Individual Paper: Gardens red and black.
The anarcho-syndicalist organization of urban agriculture in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)
“Eggs or anarchy” reads the title of a recent biography of Britain’s Minister for Food during the Second World War. As it happens in many accounts of the organization of food supply during the two world wars, the attention often focuses in the role of leaders and state institutions. The civil mobilization involved in “Victory Gardens”, transforming public gardens into productive allotments, is in any case depicted as contributing to the morale and reinforcing the “home front”. This research, in contrast, addresses a little-known case of collective self-organization under war. Using unpublished archival materials, we unearth the socioenvironmental history of the collective organization of urban agriculture in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War, carried out by the anarcho-syndicalist movement. Unlike many other aspects of the 1936 revolution, urban gardening has not been studied and remains almost forgotten to this day. Its organization, as public transport, water supply and most part of the industry, was collectivized during the first weeks of the summer of 1936. Using both vacant land and the yards of former monasteries, anarcho-syndicalist collectives set up urban gardens and significantly contributed to the food supply of the city until the occupation of the city by Fascist troops in January 1939.
Start time: 14:30
Room: Moriskan (Spegeln)
Track: War and Peace