PRINT CULTURE

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"Workers do not get published because their wages are so low, and they have to work extremely long hours. They have no time to write, not even time to be with their families. Even when they do write, their work is not published. Besides, the public (who is very aware of class in Spain) would notice an unpleasant smell on the page: the sweat of workers; and the literati, raising their noses, would oppose the proletarianization of literature" (Aurelio Pego, “Literature of Gentlemen,” España Libre, March 7, 1958)

Hispanics, Spanish exiles, anarchists, socialists, and unionists published antifascist periodicals in the United States. Print culture was the primary form of communication, and it was built on previous and established traditions of worker print culture. From 1880 to 1940, about 235 anarchist periodicals circulated in the United States and about 850 in Spain. These periodicals were ephemeral, while others lasted decades and published thousands of issues.

Radical workers have placed significant emphasis on preserving and memorializing their history. From its earliest days, they have kept their collective memories in periodicals through their organizations' educational and cultural practices. Their records have been destroyed, censured, deemed irrelevant, or unworthy of institutional care or research attention despite these efforts. Consequently, worker antifascist culture is not always widely available or accessible. The mission of this digital project is one of historical justice. Periodical research diversifies antifascist studies by including migrants and radical workers in the cultural and historical discourse. 

Despite the irregularity inherent to the alternative press, workers’ periodicals constituted a reliable source of news, opinions, ideas, and practices. They also operated as connecting hubs for anarchist networks in the United States, as their editors and staff became organic leaders of the anarchist movement. For many decades, anarchist newspapers and magazines functioned as effective resources to contest elitism and repression while fostering grassroots solidarity and mutual aid in the heterogeneous and decentered cultures of the US anarchist movement.

The Sociedades Hispanas Confederadas or SHC, published the weekly antifascist periodicals Frente Popular (1936-1939) and España Libre (1939-1977) in New York.

Socialist exile Victoria Kent and Louise Crane published the montly Ibérica (1953-1974) in New York.

Félix Martí Ibáñez published the semi-monthly Antifascista (1938-1939) in Los Angeles.

Feu, Fighting Fascist Spain. Worker Protest from the Printing Press. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2020.

En español

https://bit.ly/FFSTheExhibits
How to cite the exhibit: "Print Culture" in Montse Feu. "Fighting Fascist Spain --The Exhibits." Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections. http://usldhrecovery.uh.edu/exhibits/show/fighting-fascist-spain--the-ex. Accessed [DATE].