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.