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Rosana Reguillo


WEDNESDAY, October 5, 6:15 p.m.
The Spanish Civil War Photographs of Agustí Centelles (The French Suitcase)

A photo exhibit curated by Joaquín D. Gasca and Michael Nash (NYU Tamiment Library) and organized in conjunction with the Centro Documental de la Memoria Histórica (Historical Memory Archives), Salamanca.

Inauguration of the exhibition, with remarks by curators and organizers.

Click here to see a sample of the exhibit

This exhibit features 40 photographs taken during the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1936) and Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), and subsequently at the French concentration camp in Bram, by the celebrated Catalan photo journalist Agustí Centelles. All of the photographs are being exhibited for the first time, in conjunction with the parallel exhibit at the Centro Documental de la Memoria Histórica in Salamanca, which recently purchased Centelles' archive.

When Centelles returned to Spain during World War II to escape persecution by the Gestapo on account of his work for the French Resistance, he left his photographic archive in a suitcase in the attic of a friend's house in Carcassonne. During the Franco Dictatorship he was not allowed to practice photojournalism and devoted himself to advertising. In 1976, after Franco's death, Centelles went to Carcassonne to retrieve the suitcase, where his negatives had remained intact – a story reminiscent of the recently-discovered "Mexican Suitcase" of negatives by Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and Chim exhibited at ICP in 2010-2011.

The exhibit includes the dramatic photographs Centelles took in Barcelona shortly after the military uprising of 18 July 1936, his photo-reportage during the war, and his extraordinary photographs taken in Bram concentration camp where he was interned on crossing into France.

A parallel exhibit of original copies of international magazines that featured Centelles' war photos will be on show in NYU's Tamiment Library, 10th floor, Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South.

A symposium celebrating Centelles' work will be held on November 30; speakers to be announced.

Co-sponsored by the Centro Documental de la Memoria Histórica (Ministerio de Cultura – Gobierno de España) and NYU's Tamiment Library.

With the support of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA).

Right photo: Centelles' most famous photo – featured on the cover of Newsweek and in many other international newspapers and illustrated magazines – taken early in the morning of July 19th, 1936, after the military uprising against the Second Republic the previous day. Centelles was the only photo journalist to cover the immediate response to the coup in Barcelona, which, after fierce street fighting, forced the military rebels to withdraw. For this photo, Centelles asked three members of the Guardia de Asalto to pose for his camera from behind their barricade of dead horses. This is believed to be the only photo of Centelles that was staged. The two Assault Guards in the foreground have recently been identified by Centelles' heirs as the brothers Mario and José Vitini Flórez; Mario would go into exile in France; José and his brother Luis were executed by the Franco Dictatorship in 1944 and 1945 respectively.

Left photo: A militiaman from the POUM (Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista, Trotskyist-based) says goodbye to his partner at the train station, on leaving Barcelona for the Aragon front in late July 1936.


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53 Washington Square South | New York, NY | 10012 | p: 212-998-3650 f: 212-995-4804 | www.nyu.edu/kjc
FREE and OPEN to the public. Picture ID required at door.

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