To celebrate May 1st/International Workers Day, I’ll explain a bit about this famous photography.

This picture was taken by Hans Guttmann (also known as Juan Guzmán) on the 21st of July, 1936, at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, at the top of Hotel Colón in Barcelona, Catalonia.

The girl is Marina Ginestà i Coloma (January 29 1919 - January 6 2014), at the moment aged 17. She was an antifascist militian, journalist, and translator. After this picture, she never held a gun again. Instead, she helped by translating international news and books, writing in newspapers, and by being a correspondent for foreign newspapers.

She was captured in Alicant, and moved to a concentration camp. After some weeks, she was liberated and escaped with her boyfriend to France, but he died while trying to cross the Pyrinees. In France, Marina found her family and all of them were taken to the internment camps of Argelès-sur-mer and Agde. When the nazis invaded France, they left on exile on a boat that said it was going to Mexico, but went to the Dominican Republic. In 1946, she left the Dominican Republic because of the persecution led by the dictator Rafael Trujillo, and went to Venezuela. She moved to different countries for the rest of her life, and in the end died in Paris when she was 94.

Even though this picture became one of the most famous from the Civil War, Marina Ginestà didn’t know about it until a few years before dying.

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