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Arts & Media students' new take on Spanish Civil War

Thursday 28 June 2018

THE HIDDEN history of the Spanish Civil War is being made more accessible by the creative flair of undergraduates.

Made famous by La Pasionaria’s defiance in the siege of Madrid, the bombing of Guernica and its sheer brutality, the 1936-39 war divided Spain along not so much geographical as class lines as a deeply traditional elite fought a more liberal, urban working people.

The Working Class Movement Library is conducting a Salford University-funded digitization project of material and sources about the conflict which involved thousands of Republic-supporting working class men and women from Britain, France, the US and elsewhere.

Undergraduates studying English, Politics and History have been taking part in the Library’s Invisible Histories series, to open up the Library’s unique Spanish Civil War collection to a vastly wider audience.  

New perspectives

The project has seen the professional digitization of photos, letters, posters and involved students in creating new materials, including poems, stories and blog posts about the war’s dramas and characters.    An event to celebrate the work, funded by the University’s  Salford Advantage Fund will take place on Wednesday 4th July at 2pm at the Working Class Movement Library.

Project Leader Dr Maggie Scott said: “It’s been a fantastic experience and the School of Arts & Media thanks the WCML team for their time and efforts, especially manager Lynette Cawthra, librarian Jane Taylor and the expert volunteers, including Stuart Walsh, Dave Fogg, Terry Bayes and  Jordan Jackson.  

“It’s wonderful for students to not only help develop digital humanities resources within the heritage sector but to do so in a project which supports the local community and the Library’s wider international clientele via the internet.  

“We look forward to hearing and seeing the outcomes at our 4th July event - do come along and join us!”

Collection of poetry 

English Literature second year student, Karlo Jacutan said the project had been challenging, and fulfilling and a good chance to upgrade his creative writing skills. 

He says he initially planned to write a short story about one of the volunteer brigadiers but ended up writing a short collection of poetry. 

“I have never attempted poetry before, let alone on a subject I had no knowledge prior. It was a real privilege to learn in depth about this brutal event and one of its heroes.”

Other University of Salford students who contributed included:  Qudsia Akhtar (English & Creative Writing), Joshua Bennett (English & Creative Writing), Zahra Gohari Darabkhani (English Literature with English Language), Nicholas Downes (Contemporary Military and International History),  Lauren Holmes (English Literature) and Freyr Parry-Graham (Contemporary Military and International History).

Find out more

Gareth Hollyman, Senior Press & PR Officer (Science)

0161 295 6895