Visual Index (Entire Poster Collection)


Chronology of the War


Lists of References

Afterword: Herbert R. Southworth Collection


CNT, FAI, AIT: La Barrera Inexpugnable

[CNT, FAI, AIT: The unbreachable barrier]. Sanz Miralles. Propaganda Edita por la Confederación Régional de Levante Lithograph, 3 colors; 161 x 108 cm.

In this image (c. 1936), the acronyms of three prominent anarcho-syndicalist political organizations are stacked on top of each other as an impassible barrier to advancing fascist or Nationalist troops that are standing on a partially obscured swastika. The letters of the acronyms are in black and red the prominent colors of the anarchist groups and the stacking of the acronyms emphasizes not only their strength to resist fascist troops but also their solidarity and unity. The sun in the background may be rising behind the acronyms suggesting a new dawn of the political rule of these groups the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT), Federación Anarquista Ibérica (FAI), and the Asociación Internacional de Trabajadores (AIT).

The CNT was organized in 1911 and soon became the largest group under the AIT (International Laborers' Association), an international workers organization founded in 1864. With similar interests in and programmatic statements of Marxists ideals, the CNT and AIT quickly recognized each other having convergent political and social aims. In the early 1930s, the CNT was banned under the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera. This action contributed to the emergence in 1927 of the FAI (Federación Anarquista Ibérica), which was known to be the anarchist inner core of the CNT. In the years before the Civil War, some antagonism had existed between the CNT and FAI. However, as seen here, early in the war (c. 1936) they portrayed themselves as unified against the fascist enemy. As the largest labor union in Spain at the outbreak of the war, the CNT quickly took on a new role as an economic and administrative apparatus and became a driving force in the governance and society of Republican Spain. However, the political power of the organizations began to erode a year later when military authorities began to appropriate fiscal resources.

The Valencian artist, Sanz Miralles, authored a few other posters during the war for the CNT and AIT, but he is not otherwise known.

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