After the great reception of our last blog post on Emilia Pardo Bazán, this week we continue talking about prominent figures of Spain.
Today we talk about Carmen de Burgos, a journalist, writer and above all an activist from Almeria who stood out for her opposition to capital punishment and in the fight for children’s and women’s rights.
Carmen lived between the generation of ’98 and the avant-garde movements, being a contemporary of Emilia Pardo Bazán. She belonged to an upper-class family and had a good education in Madrid where she married at an early age and separated from her husband, thus showing her great independence for those times.
With the death of two of her children and her subsequent divorce, she moved to Madrid, where she became involved in the defence of the most disadvantaged social groups, as well as in the defence of divorce and universal suffrage. Such was her determination that she became president of the feminist organisation “La Liga Internacional de Mujeres Ibéricas e Hispanoamericanas” (The International League of Iberian and Latin American Women) years after having led the first feminist demonstration in Spain.
In her crusade in defence of the most disadvantaged, she also founded an organisation in defence of the Sephardic community, through the Revista Crítica, and in turn collaborated with teaching and participated in various cultural associations.
As an active member, she took part in several press associations and wrote several articles in a multitude of newspapers in the province of Madrid. Considered to be the first war correspondent, she wrote for various newspapers such as El Heraldo, El Globo, El País, etc.
Her constant social commitment is reflected in many of her publications in the form of short stories in what was known as El Cuento Semanal (The Weekly Story). In addition to these texts, she also published a number of novels and essays such as El arte de ser mujer, Arte de saber vivir and Quiero vivir mi vida, among almost two hundred works, and a hundred other texts such as short stories, guides and novels.
All his work of liberal and enlightened thought was persecuted by Franco’s dictatorship and her books were removed from bookshops and libraries. The dictatorship wanted to eliminate his memory and message, which always fought against sexism, for women’s suffrage, divorce, equal rights and universal suffrage.
Even so, despite the fact that this type of literature and thoughts were banned after the civil war, for being considered an “attack on nationalism”, her message was of vital importance and sowed the seeds of equality.
If you want more information about Carmen de Burgos or “Colombine” as she used to sign her writings, don’t miss these two documentaries: