George Orwell arrived in Barcelona as a journalist, but ended up joining the 29th POUM division and fight against Fascism during the Spanish Civil War. This 3-hour walking tour of Barcelona follows in Orwell's footsteps during the 1937 May Revolution, described in the author's "Homage to Catalonia," and by extension gives visitors a clearer picture of the Spanish Civil War and its impact on Barcelona.
We will begin our seminar at a historic Barcelona cafe with a sound introduction to the complex history of the war and Orwell's motivation for becoming involved. After our discussion and a refreshing beverage, we will then move on to the Ramblas, the main thoroughfare of Barcelona, where we will spend much of the remainder of our time. Here we find the headquarters of the major political parties that engaged the struggle for Spain that presaged World War II. We'll visit old theaters, restaurants, and other famous spots where Orwell encountered the confused internecine struggles between the various anarchist and communist groups in the city that ultimately led to the defeat of the Second Spanish Republic in January 1939.
In addition our time together will afford us other glimpses of the War in the city including evidence of the first mass bombings of civilian targets (“The Barcelona Effect”) and some of the buildings used for such social experiments by the Popular Front as collectivised restaurants and their attempt to change a social system to a more benign and just means of existence.
In the end we'll emerge with a sharper picture of Orwell and the buildings and streets that bear silent witness to the tragic events that took place in Barcelona between 1936 and 1939.
|Duration: 3 hours|
British born and educated, Alan has now lived permanently in Barcelona for the past three years. His expertise and knowledge on the International Brigades and the Spanish Civil War is sought after by historians and visitors curious to understand this confusing yet fascinating period of Spanish hidden history. As a publisher specializing in books on the International Brigades, he studies the literature, archives, and photographic collections of this period of history, and his research has helped to extensively expand the current corpus of knowledge of the conflict. Television and filmwork also now take an ever-increasing proportion of this enjoyable work.