The latest news about the return of the famous Broadway musical Evita with Ricky Martin in a leading role make the entertainment press a frenzy. However, many of us still wonder who Evita is, what she did and why she deserves her own musical.
María Eva Duarte from Perón (1919-1952) was the second wife and political partner of the president Juan Perón (1895-1974) of Argentina. It is also popularly known for the affectionate and diminutive Spanish Evita, which translates to "The Little Eva". Still a very popular figure in Argentina and a world icon due to books, movies and musicals based on his life, many consider it comparable to another world superstar, Princess Diana of England. Here we observe the similarities and differences of both women to see if the comparison is justified.
It is fair to say that both Evita and Diana, despite living with almost 50 years of difference in different continents, had similarities;
– Both married powerful men, Diana with Prince Carlos and Evita with Colonel Juan Perón. They met in 1943, when Perón took over as secretary of labor and social welfare in the military government that had recently come to power. Two years later, they were married in 1945 when Evita helped Perón out of jail after his imprisonment by the military opposition. The presidency of Peron in 1946 took over soon after, and Evita's close relationship with Peron gave him access to a large amount of power.
– Both Diana and Evita shared an affinity for the poor and the sick; During the presidential campaign of 1946, Evita directed her efforts towards the "descamisados" (shirtless poor) and her efforts for the suffrage of women led to the adoption of laws in 1947 that allowed women to vote in the 1951 elections for the first time once in history. He also devoted several hours every day to meet with poor people and visit hospitals, orphanages and factories. In addition, he oversaw the newly created Ministry of Health, which built many new hospitals and established a successful program to combat different diseases.
– Like Diana, Evita was a figure constantly in the public eye. As a result, she, like Diana, was immensely fashion conscious. Her clothes and hair were studied, commented and copied.
– Both women died young, Avoid cervical cancer at the age of 33 years. In both cases, there was a huge outpouring of public pain. All activity in Argentina ceased; the movies stopped reproducing; The restaurants were closed and customers showed up at the door. The crowd outside the official presidential residence after the announcement of his death was so dense that the streets were congested for ten blocks in each direction. The streets of Buenos Aires were full of flowers that were piled up in large piles and, one day after Evita's death, all the flower shops in Buenos Aires had run out.
– Just as Diana's legacy and reputation have endured after her death, Evita's death does not seem to have stopped her international fame. In 1980, Andrew Lloyd Weber and the musical "Evita" by Timothy Rice won an important prize and began to shoot the ball to increase its popularity. After almost 20 years of delay in production, Madonna was chosen for the main role of the film version, which led to Evita as a figure in the international public eye more than 50 years after his death.
However, despite the similarity, Diana and Evita shared some fundamental differences;
– Born into a single family of 5 children, Evita's story was humble, to say the least. His father left his mother a year after his birth and as a result of the impoverishment that followed the loss of his income support, the family moved to the poorest area of his city. To support herself and her children, Evita's mother sewed clothes for the neighbors. The family was stigmatized by the abandonment of the father, especially because the Argentine law despised illegitimate children.
– The strong political participation of Evita in most of her public life distinguishes her significantly from Diana. Despite using it as a platform for humanitarian agendas, he also criticized it, since many considered the Peron government a fascist party that relentlessly repressed the political opposition of a centralized authoritarian government.
– Diana was well known for raising money for charitable causes, like Evita, but the questions surrounded the money that Evita raised for some causes. Many claim that she extracted large sums of money from wealthy entrepreneurs for intimidation. She was also accused of keeping amounts for her own purposes, buying jewelry and clothes. His European tour in 1947, a highly publicized issue in which Evita visited several heads of state, was ridiculed by some as an excuse to deposit funds into a Swiss bank account, some of which were supposed to be intended for charitable giving.
Regardless of the comparisons, Evita certainly remains a unique historical figure who managed to achieve an almost incredible and sacred popularity with the Argentine lower classes; Visitors from Argentina can still see the lasting effect of Evita in the country. It is said that in many homes, the image of Evita is on the wall next to the Virgin Mary. On July 26, 2002, on the 50th anniversary of the death of Eva Perón, a museum was inaugurated in Buenos Aires in her honor called "Museo Evita". The museum, created by his niece Cristina Alvarez Rodríguez, houses many of the clothes, portraits and artistic representations of Eva Peron of her life.
TAGS: argentina, Eva
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