Introduction

Visual Index (Entire Poster Collection)

Catalogue

Chronology of the War

Acknowledgements

Lists of References

Afterword: Herbert R. Southworth Collection


 

Obrers, organitzeu els campoinats de treball de cara a la guerra

[Workers: Organize work contests for the war effort]. . Arts Graphiques Thomas Lithograph, 4 colors; 100 x 69 cm.

In this poster, a hand holding a laurel wreath - a symbol of victory - rises above symbols of war and industry that overlap it. The image of the laurel wreath may have a dual meaning here. On the one hand, it may be a reference to the victors in the "work contests" mentioned on the poster. On the other hand, it may also be a reference to the overall victory of Republican Spain over the Nationalists. Visually, the poster communicates a common theme among many of the Republican posters that the work done in industries in the rearguard will contribute to victory in the war against the Nationalists. A hand holding a hammer reflects the revolutionary character of the poster and represents the workers movement. This would have been a particularly important symbol to the Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT), which produced the poster. The outline of a factory, in red, and an airplane also figure prominently in the image.

Industrial production was particularly important to sustaining the war effort in Republican Spain during the Civil War. At the onset of the war, Spain had a population of 24 million people with 14 million in Republican territories and 10 million Nationalist territories. However, only 8% of the Spanish population worked in industry - 220,000 in war related industries. With the steady stream of aid that the Nationalists received from Germany and Italy particularly in terms of material and technological support, it was incumbent upon Republican Spain to ramp up its own industrial production. Thus, posters like this one were geared towards motivating those workers serving a vital function for the war effort. It is no wonder that many posters made a direct connection between worker production and victory. Finally, it is no surprise that the text on the poster is Catalan since Cataluña was the most important industrialized region in Republican Spain.

The UGT is mentioned on the poster and is probably the organization that oversaw the production of the poster. Also, Art Graphiques Thomas is the organization that designed and printed the poster. The artist is unknown.

 
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