Parallelisms in posters: 1808 / 1936

February 10, 2011

"Expel the invader!" Posters contextualize events by inserting them into a series, into a narrative. In a subgroup of Republican Spanish Civil War posters, the struggle of the Republic against the forces of Franco, Hitler and Mussolini is likened to the popular resistance against the French invaders of 1808.

"Today, as on May 2, 1808, the Spanish people will rescue Spain's independence." This evocation of the 1808 popular resistance against the French --the war is actually known in Spain as the "guerra de la independencia"-- generated many references to Francisco de Goya, the great Spanish artist who chronicled "the disasters of war" in paintings and prints.

"Goya saw this. We see this. Then and now, Spain fights for her independence." These posters suggest that the Republican struggle is the continuation of the patriotic values and heroism of the resistance against the French invaders of 1808, and that the Republic is the rightful heir to --and custodian of-- Spain's artistic patrimony.