The voice of the vanquished

El Pais in English
For the 40 years of its existence, prisoners on death row, orphans, widows, exiles, the starving and the desperate all wrote thousands of letters to La Pirenaica, the radio station that provided the sole voice for those on the losing side of the Civil War. Many of the messages were lost, intercepted or for some other reason never reached the clandestine station, which was founded in Moscow in 1941. But more than 15,500, from around 33 countries, ended up at the Spanish Communist Party’s Historical Archive (AHPCE).
full article here


Helen Graham

Helen Graham's review of 'Franco's Crypt: Spanish and Culture and Memory since 1936' by Jeremy Treglown

The Guardian 21.03.14

"The importance of the mass graves initiative in Spain goes far beyond righting a specific historical wrong, for it offers the constitutional state a means of identifying and naming all its citizens – past and present – as an act of democratic inclusion and a reminder that in democracy no section of a citizenry can be "expendable" in this way, nor should one segment be mobilised against another. As the government withdraws even the minimal public money previously available, the excavations in Spain have now become completely dependent on civic action and volunteer donations. This points to a democratic deficit at the heart of the state, but it also shows there is still a functioning civil society and democratic social fabric, in spite of governmental attempts to erode citizens' rights."

full article here


Irme Schaber

"The Life and work of Gerda Taro - Nazi refugee, shooting star, photopioneer"
Talk at Street Level, Glasgow, 19.02.14

with Irme Schaber (left)

Irme Schaber is an independent German scholar and regarded as the foremost authority on the life and work of Gerda Taro. It is due to her groundbreaking research that Taro was rediscovered despite decades of significant absence in the archives. In the 1990s she interviewed many of Taro’s friends and colleagues against the constraints of time due to their advanced ages. In 2000, she interviewed the 91 year old American nurse who cared for Taro before her death in a field hospital at El Escorial. Exile research has been the subject of many of Irme Schaber’s publications, both scientific and journalistic, with an emphasis on exile photographers during the Nazi era. Her first biography on Taro was published in 1994 for which she won the Kodak Photo Book Prize (now the German Photo Book Prize). In 2007 she was guest curator of the first Gerda Taro exhibition at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York, and in 2010 contributed to the ICP ‘The Mexican Suitcase’ extensive catalogues. Her new biography ‘Gerda Taro – Fotoreporterin, Mit Robert Capa im Spanischen Bürgerkrieg, Die Biografie’ was published by Jonas Verlag in 2013.