Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera Visit Leon Trotsky in Mexico, 1938

Here is some very rare footage of the great Mex­i­can painters Diego Rivera and Fri­da Kahlo pay­ing a vis­it to exiled Sovi­et rev­o­lu­tion­ary Leon Trot­sky and his wife, Natalia Sedo­va, in Coy­ocoán, Mex­i­co, in 1938.

The Trot­skys had arrived the year before, after Rivera peti­tioned the gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Lázaro Cár­de­nas to grant the con­tro­ver­sial Marx­ist leader and the­o­rist sanc­tu­ary in Mex­i­co. When the Trot­skys arrived on a Nor­we­gian oil tanker at the port city of Tampi­co in Jan­u­ary of 1937, Rivera was not well, but Kahlo board­ed the ship to wel­come the Trot­skys and accom­pa­nied them on an armored train to Mex­i­co City. She invit­ed the Trot­skys to stay at her fam­i­ly home, La Casa Azul (the Blue House) in Coy­ocoán, now a sec­tion of Mex­i­co City. By the time this footage was tak­en by a vis­it­ing Amer­i­can named Ivan Heisler, Trot­sky and Kahlo had either had, or were about to have, a brief affair, and the friend­ship between the two cou­ples would soon fall apart. In ear­ly 1939 Trot­sky moved to anoth­er house in the same neigh­bor­hood, where he was assas­si­nat­ed in August of 1940.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Leon Trot­sky: Love, Death and Exile in Mex­i­co

The Karl Marx Cred­it Card – When You’re Short of Kap­i­tal

Read­ing Marx’s Cap­i­tal with David Har­vey (Free Course)


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