Introduction

Visual Index (Entire Poster Collection)

Catalogue

Chronology of the War

Acknowledgements

Lists of References

Afterword: Herbert R. Southworth Collection


 

Columna de Hierro. Campesino, la revolución te dará la tierra.

[Land worker, the revolution will give you the land]. Signed: Bauset. A.I.D.C. Gráficas Valencia, Intervenido, U.G.T. C.N.T. Lithograph, 4 colors; 163 x 117 cm.

In this poster, a farm laborer-turned-militiaman has impaled a monstrous representation of capitalism on his rifle and is tossing the man over his shoulder like a bale of hay. The laborer, depicted in red tones to indicate his revolutionary character, stands astride an outline of the Iberian Peninsula, thus adding visual support to the caption, which reads: "Land worker! The revolution will give you the land."

At the beginning of the war, the left-wing trade unions of both Barcelona and Valencia, among which the anarcho-syndicalist CNT was the most prominent, defeated the local military insurrectionists and took de facto control of their cities. At this juncture, many anarchist groups began to collectivize industry and agriculture, believing that the long-awaited revolution was upon them. Anarchist propaganda emphasizes the revolutionary nature of the struggle. This poster, commissioned by the radical anarchist militia unit Columna de Hierro (Iron Column), makes no reference to either war or fascism, but addresses itself directly to the overthrow of capitalism, the Anarchists' ultimate aim. The desire for revolution was not, however, shared by the Anarchists' partners in the Republican government, the Socialists and Communists, who wanted to present a moderate face to the Western democracies in a bid to gain their support. For this reason, communist and socialist propaganda stresses the need to defeat fascism, the importance of uniting together to fight the war, not to stage a revolution.

This poster was produced under the aegis of the two trade unions, the socialist-revolutionary UGT and the anarcho-syndicalist CNT. These two bodies took over Valencian industry in the first days of the Civil War and continued to control it until some time after the Republican government transferred from Madrid to Valencia in October 1936. We can thus date this poster to the first months of the conflict. The letters AIDC are the acronym of the anti-fascist intellectual organization, the Asociación Intelectual para la Defensa de la Cultura, founded in Barcelona in January 1936. Of the artist Bauset little is known, other than the fact that he studied under the celebrated Valencian photomontage artist, Josep Renau, before the war.

 

 
Copyright UC Regents 1998, All rights reserved