Latin America Area: 21,069,501 km² Population: 569 million Demonym: Latin American, American Countries: 20 Dependencies: 10Languages: Spanish, Portuguese, French Time Zones: UTC-2 Brazil UTC-8 Mexico Largest cities: 1. Mexico City 2. São Paulo 3. Buenos Aires 4. Rio de Janeiro 5. Bogotá 6. Lima 7. Santiago 8. Belo Horizonte 9. Caracas 10. Guadalajara
History of Latin America• Latin America refers to countries in the Americas where Romance (Latin-derived) languages are spoken. These countries generally lie south of the United States. By extension, some writers and commentators, particularly in the United States, apply the term to the whole region south of the United States, including the non-Romance- speaking countries such as Suriname, Jamaica, and Guyana, due to similar economic, political and social histories and present-day conditions.• Before the arrival of Europeans in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, the region was home to many indigenous peoples, many of which had advanced civilizations, most notably, the Aztec, Inca and Maya. By the end of the sixteenth century large areas of what would become Latin America was colonized by European settlers, primarily from Spain, Portugal and to a lesser extent, France and the Netherlands (in Brazil).
Art• Beyond the rich tradition of indigenous art, the development of Latin American visual art owed much to the influence of Spanish, Portuguese and French Baroque painting, which in turn often followed the trends of the Italian Masters..• From the early twentieth century, the art of Latin America was greatly inspired by the Constructivist Movement. The Constructivist Movement was founded in Russia around 1913 by Vladimir Tatlin. The Movement quickly spread from Russia to Europe and then into Latin America. An important artistic movement generated in Latin America is muralism represented by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, José Clemente Orozco and Rufino Tamayo in Mexico and Santiago Martinez Delgado and Pedro Nel Gómez in Colombia. Some of the most impressive Muralista works can be found in Mexico, Colombia, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.• Painter Frida Kahlo, one of the famous Mexican artists, painted about her own life and the Mexican culture in a style combining Realism, Symbolism and Surrealism. Kahlo work commands the highest selling price of all Latin American .
Culture• Latin American culture is a mixture of many cultural expressions worldwide. It is the product of many diverse influences:• Indigenous cultures of the people who inhabited the continent prior to the arrival of the Europeans. Ancient and very advanced civilizations developed their own political, social and religious systems.• Western civilization, in particular the culture of Europe, was brought mainly by the colonial powers—the Spanish, Portuguese and French—between the 16th and 19th centuries. The most enduring European colonial influence is language and Roman Catholicism. More recently, additional cultural influences came from the United States and Europe during the nineteenth and twentieths. The influence of the United States is particularly strong in northern Latin America, especially Puerto Rico, which is a United States territory. In addition, the United States held the twenty-mile-long Panama Canal Zone in Panama from 1903 (the Panama Canal opened to transoceanic freight traffic in 1914) to 1999, when the Torrijos-Carter Treaties restored Panamanian control of the Canal Zone. South America experienced waves of immigration of Europeans, especially Italians and Germans. With the end of colonialism, French culture was also able to exert a direct influence in Latin America, especially in the realms of high culture, science and medicine. This can be seen in any expression of the regions artistic traditions, including painting, literature and music, and in the realms of science and politics.• African cultures, whose presence derives from a long history of New World slavery. Peoples of African descent have influenced the ethno-scapes of Latin America and the Caribbean. This is manifest for instance in dance and religion, especially in countries such as Belize, Brazil, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Haiti, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Cuba
Religion• The vast majority of Latin Americans are Christians, mostly Roman Catholics.[Membership in Protestant denominations is increasing, particularly in Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico.
Population• Latin America has a very diverse population, with many ethnic groups and different ancestries. Only in three countries, do the Amerindians make up the majority of the population. This is the case of Peru, Guatemala and Bolivia. In the rest of the Continent, most of the Native American descendants are of mixed race ancestry.
Language• Spanish is the predominant language in the majority of the countries. Portuguese is spoken primarily in Brazil, where it is both the official and the national language. French is also spoken in smaller countries, in the Caribbean, and French Guiana.
Social Conflicts• The central hypothesis of this paper is that high income inequality in Latin America contributes to intense political pressures for macroeconomic policies to raise the incomes of lower income groups, which in turn contributes to bad policy choices and weak economic performance. The paper looks in detail at one common type of policy failure: the populist policy cycle. This particular type of Latin American policymaking, characterized by overly expansionary macroeconomic policies which lead to high inflation and severe balance of payments crises, has been repeated so often, and with such common characteristics, that it plainly reveals the linkages from social conflict to poor economic performance.
LATIN AMERICAN ART AND ARCHITECTURE• Art and architecture produced, after the arrival there of the Spanish and Portuguese, in South America, Central America, Mexico, and the parts of the U.S. originally colonized by the Spanish; more specifically called Ibero-American art and architecture. Despite the geographic diversity and size of Latin America, its artistic history has been unified through a common tradition rooted in the arts of Spain and Portugal, the nations of the Iberian Peninsula. Depending on location and historical circumstance, this shared heritage was often enriched and made uniquely Latin American through Spanish and Portuguese interaction with indigenous Indian traditions, as well as with the cultures of West African blacks, brought to the Americas in slavery.
• COLONIAL PERIOD• From the 16th to the 19th century, Latin America was part of the Spanish and Portuguese colonial empires. Art was sometimes imported from Iberia but was more commonly created by Iberian immigrants and indigenous artisans.. The Spanish word mestizo (“mixed”) refers to a person descended from Indian and European parents, as well as to art and architecture that reflects both Indian and European cultural traditions. The term mulatto designates a similar racial and aesthetic merger of the African and the European. Artistically, mestizo and mulatto art have both contributed significantly to the culturally distinctive qualities of Latin American art.• 16th Century.• The 16th century in Latin America was characterized by the destruction of the old and the creation of the new. The cities and ceremonial centers of the Indians were demolished or incorporated by the Iberian conquerors. Churches and residences for Europeans were often constructed from materials originally used for Indian temples and palaces, as at Mitla, Mexico, and at Cuzco, Peru. Pre-Columbian religious imagery was almost totally destroyed by militant Christians and replaced with Roman Catholic liturgical objects and images. This new religious art was created by recently converted Indian artisans, who quickly assimilated Iberian form, content, and technology.
• Many pre-Columbian administrative and art centers—such as Cuzco of the Incas and Tenochtitlan (Mexico City) of the Aztecs—retained their prominent role in the colonial period. In addition, numerous new cities—such as Lima or Oaxaca, Mexico—were constructed.• 17th Century.• Increasing numbers of Iberian artists and architects had come to the colonies by the 17th century. Several generations of Indians had been apprenticed to Iberian artisans and trained to adhere faithfully to European styles, techniques, and subject matter. (Mestizo expressions were primarily relegated to crafts.)• The baroque style was introduced early in the century. Painting and sculpture became dramatically realistic with an emphasis on the emotional.• 18th Century Creoles (called criollos in Spanish America and mazombos in Brazil)—people of European descent born in the colonies rather than in the homeland—formed a majority of the white population in 18th- century Latin America. During this period, the Creoles became increasingly assertive and competitive with Iberia. As a result, Creole architecture and the decorative arts were generally more splendid in effect than their Iberian counterparts
• 19TH CENTURY: THE ERA OF INDEPENDENCE• Because of the almost continual socioeconomic instability that followed independence from Spain and Portugal, architects and artists could not easily find patronage for or interest in their work. Not until the late 19th century did order return to most areas of Latin America.• The formal vitality and regional flavor of colonial art were supplanted in the 19th century by usually competent imitations of contemporaneous European art, especially as developed in France. Neoclassicism, succeeded by romanticism, became the dominant art movement in the new national capitals. In provincial cities and rural areas, however, Latin Americans continued to be interested in the often naive realist style that had originated with 18th-century portraits, still lifes, and genre paintings (scenes of daily life)
• 20TH-CENTURY: NATIONALISM AND MODERNISM• Mexico became the center of the Latin American art world in the first half of the 20th century. Such Mexican artists as Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros painted didactic murals asserting cultural nationalism and revolutionary politics. Twentieth-century Latin American painting and sculpture can be characterized as a continuing dialogue between the representational and the abstract, the national and the international. For the first time in its history, Latin American art achieved international acclaim. Since pre-Columbian times Latin Americans have been concerned with creating an environmental art, through the integration of architecture, sculpture, painting, and the decorative arts, that would achieve an overwhelming multimedia effect.