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Republican Militiawoman Training on the Beach, outside Barcelona
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This woman can engage in epic battle just as well as any man, and in heels no less.

Can you imagine how hard it would be to actually fight a battle in those shoes? For those of us who have never learned how to walk in heels, let alone run or shoot a gun in them, this is just wild. This photograph is of a woman training for battle on a beach outside Barcelona in August of 1936. The Spanish Civil War is afoot and she isn’t going to be caught unprepared. She is fierce, she is angry, and she is ready to fight those Fascist S.O.B.s who are trying to take over the country with the help of Mussolini and Hitler.

What is so amazing about this photograph is the fact that it was taken by a woman of a woman about to engage in war. In 1936! That’s only 16 years after American women were found competent enough to vote. Both war photography and war itself were arenas almost exclusively left to men. Of course neither of these women would get any credit for their work until much later, if at all, but still. They were out there, making a difference for their country and for their gender.

This photograph was added to the International Center of Photography by Cornell Capa, who was the brother of Robert Capa, the lover of Gerda Taro and the man who taught her the ins and outs of photography. When Robert Capa died in Indochina in the '50s, Cornell Capa concerned himself with the preservation of his brother’s legacy, which was inalienable from Gerda’s as the two worked together under the pseudonym “Robert Capa” before Taro went off on her own. We cannot thank Cornell Capa enough for his allegiance to his brother because without it people may still have remembered Taro only for her romantic relationship with Robert Capa and not her absurd badass-ery.

Sources

Sources

  1. Gefter, Philip. "Cornell Capa, Photographer, Is Dead At 90." Nytimes.com. N.p., 2008. Web. 17 Sept. 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/24/arts/design/23cnd-capa.html
  2. O'Hagan, Sean. "Robert Capa And Gerda Taro: Love In A Time Of War." the Guardian. N.p., 2012. Web. 17 Sept. 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2012/may/13/robert-capa-gerda-t...
  3. "[Republican Militiawoman Training On The Beach, Outside Barcelona]." International Center of Photography. Web. 17 Sept. 2018. https://www.icp.org/browse/archive/objects/republican-militiawoman-train...
  4. "Spanish Civil War Breaks Out." HISTORY. N.p., 2010. Web. 17 Sept. 2018. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/spanish-civil-war-breaks-out