Sunday, November 27, 2011

Marxism, Mariategui, and the Women's Movement

"Marxim, Mariategui, and the Women's Movement" is a political piece analyzing the women's movement in Peru through the lenses of the works of Karl Marx and Jose Mariátegui, a Peruvian and Marxist philosopher whose essays are highly esteemed in Latin-America. and the cover of the book names Catalina Adrianzen as the main author of this writing but there is other evidence that this was written through a collaboration of other women who were part of the Communist Party of Peru. Comrade Norah, for example, is said to have been one of contributing authors. Nonetheless, my guess is that Adrianzen, whom we know so little about, was the figure who did most of the editing and pulled the pieces together.  So far, this is the only biography I have been able to find on Catalina:

"CATALINA ADRIANZEN, a Peruvian researcher and feminist, founded and led the People's Women's Movement in the central Peruvian Andean city of Huamanga in the 1970s.   This movement was tied to the Communist Party of Peru faction that would eventually become known as the "Shining Path, and throughout the 1970s, Adrianzen directed the party's work amongst women.   

After the Shining Path launched its guerrilla war, which lasted from 1980 until the mid 1990s, Adrianzen directed armed cells in the region of Cuzco.In 1982 she was arrested in connection to an incendiary attack on an agricultural cooperative.She was tortured in jail, which left her with emotional scars that led to her internment for several years in psychiatric facilities.    

She later left Peru and settled into exile in Sweden, where she has worked at university."- Marxists.Org

Andrianzen was, in particular, an anthropologist and wife of Antonio Díaz Martínez, who played a major role in the development of the Shining Path's ideology. It is my guess that Adrianzen and Comrade Norah knew each other since they were both part of the Communist Party of Peru and involved in mobilizing women.Why the book title starts with "Marxim" rather than "Marxism" like the online publication is something I've been looking into. I'm planning on either buying this book  through amazon or just printing it and reading it. Can't make up my mind yet as to whether it's worth paying $10. To anyone who is interested in reading it, click here for the online version. So far, from the skimming that I've done, the beginning takes a theoretical approach and analyzes the women's status or situation from a broader and general view. In the latter half, the grounded argument in women's position in relation to what is going on in Peru begins.


  1. Very interesting post. I can't sit infront of a computer screen long than an hours. But I might have to check the book the way, I click on the re-read list post. And got worried cause I didn't see your blog.

  2. Interesting. Speaking of the shining path, they are communists and communists thought they could spark a world revolution to bring about the final form of communism. Do you think the Arab Spring, OWS, the indignados and the protest/movement in Russia are the beginning of a sort of "world revolution", albeit probably not as violent Marx envisioned? I think these protests, movements, and revolutions are a seed that will come to fruition in the next few decades.

  3. seems like a great read indeed. Interesting that Catalina Adrianzen came to Sweden, that's where I live.

    I've been looking for more latina feminist blogs, happy to have found you :)

  4. Ed, that sometimes happens, I think, because blogger has issues. It's happened to me with your blog.

    Jesereth, I think those events which you mention can be seen as the beginnings of what Marx envisioned. In certain parts of the world, they certainly are as violent and are happening through the model of "proletariat vs. the bourgeoisie". I can't say I completely agree with the idea that riots or uprisings by the poor happening in several places at several times is the serious beginning of a world revolution. I can't completely agree because of history. The 60s and 70s were also years in which riots, protests and revolutions were happening around the world. OWS is nowhere close to the amount of political activity and consciousness-raising that we did have in the 60s. I'm sure communists during that time also thought that this was finally the climax where "class consciousness" had finally hit everyone. But as we all know, these global events were eventually quelled and quieted down. Capitalism resumed its role as we entered into an economic boom period.

    For me, if Marx's vision is to be achieved, more radical events need to happen here. It needs to go beyond OWS. It needs to go beyond only protesting when you're out of a job. The reason that a capitalistic system always happens to quiet down global protests or riots as we've historically seen is because after the economy is doing well once again in the US, people are no longer as pissed off. This needs to change-people need to see that the economic system we live in is one that continues in the same cycle of boom periods and then decline periods.

  5. Jennifer, it's pretty cool that you live in the same place where Catalina chose to settle down for the rest of her life. I'm planning on visiting Sweden in the future, when I finally get to travel all around the world lol.

    It honestly feels great to know that a fellow Latina feminist was able to find my blog. Nice to meet you :)

    If there is any particular Latina woman that comes to your mind that you think I should write on, or that you would like to post on, let me know!

  6. Daniela,
    yes, lots of latinos ended up here for political reasons that made them leave their own countries :) I you come and I'm still here I'd be happy to show you around :)

    There's a great book I think you would like, i you haven't read it already, by Tey Diana Rebolledo: "The Chronicles of Panchita Villa and Other Guerrilleras"

    Right now I'm drawing portraits of las hermanas mirabal and of course only they come to mind, but I'll let you know (I think you covered them already). Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo are always interesting to cover, I've written briely about both or the being latino magazine (under my maiden name that I've left behind. Here are the links:

    I'll be visiting your blog soon again :)


  7. I did cover Madres de Plaza de Mayo a while back-extremely important women from Argentina! I'll definitely check out that book. It looks very interesting. And I saw your articles since I roamed around your word press for a while! Very impressive and cool. Saludos :)