Francoist propaganda

Francoist propaganda

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Title: Barcelonés: hace tres anos, Franco te libero

Creation date : 1942 -

Technique and other indications: Translation: Barcelona: three years ago, Franco liberated you

Storage location: Army Museum (Paris) website

Contact copyright: Paris - Army Museum, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Pascal Segrette

Picture reference: 06-505807 / 2001.72.10

Barcelonés: hace tres anos, Franco te libero

© Paris - Army Museum, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Pascal Segrette

Publication date: January 2019

Historical context

Barcelona, ​​1942

After the end of the Civil War (April 17, 1936 - 1er April 1939) and the final victory of the nationalists led by General Franco, Spain found itself ruined, decimated and still traumatized by the years of conflict. The dictatorship is taking hold, made up of more or less frank connections with the fascist regimes in Europe, repression, purification, information control and "education" of the people. In the wake of the recent experience of the war of opinions, the new authorities are continuing an intense propaganda effort and rewriting the history of the conflict to their sole advantage.

Barcelona: three years ago Franco liberated you is a poster printed by the Jefatura Provincial de propaganda (mention at the bottom right of the image), that is to say the Provincial Propaganda Directorate set up by the new power in each Spanish province, here Catalonia. Almost a meter high, it was plastered on many walls of the Catalan city at the beginning of 1942.

Image Analysis

Portrait of the "liberator"

Framing a representation of Franco, the text is divided into two parts. The address to the city appears on the upper part and the message occupies the lower part, which refers to the capture of Barcelona by the nationalist troops on January 26, 1939. The author of the poster has also played different typographies to obtain visual effects which he hopes will be significant: Franco's name is thus clearly highlighted.

In the center of the image, the bust portrait of the general is fairly classic. Adorned with his military uniform and his decorations (on the collar and the chest), surrounded by the ribbon of the Chief of the Armed Forces, Franco is represented in all solemnity. A subtle play of lights and the technical work on the original photo, however, gives a touch of modernity to the representation, almost enveloping the general with a sort of aura. Finally, Franco appears here in a serene and almost benevolent light rather than martial or threatening. Looking into the distance, he finally presents a face that is both reassuring and determined.


The caudillo and the new Spain

Barcelona: three years ago Franco liberated you This marks first of all the personalization of the power that the new regime intends to disseminate and exercise among the populations. Warlord and now Head of State, the caudillo is placed in the center of the image and message. It was Franco himself - whose name pops up eloquently in larger, bolder type - who took Barcelona three years ago. Crowned with his military glory (we remember his victory), Franco is placed on the same level as the city itself (rather than its inhabitants) to whom the text reminds us of what the latter did for it.

In the context of the Second World War, while the fighting rages in Europe and elsewhere, the general is presented as a real guide for his people: charismatic, visionary, sure of himself, pledge and guarantor of tranquility as well as of " freedom ”of his people. First cradle of republican or far left movements, long the main center of resistance to nationalist assaults, Barcelona was thus delivered from the oppressors (republicans, communists, Trotskyists, anarchists) who tyrannized over it. This "liberation" whose poster celebrates in a way the anniversary having intervened in the not so distant past, one also understands that the threats (interior or exterior) on this one still hover, which justifies that one does allegiance to the general and his methods.

Written in Castilian and structured around the figure of Franco, the poster finally illustrates another facet of the new Francoist propaganda. In the service of a now centralizing state violently rejecting all provincial particularities, its mission is to build a country unified culturally and politically under the command of a single leader.

  • war in spain
  • Franco (general)
  • propaganda
  • Barcelona
  • personality cult


BARRACHINA, Marie-Aline, Propaganda and culture in Franco's Spain, 1936-1945, Grenoble, Ellug, 1998.

BERTHIER, Nancy, Francoism and its image. Cinema and propaganda, Toulouse, University Press of Mirail, 1999

MIRO, Joan, Writings and interviews, Paris, Daniel Lelong, 1995.

To cite this article

Alexandre SUMPF, "Francoist propaganda"

Video: Historical Anthem: Francoist Spain - La Marcha Granadera 19361975


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  3. Nephthys

    I believe there is always a possibility.

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