Celebrate People's History: The Durruti Column

Josh MacPhee
GVSU Collection
2 Color Offset Printed Poster
September 2007
Artworks - Height: 17" Width: 11"
Poster is titled “The Durruti Column." An orange and blue poster that has a title at the top and text below it. There is a base that looks like a car with C.N.T. on the side. There are two people standing on it and there is a flag on the top billowing in the wind. There is the "Celebrate People's History" logo on the bottom. Text reads: “In July, 1936, soon after General Franco’s facist troops revolted against the Spanish Republic, Buenaventura Durruti let a military column made up of two thousand anarchist workers to fight the facists. Not a typical military unit, the column was organized by the soldiers themselves, with rank holding only minimal importance, and officers being elected by their units. In Zaragossa, the column defeated the much better equipped facist troops. Near the end of 1936, Madrid was under bombing attacks by the Germans and Italians, and the now four thousand soldier column moved there to join the fight. On November 20, Durruti was killed. The column continued to fight until the end of the war. “The role of Durruti Column played in supporting the social revolution happening across the Spanish countryside was as important as their military victories. They assisted in the establishment of agricultural collectives along their route and helped set up the directly democratic Council of Aragon. Local political party bosses and rich landowners fled in a panic. This also upset the authoritarian communist and socialist parties, who believed the social revolution had to wait until after the war was won.”
Historical Context:
The Celebrate People’s History posters are rooted in the do-it-yourself tradition of mass-produced political propaganda. These posters embody democracy, inclusion, and group participation in the writing and interpretation of the past. Unlike most political posters, the posters part of the Celebrate People’s History series tell the stories of the underdogs, those individuals and groups helping to move forward the collective struggle of humanity to create a more just world. For 20 years, over 130 different posters have been displayed on the streets of over a dozen cities representing over 150 artists and writers. The Celebrate People’s History Poster Series has been organized and curated by Josh MacPhee since 1998.

Library of Congress Subjects:
Social movements