Fotografía y educación en la prensa de guerra republicana en España (1936-1939)

  1. Miquel Lara, Avelina
Supervised by:
  1. Francesca Comas Rubí Director
  2. Bernat Sureda Garcia Director

Defence university: Universitat de les Illes Balears

Fecha de defensa: 11 December 2020

  1. María del Mar del Pozo Andrés Chair
  2. Gabriel Barceló Bauzà Secretary
  3. Siân Roberts Committee member

Type: Thesis


The doctoral thesis entitled “Fotografía y educación en la prensa de guerra republicana en España (1936-1939)” (Photography and Education in the Republican War Press in Spain (1936-1939)), focuses on the so-called war press or trench press (also soldier newspapers in the Anglo-Saxon world). We understand as war press the one produced by and for the soldiers of an army during a war. In our case, we refer to the illustrated war press published by the Republican army in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. The main objective of this thesis is to analyse how, through educational and cultural articles, the image was used to educate and influence the Republican soldiers. The educational work carried out by the Republican government on the fronts during the Spanish Civil War has been previously studied by different historians of education, who have used, among other sources, soldier newspapers to document experiences and the educational project developed during the war. This thesis, however, aims to offer a different, and at the same time complementary approach to the study of education on the front. Here we propose to analyse the uses of the image of these soldier newspapers as an educational resource used by the Republican government itself to influence its combatants ideologically and morally. The methodology used is the historical method adapted to the field of the history of education, together with contributions from other disciplines such as sociology or semiotics for the interpretation of the photographs which, as the social constructs that they are, are subjective manifestations of reality. Despite enjoying the appearance of veracity, since what they show existed. These visual texts show us a moment that the photographer, or whoever commissioned the photograph, decided to immortalize and that, on many occasions, is theatricalized or choreographed to convey a certain vision of what they reflect. The sources used have been the publications that, within the whole war press, were not daily and exceeded at least 15% of illustration. Other complementary sources have been the official documents, especially the Decrees of the time. Regarding heuristics, we point out that access to the Republican war press has been made through the Historical Memory Documentary Centre (CDMH), the General Military Archive of Avila (AGMA) and the Municipal Newspaper Library of Madrid (HMM). These three collections are complementary to each other, as they often have the same headings, but different numbers. In any case, many of the publications are incomplete and of others, only one or two issues are preserved. The main results of the thesis are that the educational and cultural photography that appeared in the soldier newspapers allows us to know what visual strategies were designed to promote certain values and attitudes among Republican soldiers. Taking into account the high rate of illiteracy among the troops, the use of the image as a resource for direct transmission was very useful and we believe that the images that appear in the soldier newspapers were expressly designed and selected to produce the desired effect. Visual discourses were created that link the cultural training of soldiers with their political, moral, and military training.