The Death of the Last Veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. "Delmer Berg, 100, was one of the Americans who volunteered to fight Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War, and he never stopped fighting for leftist causes." Berg died on February 28, 2016. The war ended 77 years ago today. [more inside]
"Citizenship is a tough occupation which obliges the citizen to make his own informed opinion and stand by it."
'The Hubris and Despair of War Journalism: What Martha Gellhorn teaches us about the morality of contemporary war reportage.' [more inside]
Around 4.30pm on April 26, 1937, a joint squadron of 23 German and Italian planes appeared in the skies over the historic, and undefended, Basque town of Gernika. Over the next five hours they would drop a total of 22 tons of high explosives and incendiary devices that would burn for days, destroying 70 percent of the town, and killing and wounding 1,600 people - around a third of the population. Following the attack, thousands of children were evacuated from the Basque country. [more inside]
The International Center of Photography is exhibiting photographs online from the Mexican Suitcase, a cache of photographs taken during the Spanish Civil War, hidden, and rediscovered in 2008.
Land and Freedom, in its entirety. It's a film about a young English Communist who goes to fight the fascists amidst the Spanish Revolution as a member of the POUM militia. He sees both the reality of a people's revolution and the consequences of Stalinism. It's directed by Ken Loach, who also directed Bread and Roses and The Wind that Shakes the Barley. Subtitles will help a lot if you don't speak Spanish.
The Scots voice of the Spanish revolution [Embedded DivX video 1hr15m; also downloadable] Ethel MacDonald was a young working class Scots woman who hitch-hiked to Barcelona to do her part in the war. There she became the English-language voice of the anarchist movement as a radio station announcer. Newspapers at home dubbed her the "Scottish Scarlet Pimpernel" for her role in helping comrades escape the crackdown that followed the May Days. Her remarkable story is told in this recent drama-documentary.
The Free Voice of Labour [Flash video 57.11] traces the history of a Yiddish anarchist newspaper publishing its final issue after 88 years. One of 200+ films on anarchist and related themes at the ChristieBooks channel on Brightcove. Other films include Gordon Carr's documentary on the Angry Brigade, a wealth of Spanish-language material on the civil war and revolution, a Russian-language biopic of Nestor Makhno, the story of the Bonnot Gang and a history of Uruguay's Tupamaros. In other news, Franco is dead.
Behind Iron Bars. A short comic of the Spanish Civil War. From the latest, international comics, edition of Words Without Borders.
Pan's Labyrinth the new movie by director Guillermo del Toro (Devil's Backbone) is a fairy tale for grownups. Certainly not a new idea, stories like Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia have elements that appeal to adults, but Pan's Labyrinth is perhaps unique in that it's not at all suitable for children.
George Orwell né Eric Arthur Blair is probably best known to readers for his eerily prescient novels 1984 and Animal Farm. This comprehensive Orwell site betrays an erudite, complex, fascinating personality who wrote about a variety of subjects, from an exposition on British class relations affecting the art and practice of murder, to the complex moral compromises of Gandhi's practice of non-violent resistance, to the doublespeak-laden corruption of the English language as a telling reflection of a corrupt, brutal, post-WWII culture — and much, much more. This site also includes Russian translations of much of Orwell's work.
I had come to Spain with some notion of writing newspaper articles, but I had joined the militia almost immediately
"I had come to Spain with some notion of writing newspaper articles, but I had joined the militia almost immediately." – George Orwell, writing about the revolutionary war which started 70 years ago yesterday: July 19th, 1936. Also: Anarchism and the Spanish Civil War. The Visual Front: Posters of The Spanish Civil War. Photos from the Spanish Civil War. Films from the CNT (National Confederation of Labour), 1936-1938.
They Still Draw Pictures. Drawings made by children during the Spanish Civil War.
The Power of Art? This interesting article becomes extremely clever if you think about some of the basic history of "Guernica". Little-known artist Picasso (see '37 for initial ideas, '45 for completed painting) was commissioned to paint it after the horrific slaughters of the Spanish Civil War. “...Picasso's tour de force would become one of this century's most unsettling indictments of war.” (more inside)