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Ángeles García-Madrid

Ángeles García-Madrid (1918 – present)   Born in Torrejón de Ardoz, just outside Madrid, Ángeles grew up in the city. At the age of 13 she began working as a dressmaker to bring in money for the family, during which she became interested in poetry after a client showed her an original poem.   Aged…

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“All of Spain was a prison”: Female prisons under Franco

During the Civil War (1936-1939) and the Francoist dictatorship (1939-1975), prisons across Spain housed thousands of women for (suspected) political dissent. Franco’s prisons were typically single-sex institutions. Although some were equipped with facilities such as individual cells, bathrooms and showers, and even, in the case of Ventas, a library, these facilities were infrequently usable. Rather,…

Pilar Fidalgo

Pilar Fidalgo

Earlier this week I wrote a little post about the short text A Young Mother in Franco’s Prisons (1939) written by the little-known Pilar Fidalgo. After searching online, I have really struggled to find any information about her, but here is a brief summary of her life. Pilar Fidalgo Carasa was born in 1903 in the town…

Narrative behind bars

Although the narratives I work with were not written during incarceration itself, they do comment on the importance of prison texts. In the introductions adorning each narrative, the writers highlight how they were compelled to write: ‘me urgía’ [it beseeched me] (Doña, 1978: intro); ‘quería reviver una historia […] silenciada’ [I wanted to relive a…

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Tomasa Cuevas

Tomasa Cuevas (1917-2007) Tomasa Cuevas was born in Guadalajara, 1917, into a working class family. In order to support the family, she began work aged 9 and took on three jobs working from dawn until night-fall. Whilst working the factory, she became involved in socialism through one of the superiors and aged 14 she joined…

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Soledad Real

Soledad Real (1917-2007) Revered communist and feminist, Soledad Real was born in the working class area of Barcelona, ‘la Barceloneta’ in 1917. Middle child of three, and the eldest daughter, Soledad was brought up in a working class family. Her father, Valeriano Real was a politically active metal worker and her mother a seamstress. Owing to…

Juana Doña (bottom right) and other prisoners

Juana Doña

Juana Doña 1918 – 2003 Juana Doña was born and raised in the working class neighbourhood of Madrid. Aged 15 she joined the communist youth party and campaigned passionately during the Second Republic. She was elected secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth and became romantically involved with Eugenio Mesón, leader of the…

Carlota O'Neill de Lamo

Carlota O’Neill

Carlota O’Neill de Lamo. 1905 – 2000 Carlota O’Neill was born in Madrid to Mexican diplomat Enrique O’Neill Acosta and Andalucian writer and pianist Regina de Lamo Ximénez. She grew up in a middle-class family with a love of culture, through which she developed her own passion for writing. She published her first novel in 1924…

Paradigms of conference questioners

The question and answer part of delivering a conference paper is often the most nerve-wracking aspect for presenters. It can be a chance for interesting and thoughtful discussion that frequently highlights new or different perspectives within our work. But all-too-often it becomes a showcase for various paradigms of conference questioners.   We firstly have the…