La Calle

Barcelona, 1931 – 1932

The first issue of the magazine La Calle hit the streets in February 1931, bearing the explicit subtitle ‘seminario gráfico de izquierdas’ [left-wing graphic weekly] and containing the editorial ‘República, Ley, Justicia’ [Republic, Law, Justice]. At first, it espoused a brand of republicanism based on federalism, providing a platform for various and quite disparate intellectuals, such as Azorín. This tendency grew less pronounced following the constitution of the new government, in line with the political presence of federalism itself. La Calle was a communicative experience, publishing 73 issues between February 1931 and July 1932. According to its records, by April the first year, it had a print run of 143,000 copies.

The weekly was edited by Joan Guixé Audet (1886-1942), a journalist who had spent time as a correspondent in various European and African countries, contributed to publications across Spain, and been editor-in-chief of the newspaper Heraldo de Madrid.

In addition to covering current affairs, the magazine offered feature stories. The first three issues, for example, included pieces on the prison experience under the Primo de Rivera dictatorship based on the first-hand accounts of Joan Peiró, Gregorio Marañón, and Ángel Pestaña. Another series of articles looked at how Spain’s left-wing newspapers were made.

In terms of the image, La Calle was an illustrated weekly that gave pride of place to photography. The cover always featured a single image. Each issue began with four full pages of images until January 1932, when the number was reduced. Inside, the central pages contained photo essays and stories illustrated with photographs; the back cover was also reserved for images. The magazine also gave importance to drawings, especially from 1932 on. The most common credits were Ley, Arteche, and Opisso.

As for photojournalists, the most frequent contributors from Barcelona were Merletti, Badosa, and, more sporadically, Maymó and Domínguez. In the rest of Spain, the most frequent contributor from Madrid was Piortiz, followed by Vidal and, exceptionally, Alfonso; the most regular contributor from Valencia was Vidal; from Seville, it was Sánchez del Pando. The magazine also ran agency photographs (Keystone and Consorcio) and, sometimes, uncredited photographs or images identified simply as ‘Archivo de La Calle’ [La Calle archive].