Topic 4
Beyond borders.
Transnational female involvement in the context of the antifascist mobilization


Espace Niemeyer (Paris)

Thursday, October the 25th 2:00 p.m. to 6 :00 p.m.

The involvement of foreign women in volunteering to defend the Spanish people makes sense in the context of the anti-fascist mobilization that had been developing across Europe since the early 1930s, although it obviously does not exhaust the terms of this commitment. The purpose of this session is to place the experiences of foreign women engaged on the Republican side in the broader history of female involvement in antifascism. It will analyze the characteristics of the mobilization of antifascist women during the Spanish Civil War, its specificities in relation to massively perceived mobilization as “masculine”, as well as the interactions between antifascist and feminist motivations, fascism being perceived by many of these women as a powerful instrument of female oppression. Through the analysis of the networks and also the biographical trajectories, we will question the thinking about the “Gender of activism” (Olivier Filleul) and the way in which this commitment of the women modifies, or not, the sexual distribution of the militant work – which often confines women to caring and beneficent duties traditionally perceived as feminine – as is, in general, the social image of women and the established gender roles.



2:00 p.m. to 6 :00 p.m.

espace niemeyer

Discussion led by : François GODICHEAU (France, Université de Toulouse)
Speakers : 

  • Laura BRANCIFORTE (Espagne, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid) : Mujeres italianas del Socorro Rojo internacional en la Guerra de España.
  • Valentin CIONINI (France, historien) : L’engagement féminin dans une organisation proto-humanitaire et anti-autoritaire : les femmes dans Solidarité Internationale Antifasciste (SIA).
  • Corentin LAHU (France, Université de Bourgogne) : Du Secours rouge au Secours populaire : l’engagement des femmes dans la lutte antifasciste.
  • Mercedes YUSTA (France, Université Paris 8 – LER) : L’Espagne dans le coeur des femmes antifascistes : le Rassemblement Mondial des Femmes de 1934 à 1939.
  • Franziska ZAUGG (Suisse, Universität Bern – Historisches Institut) : ’La Rubia‘ – Clara Thalmann a Swiss agitator, fighter and wife/ “La blonde” – Clara Thalmann une agitatrice suisse, combattante et épouse.