Confederación Nacional Del Trabajo/Translation - Symbols and Culture

Symbols and Culture

See also: Anarchist symbolism

The CNT, owing to its interests in the radical transformation of society, has sought to make free knowledge and culture accessible to workers, a task which has been developed through the support of the anarchist academies. The School of Anarchist Militants was an institution which, by means of anarchist pedagogy, sought to ensure that "groups of teenagers could acquire the knowledge and the personal responsibility essential to work in collectives such as those of entertainers and accountants." Through the Anselmo Lorenzo Foundation, the CNT manages its cultural heritage, edits books, and organizes conferences and colloquies. Also, some sections of the CNT have supported and promoted Esperanto.

The flag of the CNT is the traditional flag of anarcho-syndicalism, which joins diagonally the red color of the labour movement and the black color of anarchism, as a negation of nationalism and reaffirmation of internationalism.

The anthem of the CNT is A las barricadas (To the Barricades), composed by the Polish poet Wacław Święcicki in 1883. Święcicki's work, called Warszawianka, was given Spanish lyrics by Valeriano Orobón Fernández and published with some musical arrangements for mixed choir by Ángel Miret in 1933.

Several postage stamps were issued by the CNT during the Spanish Civil War. Other surviving artifacts of this period are posters, movie tickets, and other objects related to the companies which were collectivized during the Spanish Revolution of 1936.

George Orwell fought in the Spanish Civil War in the militia of Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM), a revolutionary Trotskyst party (though opposed to the Soviet Union line) whose militants were allied with the CNT during the revolution and to which Andrés Nin belonged. Orwell described in his book Homage to Catalonia the time during which Barcelona rose up with the CNT and anarchism. In the ninth chapter of his book, Orwell commented that "As far as my purely personal preferences went I would have liked to join the Anarchists."

In Ernest Hemingway's 1940 book For Whom the Bell Tolls, Maria's fascist captors print U.H.P. on her forehead with iodine after cutting her hair.

Robert Capa photographed the death of the Valencian Columna Alcoiana militiaman Federico Borrell García during the Spanish Civil War in the snapshot called "Death of a Loyalist Soldier". This photograph has become a famous image which shows the calamity of war.

In 1936, the film industry was collectivized and produced short films such as En la brecha (In the Gap, 1937). The CNT has been portrayed in recent Spanish filmmaking by the Vicente Aranda's film Libertarias (1996), which shows a group of militiamen (and especially militiawomen) at the Aragon front during the Spanish Civil War.

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Famous quotes containing the words culture and/or symbols:

    The time will come when the evil forms we have known can no more be organized. Man’s culture can spare nothing, wants all material. He is to convert all impediments into instruments, all enemies into power.
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    There are those who would keep us slipping back into the darkness of division, into the snake pit of racial hatred, of racial antagonism and of support for symbols of the struggle to keep African-Americans in bondage.
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