The Municipal Printing Press is presenting an exhibition about the clandestine culture - printed and handwritten documents - developed during Franco's regime, between 1939 and 1976, from multiple sources of information kept at public and private documentation centres. It reflects on the value of graphic culture and books throughout history.
The exhibition is divided into sections, beginning with banned foreign books, smuggled in, books that were seized and denounced, printed in secret, and leaflets camouflaged with false covers. It and then moves onto the periodic press, organisations and bulletins of political parties and trade unions, but also of citizen movements, universities, women, companies, Catholic associations, and soldiers.
The exhibition then examines hidden writing (encrypted messages, shredded letters, stamps hidden on various objects, bags with false bottoms, falsified documents) and captive writing: newspapers written out by hand in prisons, poetry, letters and doubly clandestine reports.
It then shows the media used to print such documents: minervas and mimeographs, photographs of propaganda devices seized by the police, and recordings of an underground space of the time.
It also looks at pamphlets and ephemeral publications: leaflets, broadsides, posters and stickers, as well as writing linked to music (concert programmes), the visual arts (writing in engravings, posters or silk screen prints) and the urban space, such as paintings and murals on walls.
It finishes by exhibiting the oral testimonies of leading figures from the production and circulation of clandestine culture.
During this long period of history (close to forty years) books, leaflets, periodical publications, bulletins, newsletters, lampoons and all kinds of messages not permitted by the Regime were all produced, distributed, and read in secret.
An issue tackled partially is now approached as a historical phenomenon and studied with scientific historiographical techniques to rescue from oblivion these materials that belong to a turbulent period in the history of Spain.
With the collaboration of 33 cultural institutions and private collectors, the custodians of this wide variety of documents and items, Madrid City Council wishes to highlight the role played by Clandestine Writing in the historical and social evolution of Spain.