The open workshop, the transformation of writers and artists into cultural workers, in the Freirean sense, could constitute the basis of a new project. Puerto Rican intellectuals, men and women, linked to a network of grassroots community organizations, might respond to popular cultural needs from such a workshop. These intellectuals might regularly visit or live in urban and rural communities to develop artistic talent and collaborate with community members in an organic way, as part of rather than for the community. This involvement does not necessarily imply state sponsorship of culture, and certainly not in the service of the development agenda that came to dominate ELA public policy. However, an important state role in cultural promotion, especially in these times of globalization and with the growing prominence of market-based forces in defining Puerto Ricanness, could serve as a counterbalance to the private sector's cultural influence.
The democratic lessons DivEdCo tried to promote in its day-to-day operations, and its attempt to create an autochthonous cultural-pedagogical production, remain viable starting points. For Nestor Garcia Canclini,
A good cultural policy is not one which merely takes responsibility for organizing cultural development in for the utilitarian needs of the masses - an indispensable condition for its being democratic - but which includes moments of play and experimentation, and promotes the conceptual and creative quests through which each society renews itself.86
DivEdCo forces us to read culture at its intersections. It leads us to read beyond the letter of the law, to place ourselves in the fissures of the state apparatus. Its cultural-pedagogical project shows, in its attempt to conserve as well as to renew, the structure of populist projects. Its simultaneous proposals help us to understand the educational and cultural institutions - and popular understandings about education and culture, which are the legacies of munocismo in Puerto Rico. Garcia Canclini argues that "documenting cultural policies remains an indispensable task if one wants to speak of them, or simply to avoid our peoples' loss of memory." This is doubly important, given Puerto Rico's colonial situation.
DivEdCo illuminates the contradictions of the ELA, as well as its possibilities. It frames the transforming and reforming - but not transgrcssive - dream of Munoz Mann's cultural politics, and leads us to take notice of the reconstruction of this discourse in the cultural policies of the current, neo-munocista administration of Governor Sila Maria Galderon, which has devoted a similar amount of material and ideological resources - mobilizing celebrities and artists - to dozens of low-income areas designated as comunidades especiales (special communities). DivEdCo remains as an example of a state's attempt to blend art, education, and popular culture to promote its own community-based pedagogy, with all its contradictions.
The tension between the power of linking intellectual and grassroots activity, on the one hand, and the political and economic limitations that the Puerto Rican state faced during the 1950s and 1960s on the other, makes for an interesting study of individuals and organizations trying to create new solutions to both economic and cultural problems. The experience of the Puerto Rican government in these years, however, suggests possible models for local government, or even nongovernmental or quasigovernmental institutions such as universities, to bring intellectuals together with grassroots leadership as a way of generating new solutions to problems that affect their constituencies.
For instance, if urban social service programs or the community outreach efforts of institutions like universities were linked to a grassroots structure that allowed for community-based decisionmaking, the DivEdCo experience suggests that local results could be quite impressive, even within the context of poverty and urban decay. The critical factor would be the willingness to mobilize rather than to service, to empower and support community leadership in its concerns, rather than attempting to recruit local support for programs generated and designed in offices.
Although U.S. government sponsorship of cultural production has come under heavy attack from conservatives in recent years, other very different dynamics have been taking place in the part of Latin America under direct U.S. control. In Puerto Rico, as in much of Latin America, cultural nationalism has been shaped and used by governments throughout the twentieth century. These projects have had a profound, if unfathomable effect on the development of Puerto Rican popular culture, and on Puerto Ricans' self-recognition as a distinct people.
Harvard Educational Review Vol. 73 No. 3 Fall 2003
Copyright (C) by the President and Fellows of Harvard College
The Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico (autonomous commonwealth), established in 1952, redefined the political relationship between the United States and its colony. The ambiguous political status - autonomy without sovereignty, self-government without self-determination - created new social, political, and cultural contradictions. The island's first elected governor, Luis Munoz Marin, was committed, to promoting an essentialized Puerto Rican culture centered around the idealization of traditional rural life, while simultaneously creating a new democratic citizenship, both of which would bolster the new government's legitimacy before its people. In this article, Puerto Rican scholar Cati Marsh Kennerley explores the collective work done by the Division de Educacion de la Comunidad (DivEdCo), the government educational agency charged with promulgating Munoz Marin's ideas about Puerto Rican culture and citizenship. Marsh Kennerley draws from a wide variety of sources to reconstruct an untold history, analyze its contradictions, obtain lessons from DivEdCo's negotiations, and point out its relevance for understanding contemporary Puerto Rican culture. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]
Copyright Harvard Educational Review Fall 2003 | Notes | 1. Magali Garcia Ramis, Felices Dias, Tio Sergio (San Juan: Editorial Antillana, 1986), 2. | 2. Following the U.S. invasion during the Spanish-American war of 1898, Puerto Rico was governed as a colony. Like the Spanish colonial regime, the U.S. president appointed all governors until Congress authorized a popular election in 1948. In the Insular Cases of 1899-1901, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed Puerto Rico to be classified as an "unincorporated territory," giving Congress the power to make any changes in the island's status and to treat it differently from any of the states or "incorporated" territories destined to be states, as Congress deemed appropriate. All subsequent changes to Puerto Rico's status, including the Foraker Act of 1900, the Jones Act of 1917, the Elected Governor Act of 1948, and Public Law 600, which authorized Puerto Rico to draft a constitution (finally ratified in 1952, with the exception of one section of the Bill of Rights guaranteeing free public education, which Congress had found objectionable), have taken place within this constitutional framework. | 3. Garcia Ramis, Felices Dias, 2. | 4. Edward Said, Beginnings: Intention and Method (New York: Columbia University Press, 1975), 5. | 5. Arlene Davila, Sponsored Identities: Cultural Politics in Puerto Rico (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1997). | 6. Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism (New York: Verso, 1993). | 7. Ley 372 (Legislature of Puerto Rico, 1949). | 8. Ley 372. | 9. Many DivEdCo films have been lost or are being restored. | 10. Bianca I. Silvestrini and Maria Dolores Luque de Sanchez Silvestrini, Historia de Puerto Rico: Trayectoria de un Pueblo (San Juan: Editorial Cultural Puertorriquena, 1987). | 11. The idea of intellectuals as nation-builders is common currency in the field of Latin American studies. Sarmiento in Argentina, Vasconcelos in Mexico, Jose Marti in Cuba, Romulo Gallegos in Venezuela, Jose Enrique Rodo in Uruguay, and, more recently, Mario Vargas Llosa's presidential candidacy in Peru, are among the more famous examples of a Latin American tradition of leading intellectuals' active involvement in nation-building projects, attempting to define and unify the nation around a cultural-pedagogical discourse. | 12. Jack Delano, Photographic Memories (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997), 113. | 13. Edwin Rosskam, "Program of People's Education and Information" (San Juan: Comision de Parques y Recreos. Division de Cinema y Grafica, c. 1946). Found in the Archiva General de Puerto Rico. | 14. Rosskam, "Program of People's Education," 5-6. | 15. Rosskam, "Program of People's Education," 3. | 16. Rosskam, "Program of People's Education," 8. | 17. The physical appearance does not refer exclusively to racial phenotype - many rural Puerto Ricans are phenotypically White - but to the gestalt of visible signs, including dress, demeanor, and race, which would mark North American intellectuals as outsiders to rural Puerto Rican communities and create barriers to communication. | 18. Edwin Rosskam, "Report on the Operation of the Division of Motion Pictures and Graphic of the Commission of Parks and Recreation since December, 1946-July, 1947" (San Juan: Comision de Parques y Recreos. Division de Cinema y Grafica, 1947), 8. Found in the Archivo General de Puerto Rico. | 19. Pinero was Tugwell's presidentially appointed successor and Munoz Mann's immediate predecessor, the island's first Puerto Rican-born governor, and the last to be directly appointed by metropolitan authorities. | 20. Edwin Rosskam, letter to Jesus T. Pinero, October 5, 1948 (Unpublished letter, found in the Archivo General de Puerto Rico). | 21. Luis Munoz Marin, letter to Fred Wale, November 23, 1948 (Unpublished letter, found at the Archivo Luis Munoz Marin). | 22. Lorenzo Homar, personal communication with Erich Gonzalez Arocho, April 23, 1983. | 23. Although Renato Rosaldo's essay "Cultural Citizenship, Inequality, and Multiculturalism" focuses on the situation of Latinos in the United States, this is precisely the type of citizenship that Munoz Marin sought to create with the legislation that created DivEdCo. Rosaldo and the interdisciplinary Latino Cultural Studies Croup recognize how paradoxical the term cultural citizenship can be, but they state: "Culture interprets and constructs citizenship, just as the activity of being citizens, in the broad sense of claiming membership in the society, affects how we view ourselves, even in communities that have been branded second-class or 'illegal.'" Thus, we must ask, What role does culture play in citizenry movements? William Flores and Rina Benmayor, eds., Latino Cultural Citizenship: Claiming Identity, Space and Rights (Boston: Beacon Press, 1997), 6. | 24. Arcadio Diaz Quinones, "Los Desastres de la Guerra: Para Leer a Rene Marques," in El Almuerzo en la Hierba (Llorens, Pales Matos, Rene Marques (Rio Piedras: Ediciones Huracan, 1982), 155. | 25. Rene Marques, El Puertorriqueno Docil y Otros Ensayos, 1953-1971 (Rio Piedras: Editorial Antillana, 1977), 147. | 26. Diaz Quinones, "Los Desastres de la Guerra," 164. | 27. The phrase belongs to the Uruguayan intellectual Angel Rama and is the title of his book, La Ciudad Letrada (Hanover, NH: Ediciones del Norte, 1984), in which he analyzed the tradition of prominent Latin American intellectuals struggling to give order and definition to the nations they seek to unify and lead, dating back to the sixteenth-century Spanish conquest. In contrast to the U.S. tradition in which intellectuals remain mostly on the sidelines, perhaps as trusted advisors to political leaders, many of the principal Latin American thinkers have assumed positions of political leadership, including head of state. | 28. Division de Educacion de la Comunidad, De Como Llegaron a Puerto Rico la Cana, el Cafe y Muchas Otras Cosas, Libros Para El Pueblo (San Juan: Departamento de Instruccion Publica, 1950), 1. | 29. Diaz Quinones, "Los Desastres de la Guerra," 154. | 30. Rafael Tufino, interview by Cati Marsh Kennerley, January 24, 1999. | 31. Rene Marques, "Writing for a Community Education Programme," UNESCO: Reports and Papers on Mass Communications, 24 (1957), 6-8. | 32. The surviving copies of minutes of Program Committee meetings are among Rene Marques' personal papers, property of the Fundacion Rene Marques. I was able to review and photocopy them in January 1999. I am grateful to Professor Jose Lacomba of the Fundacion Rene Marques and researcher Erich Gonzalez Arocho for facilitating access to these documents. "Minutas del Comite de Programa. Division de Educacion de la Comunidad," May 14, June 4, August 6 and 17, September 2, 7, 10, 14, and 27, 1954, October 15 and 18, November 10, and December 28, 1954, January 31, May 20, and August 17, 1955. | 33. "Minutas Del Comite De Programa." | 34. Antonio Maldonado, interview by Cati Marsh Kennerley, November 28, 1998. Rafael Tufino, interview by Cati Marsh Kennerley, January 24, 1999. | 35. Rene Marques, letter to Fred Wale, December 18, 1957 (Unpublished letter, found in Rene Marques' personal archive). | 36. Rene Marques, memorandum to Fred Wale, April 24, 1958 (Unpublished memorandum, found in Rene Marques' personal archive). | 37. Vicente Geigel Polanco, quoted in Juan Gelpi, Literatura y Paternalismo en Puerto Rico (Rio Piedras: Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1993), 72. | 38. Rosskam, "Report on the Operation of the Division of Motion Pictures." | 39. Marimar Benitez, "La Grafica de Irene Delano," in Homenaje a Irene Delano, ed. Ricardo Alegria (San Juan: Casa del Libro, 1988). | 40. DivEdCo's films are being archived and restored by the Archiva de Imageries en Movimiento, part of the Archivo General de Puerto Rico, San Juan. Videotape and DVD copies of DivEdCo films are available for sale to the public. "La Montana," directed by Jack Delano (San Juan: DivEdCo, 1946), film. | 41. Edwin Rosskam, Una Gota de Agua, directed by Jack Delano (San Juan: DivEdCo, 1947), film. | 42. Edwin Rosskam, La Cana, directed by Jack Delano (San Juan: DivEdCo, 1947), film. | 43. Jack Delano, authorless interview in Investigation en Accion, 1, No. 1 (1992-1993), 20-26. | 44. Edwin Rosskam, "Desde, las Nubes," directed by Jack Delano (San Juan: DivEdCo, 1949), film. | 45. Joaquin Garcia, Breve Historia del Cine Puertorriqumo (San Juan: Editorial Ateneo, 1984); Edwin Rosskam, La Voz del Pueblo, directed by Jack Delano (San Juan: DivEdCo, 1949), film. | 46. Jack Delano, Las Manos del Hombre, directed by Jack Delano (San Juan: DivEdCo, 1950), film. | 47. Edwin Rosskam, Los Peloteros, directed by Jack Delano (San Juan: DivEdCo, 1951), film. | 48. Division de Educacion de la Comunidad, Almanaque del Pueblo 1949 (San Juan: Departamento de Instruction Publica). Copies of most DivEdCo publications are available for viewing only at the Puerto Rican Collection of the University of Puerto Rico's Jose M. Lazaro Library in Rio Piedras. | 49. Division de Educacion de la Comunidad, "La Labor de la Division de Educacion de la Comunidad del Departamento de Instruction Publica desde el lero de julio de 1949 hasta el 15 de octubre de 1951" (San Juan: Departamento de Instruccion Publica, 1951). | 50. Division de Educacion de la Comunidad, Almanaque del Pueblo 1949, 51. | 51. Division de Educacion de la Comunidad, Almanaque del Pueblo 1949, 51. | 52. Jack Delano, authorless interview in Investigacion en Accion, 1, No. 1 (1992-1993). | 53. Edwin Rosskam, Desde las Nubes. | 54. Helen (La del traje blanco), directed by Michael Alexis (San Juan: DivEdCo, 1961), film. | 55. Benjamin Doniger, Modesta (o la huelga de las mujeres), directed by Benjamin Doniger (DivEdCo, San Juan: 1955), film. | 56. Renee Marques, Ignacio, directed by Angel F. Rivera (San Juan: DivEdCo, 1956), film. 57. Division de Educacion de la Comunidad, "Los Derechos del Hombre," in Libres Para el Pueblo, ed. Rene Marques (San Juan: Departamento de Instruccion Publica, 1957). | 58. Carmen Isales, interview by Cati Marsh Kennerley, August 14, 1998. | 59. Division de Educacion de la Comunidad, De Como Llegaron a Puerto Rico la Cana, el Cafe y Muchas Otras Cosas, 16. | 60. Edwin Rosskam, Pedacito de Tierra, directed by Benjamin Doniger (San Juan: DivEdCo, 1953), film. | 61. Division de Educacion de la Comunidad, La Familia, Libros Para El Pueblo, ed. Rene Marques (San Juan: Departamento de Instruccion Publica, 1967), 3. | 62. Division de Educacion de la Comunidad, La Familia, 17. | 63. Examples of this include El Nino y su Mundo (The Child and His World) and Juventud (Youth), together with the film Cuando los Padres Olvidan (When Parents Forget) and the unit on women's rights, which included the books La Mujer y sus Derechos (Woman and Her Rights) and Cuatro Cuentos de Mujeres (Four Women's Stories), together with the films Modesta and ?Que Opina la Mujer? (What Do Women Think?). | 64. Oscar Torres, Nenen de la Ruta Mora, directed by Oscar Torres (San Juan: DivEdCo, 1955), film. | 65. Jack Delano, authorless interview in Investigation en Action, 1, No. 1 (1992-1993). | 66. During DivEdCo's first decade of operation, 1940-1950, 230,000 Puerto Ricans emigrated to the United States; between 1950 and 1960, half a million people left the island. | 67. Division de Educacion de la Comunidad, Emigration, Libros Para El Pueblo, ed. Rene Marques (San Juan: Departamento de Instruccion Publica, 1966), 32. | 68. Division de Educacion de la Comunidad, Emigracion, 31-35. | 69. Ernesto Laclau, Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory (London: Humanities Press, 1977), 195. | 70. Ivonne Acosta, La Mordaza: Puerto Rico 1948-195 7 (Rio Piedras: Editorial Edil, 1989). | 71. Ana Maria Garcia, La Operation, directed by Ana Maria Garcia (San Juan: DivEdCo, 1982), film. This highly controversial documentary is hard to find, but is available at the Archiva de Imagenes en Movimiento. | 72. Jean Franco, Plotting Women: Gender and Representation in Mexico (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989). | 73. Barbara Melosh, Engendering Culture: Manhood and Womanhood in New Deal Public Art and Theater (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991), 4. | 74. Rene Marques, ?Que Opina la Mujer?, directed by Oscar Torres (San Juan: DivEdCo, 1957), film. | 75. Division de Educacion de la Comunidad, El Hombre de la Sonrisa Triste, Libros Para El Pueblo, ed. Rene Marques (San Juan: Departamento de Instruccion Publica, 1963), 23. | 76. Division de Educacion de la Comunidad, La Mujer y sus Derechos, Libros Para El Pueblo, ed. Rene Marques (San Juan: Departamento de Instruction Publica, 1957). | 77. Francine Masiello, Entre Civilization y Barbarie: Mujeres, Nation y Cultura Literaria en la Argentina Moderna (Rosaria, Argentina: Beatrix Viterbo Editora, 1997). | 78. Rene Marques, El Puertorriqueno Docil. | 79. Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, "Sobre el Trafico Simbolico de Mujeres: Homosocialidad, Identidad Nacional y Modernidad Literaria en Puerto Rico (apuntes para una releetura de El Puertorriqueno Docil de Rene Marques)," Revisla de Critica Literaria Latinoamericana, 45 (1997), 269. | 80. Marques, El Puertorriqueno Dual, 93-94. | 81. Marques, El Puertorriqueno Docil, 75. | 82. Garcia, Breve Historia del Cine Puertorriqueno. | 83. Benjamin Doniger, Modesta (o la huelga de las mujeres). | 84. Rosario del Pilar Melendez Centeno, "Discurso Institucional Feminista en Tres Peliculas de Division de Educacion de la Comunidad: Modesta, Gena la de blas y ?Que opina la mujer?" (Unpublished dissertation, University of Puerto Rico, 1993), 60. | 85. Arcadio Diaz Quinones, El Arte de Bregar (Rio Piedras: Editorial Callejon, 2000), 81; translated by author. | 86. Nestor Garcia Canclini, "Politicas Culturales y Crisis de Desarrollo: Un Balance Latinoamericano," in Politicas Culturales en America Latina, ed. Nestor Garcia Canclini Mexico: Editorial Gribaljo. | CATI MARSH KENNERLEY | University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras