Trotsky and the question of art: the artist’s unwavering fidelity to his inner self
Trotsky e a questão da arte: a fidelidade inabalável do artista a seu eu interior
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arte proletária
arte revolucionária Trotsky; proletarian art; freedom; policy; revolutionary art. Trotsky
proletarian art
revolutionary art

How to Cite

Araujo Fernandes, F. (2020). Trotsky and the question of art: the artist’s unwavering fidelity to his inner self. Pacha. Revista De Estudios Contemporáneos Del Sur Global, 1(2), 68-84.


This article aims to rescue an important debate raised by Leon Trotsky in his book Literature and Revolution (1924), which deals with the relationship between art and politics. The article intends, therefore, to use the controversy that existed in the context in which the work was written (after the Russian revolution of 1917) to think about the relevance of this debate in the present times. One of the central themes of interest is to discuss whether it is possible or not to build proletarian art, as opposed to bourgeois art, as proposed by intellectuals and cultural groups; a position that had been adopted by the leaders of the Soviet State in the sense of defining a supposed way of making art legitimately proletarian. Trotsky’s position is that this is not possible, including the revolutionary who stands firmly against this line, which in his view expresses a set of mistaken premises, contrary to the principles of Marxism and which resulted in a process of castration of freedom humanism, which would intensify with Stalinism, and also in fascism, using artistic expression as a mere instrument for the propagation of political ideas, in a pamphlet, imposing and restricted way, mutilating the freedom of creation and, therefore, injuring the artist’s fidelity to your inner self, which was fundamental to artistic expression. This article intends, therefore, to take the theoretical bases presented by Trotsky and to think about the influence of the positions opposed by the author nowadays in that context.
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