Beyond the Trenches (1936-1939). Photographs by Alec Wainman

Education and reading

The Spanish Republic’s project to transform society was underpinned by the use of education to turn subjects into citizens. The Republic built thousands of schools and soon became known as ‘the republic of teachers’, who indeed were among the first victims of the military uprising. At the same time, the Republic set in motion a programme to distribute books to every corner of the country. Books held a fascination for the people of Barcelona and of Catalonia in general, an interest that survived beyond the war. The Barcelona Book Fair held in the summer 1938 was very well attended. At the event, the Republic, which had been anticlerical at the start of the war, allowed Protestant Evangelists to mount a Bible stand.