Graphic Art: drawings, photographs, and obituaries of artists
Graphic art and editorial cartoons were central to the editorial strategies of workers’ periodicals. Without the need for translations, images supported text in the transnational circulation of these periodicals. Additionally, drawings summarized texts to busy workers or illiterate readers with a quick, interpretative, and interactive understanding of an editorial or predominant essay. In studying the role of these images as anchors of texts in workers’ periodicals, we diversify antifascist knowledge.
Graphic art published in US antifascist periodicals exposed the state of terror perpetrated by European fascist powers and perceptively counteracted their propaganda. As visual discursive spaces, editorial cartoons endorsed emotions brought forth by belonging to a transnational, antifascist, and proletarian community. They urged periodical readers to collectively consider the need for solidarity and the protection of the working-class culture under attack by fascism.
Elegant and compassionate art reversed the dehumanization of fascism and sought to inspire ideas of interdependence and shared struggles among antifascist workers in the United States. Lastly, cartoons employed the rhetoric of playfulness about the possibilities of social change.
Feu, Fighting Fascist Spain. Worker Protest from the Printing Press. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2020.