Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Image Politics: U.S Aid to the Spanish Republic and its Refugees

Sebastiaan Faber


The Spanish Civil War marks an important chapter in the development of non-governmental refugee aid as we know it. But studying the case of U.S. aid for Spanish Republican refugees also brings into focus some of the tensions and contradictions associated with the concept of humanitarianism, including the role played by documentary images. What were the ideals that moved those who fought against fascism or aided antifascist refugees in the 1930s and ‘40s? Were they properly political, or did they transcend politics, becoming humanitarian? The distinction is crucial to understanding the efforts undertaken to aid Spanish Civil War refugees and the obstacles that these efforts faced.

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