Edendale, the village that once straddled the border of what is now Echo Park and Silver Lake, is best known as home to the city’s first major silent film studios. During that same era a century ago, however, the Edendale area was also the site of a commune founded in part Ricardo Flores-Magón, a Mexican journalist, revolutionary and anarchist. Flores-Magón, according to some accounts, settled in the Silver Lake area shortly before the start of World War I and lived on a 5-1/2 farm with his family and members of an anarchist group called Partido Liberal Mexicano. The members sold the produce and chickens raised on their Edendale commune to pay for the printing of the Mexican anarchist newspaper, Regeneración. Eventually, Flores-Magón was jailed and died in Federal prison. This Saturday, July 9, the legacy of Flores-Magón will be featured in Anarchy!, part of the Variedades performance salon at The Echo in Echo Park.
“We’ll be reaching deep into Eastside history for this one, including the story of Ricardo Flores Magón, his agitation, his trials and convictions, and his commune in the Echo Park area at the turn of the last century,” said Rubén Martinez, who hosts the program.
Martinez recently traveled to Mexico City to conduct more research on Magon, which included the anarchist’s grave and interviewing Magon expert Jacinto Barrera Bassols. Bassols provided the photo at the top of this post showing Flores-Magón at the Edendale commune in 1915.
The variety show includes new music that tells the story of Flores-Magón as well work written by the revolutionary himself. “Richard Montoya of Culture Clash, backed by the musicians of Chicano Son, will perform an excerpt of RFM’s play, TIERRA Y LIBERTAD, which was written and premiered in a theater on Spring Street while he lived on the commune,” Martinez said.
Anarchy! – which also includes performances Exene Cervenka of X and founders of East L.A. punk band Los Illegals – begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 9 at The Echo. Admission is $7