After ten years of Revolution, the Mexican people celebrated political radicalism and their indigenous heritage. The economy was wiped out, and the rich had to reduce their quality of life, including dismissing their servants. It was around this time marvelous discoveries in archeology were revealing ancient ruins and the history and arts of the indigenous people of Mexico.
Martha Zamorra writes in her book, Frida Kahlo, The Brush Of Anguish, “ The Mexican Revolution, which began three years after Frida’s birth, had inspired a dynamic new sense of nationalism throughout the country. Mexico looked proudly to its native roots and initiated a deliberate program of cultural reconstruction and educational development”.
The ministry of culture flourished as it provided schools, libraries and literacy programs to all. The government included women in education, and provided the poor with access to affordable books published by the state.
This whole cultural development made a deep impression on Frida’s life, and by age 15, she entered the National Preparatory School. It was there she met Alejandro Gomez Arias, her first boyfriend. She also met Diego Rivera, who was painting a mural at her school, as part of the muralist movement that was taking place in Mexico.
Frida was known as a lively student, who wanted to be a doctor. She liked breaking the rules in society, was precociously active sexually with both men and women, and was not ashamed of any of her transgressions. By age 19, Frida enrolled in business school to learn how to type, worked in a pharmacy and a lumber office, and eventually was employed as an apprentice at an engraving studio.
On September 17 of 1925, Frida and her boyfriend, Alejandro, were part of a horrific accident. The streetcar they were riding in crashed with a bus as it was turning a corner. Many people died, and a metal handrail impaled Frida. She broke her pelvis, spine, right leg, color bone and three ribs. The doctors had to repair her bones in different stages. She was in and out of casts for two years, lying on her bed, and the only thing she could do was write and draw.
She wrote in her diary that she had become old in an instant and had moved to a planet called pain.