Tricontinentalism before the Cold War? Mexico City’s anti-imperialist internationalism




Tricontinentalism, Anti-Imperialism, Transnational Radicalism


This article examines how anti-imperialist thought in Mexico City inspired internationalism in the 1920s. It uses the concept of “tricontinentalism” to refer to the idea that Latin America, Africa, and Asia should stand in solidarity with each other and argues that tricontinentalist thinking originated not in the Cold War, but in the aftermath of the First World War. The Mexican and the Russian Revolution had demonstrated that radical social change was imaginable. Together with the First World War, which for many in the Americas signaled the demise of European global hegemony, these revolutions represented a new era of political possibilities as well as a tectonic shift in global politics. Consequently, many anti-imperialists in Mexico looked to “the East”, drawing inspiration from the anticolonial revolutions in Africa and Asia. The central question of this article is how anti-imperialist political activists, intellectuals, and artists engaged in tricontinental thinking by writing about China and Morocco. The examined transnational interactions constitute a radical version of an imagined internationalism in the 1920s.


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