Art and Mass Communication as Political Activism during The Spanish Civil War




Palombo, Megan

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This research explores paintings, documentaries, and journalism as political activism during the Spanish Civil War. This research focuses on George Steer, Ernest Hemingway, and Pablo Picasso's reactions to the bombing of Guernica, and the impact of their respective media to spread news and influence public opinion. The bombing of Guernica was the first time that civilians were the intended and sole target of an air raid. Francisco Franco denied the responsibility for the bombing and used censorship as a means to cover up the truth. Steer, Hemingway, and Picasso used art to inform people around the world about Guernica and the Spanish Civil War. Finally, this research compares Picasso's painting to modern day art as the ultimate manifestation of thought during turbulent times. Steer’s article “The Tragedy of Guernica,” Picasso’s Guernica, and Hemingway’s documentary The Spanish Earth, were all political activism in the moment during the Spanish Civil War, but these works also transcend time and speak to the human capacity to empathize with suffering.


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