Frida Kahlo and pendular disability identity: A textual examination of El Diario de Frida Kahlo

JONES, Elizabeth

Publication Date 

18 pp

Frida Kahlo is undoubtedly one of Mexico’s most famous female artists, and her rising popularity led to the 1995 publication of the diary she kept the last ten years of her life. Nonetheless, while the diary has received some critical scrutiny, the text has not been analyzed as an independent unit from the book’s visual components. As a result, Kahlo’s disability identity has also not been explored, but rather was assumed due to the extensive injuries Kahlo suffered as a young woman. These examinations have also tended to view Kahlo as having a fragmented sense of self and have allowed the diary’s artwork to guide this assumption. In dialogue with prior studies of Kahlo’s diary, this analysis will view the diary as an independent text and apply Karen K. Yoshida’s model of pendular reconstruction of self and identity to demonstrate how Kahlo describes her disability identity and better understand what others have called her ‘fragmentation.’ 


Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2018, Vol. 5 No. 1

Regional Focus 

Country focus 


Type of material 

Content type