Most of us know Frida Kahlo for her stunning self-portraits, but her deep relationship with social justice needs to be recognized as well. She believed political power should rest in the hands of the working class.

This summer, ‘Frida Kahlo 2020’ will be the largest of her exhibitions to grace Chicago in 40 years, and will feature oil paintings, drawings, poetry, and photography showcasing her full life.

Fans will also see a changed Pilsen, the city’s largest Mexican neighborhood. From 2000-2010 alone, 26% of the Latino population was pushed out because of sky-high rent and taxes. With displacement, culture is eroded: this mural with Frida’s image was painted over as a result. 

Given Frida’s passion for equality, she would have been against the displacement of Mexican Americans in Pilsen, and across cities in the country. After spending time in the United States, she wrote, “I wish to cooperate with the revolution in transforming the world into a classless one.” 

This exhibit is a chance to reflect on Frida’s social justice roots, and the unjust struggles that artists and activists continue to battle.