Asturias, Octubre 1934-1937. Hoy como ayer el Socorro Rojo de España cuidará de vuestras familias
[Asturias, October 1934-1937. Today, as yesterday, the Spanish Red Aid will take care of your families]. Signed: Tomás.. Socorro Rojo de España. Gráficas Valencia, Intervenido U.G.T. C.N.T. Lithograph, 3 colors; 100 x 69 cm.
In this poster, the image
of a fighting miner emerges from behind a hill inscribed with the
word "Asturias". This refers to a region located along
Spain's northern coast, on the Bay of Biscay. The fighter carries
a rifle on his shoulder and prepares to throw a stick of dynamite.
Behind him a mother cares for her two young children. The green
color of the sinuous mountains evokes the greenery of a region known
for its abundant rainfall.
The message under the
image refers to events that occurred in Asturias in 1934 and in
1937, and also to the organization issuing this poster, the Socorro
Rojo de España, or Spanish Red Aid. The Red Aid was founded
by the Comintern in 1921; its activities in Spain had begun before
the war, assisting in the revolutionary strike that was held in
many parts of the country in the fall of 1934. This strike was most
successful in Asturias, where it was led by a united front of miners
of socialist, communist and anarchist persuasion; thus the initials
UHP in the cap worn by
the miner in this poster, which stand for Unión de Hermanos
Proletarios, or Union of Proletarian Brothers. After two weeks
of revolution, the rebellion surrendered on October 18, 1934. The
repression was conducted by military forces led by General Franco
on orders from the Republican government. It is to these events
that the inscription "October 1934" in this poster refers.
The second date on the poster, 1937, refers to the Civil War. In
the late summer of that year, military forces, this time in rebellion
against the Republic, were set to attack Asturias. The region prepared
for its defense, which was much publicized throughout the country.
After intense fighting, Asturias finally fell to the Nationalist
army on October 21. This poster shows the mythic dimension that
the Asturias revolution of 1934 had acquired in Spain immediately
before and during the war. The defense of Asturias in 1937 by revolutionary
miners like the one represented in this image immediately evoked
the earlier events and provided an ideal opportunity to rouse the
passion of the masses anew.
The author of this scene,
Tomás, designed other posters during the war, but he is not
otherwise known. This poster must have been designed and printed
at the time of the events it commemorates, in October 1937, presumably
before the fall of Asturias to the Nationalist army on October 21.