The postcards of the civil war
Postcards are, after posters, the object of graphic propaganda the most used during the period which interests us. Full support, 800 listed different cards possess an editorial and graphic logic appropriate to their size and in their use.
In France and in Europe, the postcard was the first consumer media popularizing the photo report. Indeed, till the beginning of the XXè century, the illustrators had managed to forbid the use of the photography in newspapers, from then on, the photographers used the postcard to broadcast their reports. This is the way contrary to posters, the industry schedules control perfectly the techniques of photographic reproduction black and white.
In Spain, the quasi-completeness of these cards have a size 10x14. There is some cards “photo” colorized (especially of the pro-Franco side).
As posters, they will have a history, a parallel course:
· In July, 1936, May, 1937, a big profusion of reproduction of posters the most popular outcomes directly antifascist organizations;
· From 1937, regained control by the government and the institutionalization of the handled themes;
· 1938, a progressive stop of the production and the distribution of this propaganda tool.
From July, 1936, to reproduce under another shape posters, it is chronologically the first objective of postcards, nevertheless these reproductions do not represent more than third(third party) of the total production.
A postcard is a : “Small-format Object intended for a fast and concise correspondence”, the republican camp will put-quickly-this basic use in the service of militias then of valuation of the rising popular army. From then on, cards become free for the soldiers on all the fronts. The “Postal de campana” is pre-filled sometimes. Every regiment, division, battalion or mixed brigade can publish one or several “Postal de campana”. Let be around thirty series, more barracks (ex: the barracks Lenin du POUM in Barcelona), the international brigades, etc.
To our knowledge, no unit « militarized » libertarian will not use this tool (one or two), only the central committee of the anti-fascist militias of Barcelona (managed by Garcia Oliver) published it in the glory of militias or barracks Bakounine de la CNT.
The proposed themes, on the first side, are mainly connected to the war and to its consequences: glorification of the fighters (thus many soldiers), denunciation of the murders of the enemy, the solidarity with the refugees.
The solidarity and the mutual aid is the other theme mainly approached by postcards: organizations as SRI (for the communists) and SIA (for the libertarians) propose numerous cards on: the refugees, the role of hospitals, prisoners (in the pro-Franco zone, but also in the republican gaols) intended also for the international propaganda.
Postcards are also going to advance the celebrities: generals (Miaja, List, el Campesino, Farra, etc.), charismatic leaders (Durruti, Pasionaria, Caballero), and international stars of cinema supporting the "Republic". And for the libertarians the big thinkers.
We also find some reproductions of caricatures of press.
Organizations libertarians will publish about twenty different series, the themes expensive to posters libertarians: the education, the culture, the social revolution, etc. are approached at the beginning of the war (1936) or only through the reproduction of existing posters (including in black and white). SIA will use abundantly this tool as international propaganda.
Finally, it is necessary to us to indicate the significant number of postcards stemming from the Pro-Franco zone. If the production of pro-Franco posters was insignificant before January, 1939, the number of “mail” is enough important for stopping some lines there.
They are characterized by a very important use of the photo (near half). The propaganda by the postcard having begun later pro-Franco side (with the first victories), they glorify especially the martyrs and the winners (the generals, the elite units, the parades tense arms) and especially the development of the generalissimo: Franco, present on more than hundred of them.
The “national” emblems are for the foreground (flags “blood&gold” and Falangist badges). There are also postcards intended to glorify the help and the action of the German and Italian friends.
References: the mail targetes of the guerra civil of R. Marti and the numerous Web sites dedicated to the imaging of this period, without forgetting: http: // cartoliste.ficedl.info / the site dedicated to the anarchistic postcards of 1870 in today.