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  • Protagonists of everyday life
    • Postponed and omnipresent: women
    • Childhood
  • Beyond the basics: to raise awareness and entertain
    • The reception of ideas
    • War chords
    • Leisure in wartime: between charity, oblivion and enlightenment



Living through war, living through war: Eighty years after 1936




A tragedy such as the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), in addition to the aspects more closely linked to the war itself, the international consequences of its development or the confrontation of principles and ways of seeing reality and the human being that it implied, also has an aspect that is dealt with in this exhibition: the experience of the event by the women and men who had to live through it.

The aim is to explain the day-to-day life of the Spanish people, insisting on everyday life, on the experience of the war primarily in the rearguard, that is to say, touching the civilians. This does not mean, in any way, to draw an isolated panorama of the impact of the conflict, but rather, on the contrary, to appreciate how the war seeped into every nook and cranny, and especially into daily life.

For this reason, this exhibition aims to focus on women and children as the protagonists of everyday life. And if the former increased their prominence, as had already occurred during the First World War, the latter were the object of special attention, both because of the need to protect them and to incorporate them into one's own ideas. In fact, one of the points of interest of this exhibition is related to leisure time, aimed at raising awareness and entertaining. One of the mechanisms that made the war and the conflict of ideas behind it omnipresent was propaganda, visible at all levels of everyday life, with special attention to music and its impact, or to leisure time in the form of shows, exhibitions and all those forms of mass culture whose social impact was already considerable at that time.

In addition, it deals with the urgency of meeting daily needs, obtaining daily sustenance, travelling and the development of work, currency and items for exchange, health in a rearguard that looked to the front.

At final, a conflict that involved the suffering of a rearguard that was sample with the disasters of war in the form of destruction and chaos and which is reflected in the correspondence exchanged during those years. The manifest of the ruins and desolation and the most intimate of human suffering, heartbreaking in the letters written with an open heart.


Francisco Javier Caspistegui