¡Sí Se Puede!

Following up on yesterday’s posting “Yes we can”, on the slogan, Eric Holeman asked on Facebook,

Which came first: “Yes, we can,” or “Si, se puede!”?

The straightforward answer to the question framed this way is “¡Sí Se Puede!”, but a full answer is moderately complex.

The story starts with a 1943 wartime poster (#4 in yesterday’s posting) with the slogan “We Can Do It!” (not “Yes, we can”). Then forward to 1972. From Wikipedia:

Sí, se puede … is the motto of the United Farm Workers. In 1972, during Cesar Chavez’s 24 day fast in Phoenix, Arizona, he and UFW’s co-founder, Dolores Huerta, came up with the slogan.

The phrase has been widely adopted by other labor unions and civil rights organizations and drew widespread political and media attention as a rallying cry during the 2006 U.S. immigration reform protests

Sí se puede is usually translated in English as “It can be done”, or “Yes you can”. The more literal translation that the United Farm Workers uses is “Yes, it can be done!”

President Barack Obama adopted the English version “Yes, we can!” first during the 2004 Illinois Democratic primary race for U.S. Senate, and it became a slogan of his 2008 presidential campaign.

The Spanish version has been often illustrated, sometimes with the 1943 so-called “Rose the Riveter” image. Here’s another image:

This is by artist Robert Valadez, who

created his own version of the famous World War II poster “Rosie the Riveter” by giving it some Mexicana style.

Valadez chose to combine Rosie the Riveter with La Adelita, a fictional character from the Mexican Revolution because he says both are feminist archetypes that speak to the empowerment of women. (link)

4 Responses to “¡Sí Se Puede!”

  1. jennifer Says:

    that idea came from the person who is in the picture isabel morales she chose the artist to paint her. the credit goes to isabel morales and her idea.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      The artist, Valadez: “It came from an idea of a friend of mine, Isabel Morales, who had seen the original ‘Rosie the Riveter’ poster from World War II. She thought about doing a Latina version.” So nobody’s denying that the idea came from Morales. I don’t have a source that says that Morales was the model, but it’s certainly possible. I also don’t have any information about Morales.

    • Isabel Morales Says:

      Thank you Jennifer for the acknowledgement

  2. Isabel Morales Says:

    Hello beautiful people I am Isabel Morales the face the idea the concept.

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