Banners for Spain: fighting the Spanish Civil War in London

The Spanish Civil War (1936-39) was sparked by a military coup led by General Franco against Spain’s elected government. Britain decided on ‘non-intervention’ in the war, but people from across the world joined the International Brigades to fight the fascist-backed rebels.In Britain, an ‘Aid Spain’ movement sprang up to raise funds for food and medical supplies and to help refugees fleeing the war.

Islington Museum’s new exhibition tells the story of the Borough’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War, showcasing six newly conserved banners for Aid Spain, artefacts from the Marx Memorial Library’s archives and stories of the Islington International Brigaders.

The exhibition runs from May 5th to July 8th 2017 at Islington Museum, and is complemented by a programme of free events.

 

Banners for Spain: Fighting the Spanish Civil War in London.

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Our upcoming exhibition tells the story of Islington’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War. In partnership with the Marx Memorial Library, the exhibition showcases six newly conserved banners for Aid Spain, artefacts from the archives and the stories of the Islington International Brigaders.

The exhibition is complemented by the free events programme below, offering the opportunity to learn more. Please book through Islington Museum or via our eventbrite page.

 

Events

Film: The Guernica Children

Thu 27 April 2017, 19:00 – 21:00 at the Marx Memorial Library, EC1R 0DU

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A screening of Stephen Bowles’ documentary to mark 80 years since the bombing of Guernica. With Herminio Martinez, one of the ‘Basque children’ refugees.

The film tells the story of the 4,000 Spanish children, refugees from the Civil War, who arrived in the UK in May 1937. While in Britain, they were cared for, fed and housed by the efforts of a vast voluntary organisation. Some later returned to Spain while others made Britain their home.

 

Walk: Islignton in the Spanish Civil War

6th May, 3rd June and 24th June, 11am, at Islington Museum, EC1V 4NB 

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Explore Islington stories of the Spanish Civil War and 1930’s political activisim with a local CIGA guide.

 

Talk: Britain and the Spanish Civil War

Tue 9 May 2017, 18:30 – 20:30 at Islington Museum, EC1V 4NB

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The Spanish Civil War (1936-39) had a profound influence on Britain. Some 2400 British volunteers fought in the International Brigades against Franco’s rebel forces, thousands of activists across Britain –including well-known artists and writers – campaigned and raised funds on behalf of the Spanish Republic, and almost 4000 Basque refugee children sought refuge in Britain in May 1937. However, despite this enthusiasm for the cause of the elected Spanish government, Britain’s Conservative-dominated National Government remained committed to the policy of Non-Intervention, while even the Left was divided over many issues raised by the Civil War.

This lecture will not only seek to explain why so many in Britain felt compelled to take sides on the Civil War, but also will explore some of the complexities of the conflict’s impact. Finally, it will ask whether the response to the Civil War –with such a remarkable depth of political engagement – makes this a unique episode in modern British history.

 

Workshop: Islington’s Banner for Spain

Sat 13 May 2017, 10:30 – 16:00 at Islington Museum, EC1V 4NB

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Join banner-maker Ed Hall to help make a banner about Islington’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War.

This workshop will explore the stories of Islington International Brigaders -Why did they go to Spain? What did they do there? We will then work with banner-maker Ed Hall to make a banner reflecting their experiences. The banner will go on display at Islington Museum during the Banners for Spain! exhibition.

To find out more about Ed Hall click below: http://visualarts.britishcouncil.org/watch-and-listen/artists-30496/ed-hall-banner-maker

 

Visit: The Spanish Collection

Thu 1 June 2017, 18:00 – 20:00 at Marx Memorial Library, EC1R 0DU

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Explore the Marx Memorial Library Spanish Collection with Archivist & Library Manager Meirian Jump.

Delve into the Marx Memorial Library’s unparalleled International Brigade Association archives and learn more about the Aid Spain campaign. Immerse yourself in the experiences of Brigaders fighting in Spain during the Civil War (1936-39) through photographs, diaries and artefacts from the conflict held at the library.

 

Talk: Artists for Spain

Thu 8 June 2017, 19:00 – 21:00 at Marx Memorial Library, EC1R 0DU

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Join art historian Christine Lindey as she introduces you to the Artists International Association and artistic responses to the Spanish Civil War (1936-39).

Christine Lindey has taught art history including may years as Associate Lecturer at the University of the Arts, London and at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her book Art in the Cold War: from Vladivostok to Kalamazoo (1990) pioneered the comparative study of Soviet and Western art. She is a visual arts critic for the Morning Star and her fifth book- Art for All: British Socially Committed Art of the 1940s and 1950s, will be published in the Autumn 2017. The Artists International Association, from its inception in 1933 forms an important part of this book, and her talk will explain its socio-political commitment including its anti-fascist art and activities in support of the Spanish Republic.

 

We look forward to seeing you! Please book through Islington Museum. 

Art and Local History: create and explore with Islington Museum’s new class!

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Local History and Art Class – 12.30-15.30 at Islington Museum. 

Saturday 20th May 2017

Saturday 10th June 2017

Saturday 8th July 2017

Unearth amazing local stories, explore archival material and make art in our relaxed and friendly new classes.

Re-discover what makes this fascinating pocket of London so special, learn new skills and make friends over tea and cake.

No artistic experience is needed. These will be relaxed and informal sessions, with ample opportunities to make new friends from your local community. Sign up here.

These monthly classes are offered in partnership with the Local Initiatives Fund from Bunhill Ward.

If you have any questions please email rebecca.campbell-gay@islington.gov.uk or call Islington Museum on 020 7527 7988. 

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