Dire la guerre et les violences : femmes et récits pendant la guerre d’Espagne

TitleDire la guerre et les violences : femmes et récits pendant la guerre d’Espagne
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsJoly, Maud
JournalMélanges de la Casa de Velázquez

This article reappraises writings "from" and "on" war as sources for understanding the components of a singular culture of war at the heart of the bellicose 20th century; on that basis it discusses the treatment of sexual violence in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) through narratives produced during the conflict. At the heart of the narration of the war, of the denunciation of its horrors and the accusations against the enemy, the violence perpetrated against women is an omnipresent theme which simultaneously reveals the existence of significant violence against the female population and the exploitation of the enemy’s misdeeds for propaganda purposes. An examination of these sources sheds light on the emergence of the civilian victim as a symbol of what was becoming total war. The sources can be further used to analyse the phenomenon of the proclamation of the enemy’s atrocities and to understand the political uses of this wartime rhetoric. Finally, the phenomenon of hair-cropping prompts a brief discussion of the place of such sexually-charged violence in pro-republican accounts.

Translated TitleTalking War and Violence: Women and Narratives during the Spanish Civil War
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