Introduction

Visual Index (Entire Poster Collection)

Catalogue

Chronology of the War

Acknowledgements

Lists of References

Afterword: Herbert R. Southworth Collection


 

Trabajadores! Producio más y mejor

[Workers! Work harder and better.]. Henry. UGT, Editado por el Comité Nacional Lithograph, 3 colors; 99 x 66 cm.

Several other posters in this exhibit focus on the similar theme of the interconnections and parallels between the efforts of soldiers and laborers in support of Republican Spain (see poster 24). The red hue to the laborer in the foreground reflects his revolutionary character and his apparent nudity reflects the purity of his cause and its strength. Silhouetted in the distance in white is the image of a soldier apparently waving to agricultural laborer. This image serves to support the interconnections between laborers and soldiers and the contribution of laborers to the war effort and the hope of victory.

In between, the bold caption in white is text taken from a speech given by Republican Prime Minister Juan Negrín at Parliament on February 1, 1938. It reads:

The effort, with which now our lands benefit from labor, is as indispensable for victory as the blood, which our soldiers spill for victory. Unfortunately, the example of soldiers and laborers is not catching on as quickly as it should be.

A similar message appears in the text of poster 27, which is also taken from this same speech by Dr. Negrín. While poster 27 is directed primarily towards industrial workers, the message of this poster seems to be intended for agricultural workers.

Dr. Juan Negrín (1889-1956) worked as a professor physiology at the Medical Faculty of Madrid University before the Civil War. During the war, he served as the finance minister under Francisco Largo Caballero from September 1936 to May 1937. He was Republican Spain's last Prime Minister from 1937 to April 1938, at which time he became defense minister as well as prime minister until the end of the war in March 1939. Although he started as a moderate socialist, Negrín came to embrace the communist line and worked hard to increase the power and influence of communists beginning when President Azaña asked Negrín to form a new cabinet after the collapse of the Largo Caballero government in May 1937. In his own time, his apparent commitment to increasing the power of the communist party led a coalition of socialist, Republican and anarcho-syndicalist groups, led by Colonel Segismundo Casado, to overthrow Negrín's government in 1939 just before the end of the war. Consequently, Negrín's legacy is a bit controversial as he is often characterized as a pragmatist who was blind to the many excesses, including political assassinations, carried out by the communist party in Spain.

The author of this poster is the artist known as Henry whose full name was Enrique V. Ballesteros. Little is known about Ballesteros. Several of his posters from the Civil War period survive and he is known to have worked for the Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT), Cruz Roja (Red Cross), and the Comité Central pro-Acorazado España (Central Committee for Armored Spain).

 
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