From the Director: 75 years later

September 18, 2011

October 2011 marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the International Brigades. To properly honor the brave men and women who fought to save the Spanish Republic, programs of appreciation and remembrance will take place for a full week in different parts of Spain.

ALBA will be joining the official program of activities in Madrid (program here, pdf)by participating in two round-table discussions. One will examine the role of the city of New York in supporting the Spanish Republic; the other will facilitate sharing thoughts and experiences among worldwide organizations of friends of the International Brigades on how to organize our work in the 21st century—now that the living memory of the veterans is disappearing. A monument dedicated to the International Brigades will also be erected in Madrid’s Ciudad Universitaria, an area of fierce fighting during the civil war.

As a Spaniard myself, I have always been moved by the courage, humanity and sheer boldness of the Brigadistas. I am proud to be working not only to keep the legacy of the Lincoln Brigade alive, but also to promote the relevancy of their idealism, vision and international solidarity in today’s world.

Back home, in New York, we also have an exciting fall coming up. You should not miss the upcoming photo exhibit of Agustí Centelles: The French Suitcase from October 5–December 17 at the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, NYU. It will be the first exhibit of 40 photographs Centelles took in Barcelona in the first few hours after the military uprising on July 18, 1936; his photo-reportage throughout the war; and the extraordinary photographs taken at the French concentration camp in Bram. A parallel exhibit of original copies of international magazines that featured Centelles war photos will be on display in NYU’s Tamiment Library. In addition, a symposium celebrating Centelles’ work will be held during the fall semester at NYU.

On the human rights front, ALBA is now accepting nominations for the 2012 ALBA-Puffin International Award for Human Rights Activism. As you know, the award is granted on an annual basis to individuals or organizations whose work has had an exceptionally positive impact on the advancement and/or defense of human rights. Honoring the work of our last laureate, Judge Baltasar Garzón, ALBA’s human rights program moves ahead with a mini-film festivalImpugning Impunity: A Human Rights Documentary Film Series, at the Museum of the City of New York from November 3-5. Please save the date.

After a very successful summer teachers’ institute in NY, I am pleased to announce that this fall we will be expanding our Development Day Program into Chicago and northern New Jersey, developing ways to include the history of the Brigade and the Spanish Civil War in the high school curriculum.

Last, I invite you to toast a la salud of the Lincoln veterans on December 9. A night of music, sharing, and dancing in the best spirit of the 30s at La Nacional, 239 West 14th Street (upper floor).  Get ready to dust off your berets!

If you have not done so already, please subscribe to our e-newsletter or check our website under “events.”

ALBA is sustained by the generosity of private philanthropy.  Thank you very much for all your support!


Marina Garde

ALBA Managing Director