Letting Go of Frida by Ana Julia Fishman
As an Artist I have always admired other artists
Without sometimes looking at what they aligned themselves with,
or whom they aligned with.
Frida Khalo was one of those artists for me.
I forgave that part of Frida.
“Era una comunista," my mother would say.
But I would say, “I just love her art, that’s all.”
I had a wallet with images of Frida's art,
I had books.
And about four years ago,
I bought a Frida t-shirt.
I knew my parents would never wear it,
Nor my sister, who is not an artist like me.
They really stood their ground,
When it came to anything or anyone communist.
She was a supporter of Marxist and Socialist ideas,
even at a very young age.
In fact, it was a huge part of her life,
Many of the people she associated with,
Diego Rivera, Leon Trotsky, all Marxist,
Represented everything that my family ran from.
Ideas we knew had failed us so badly,
As they have any country its ever touched.
But I just loved her art, the symbolism, the pain in her art.
The fact that Frida had become larger then life after she died,
Just like Che Guevara,
But Frida was different, she was an Artist.
When I went to The Los Angeles County museum
And saw The Two Fridas,
I could not believe how large they were.
So powerful I thought.
And so my love for Frida's Art continued.
Then a few years ago things got really weird politically.
I was beginning to notice things I never had,
Things that I felt I had to stand up for, like Freedom,
Standing against Communist ideas.
Everything my parents had come to this country for
It seemed were being threatened.
And then there was SOS Cuba,
The San Isidro Movement,
All emerging on social media.
I was becoming a part of it, all.
Freedom for Cubans, Patria y Vida, Cuba Libre,
I needed to be there for my people.
I knew I was lucky to be here, thanks to my parents.
I had to really give back.
These things have always been important to me,
But this all seemed more urgent.
I started going to marches here in Los Angeles with other Cubans
In support of Cubans fighting against a 62-year old communist dictatorship.
Cubans in Cuba were on the streets, and so was I.
Then there was my Frida t-shirt,
I knew I could never wear that t-shirt again!
It just did not feel right,
It did not make sense anymore.
I had to let go of Frida…
A poem by Ana Julia Fishman