On February 12, 1933, the front cover of the popular Sunday magazine El Oaxaqueño featured a photograph of a boy perched atop a rustic, and presumably rural, wall. The boy looks neither into the camera nor in front of him, but rather gazes back over his shoulder at some distant, unseen place. Both his foot, which rests on top of the wall, and his serape, which he carries draped over his shoulder, suggest that he is on the verge of departure, perhaps even starting a journey. The magazine’s editors urged their readers to understand the hesitancy of this pose as an allegory for the condition of their state’s rural peoples. “Here we see,” the caption informs us, “the peasant children represented by this Indian, who seems to gaze off into the horizon as he awaits the Revolution that will come to redeem his degraded Race.”1

Two months later, the...

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