Introduction

Visual Index (Entire Poster Collection)

Catalogue

Chronology of the War

Acknowledgements

Lists of References

Afterword: Herbert R. Southworth Collection


 

llegiu! treball. Diari dels treballadors de la ciutat i del camp

[Read treball. The daily for workers in the city and the country]. Signed: Michel Adam . S.D.P. Editat Pel Sindicat de Dibuixants Professionals, U.G.T. Grafos. SA, Barcelona. Photomechanical reproduction (halftone) and lithograph, 100 x 70 cm.

This poster encourages the people of Catalonia to read Treball, the organ of the Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya (Catalan Unified Socialist Party). The two men who are reading the paper in the foreground, one a peasant and the other an industrial worker as suggested by their attire, point to the constituency that the PSUC paper was trying to reach. Formed in July 1936, the PSUC grew out of a coalition of the Catalan branches of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and the Spanish Communist Party (PCE). Dominated by communist leadership under the General Secretary Juan Comorera, PSUC membership quickly grew from an initial 4,000 members to over 50,000 by mid-1937. PSUC became increasingly powerful throughout the war because of its opposition to the revolutionary platform of more radical parties like the Heterodox Marxist Party (POUM) and the leading anarchist party and trade union (FAI-CNT). By waging a massive campaign against these ultra-left elements, the PSUC successfully secured a dominant position in Catalonia. The red and yellow of the poster may be a reference to the Catalan flag and therefore emphasizes the Catalan nature of the newspaper.

Michel Adam was a pseudonym used by the painter Joan Colom Agusti. Little is known about Agusti other than his work for the UGT and the PSUC. Agusti's poster was edited by the Sindicat de Dibuixants Professionals (Syndicate of Professional Artists). Created in 1933, the SDP was a small organization of only 150 members; by October 1936, it had grown to over 1800 members and had become a key agent in the distribution of propaganda posters. Because this poster was signed in 1936 and because the PSUC did not exist until late July of that year, the poster must have been printed during the last five months of 1936.

 
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