The exhibition ‘Europe at War: Chaves Nogales – Spanish journalist and exile 1917 – 1944’ is on display at Newcastle University’s Long Gallery, until the February 21st . It has been organised by staff at Newcastle University with colleagues from the University of Seville, and with the support of Instituto Cervantes Londres.
The exhibition was officially opened by one of Chaves Nogales’s grandchildren, Antony Jones, and Juan Belmonte’s great-granddaughter, Tatiana Beca Osborne. It was also attended by Director of Instituto Cervantes in London, Ignacio Peyró, and representatives from the University of Seville, such as Director of Culture and Heritage at the University of Seville, Luis Rafael Méndez Rodríguez.
The exhibition includes an original copy of one of Chaves Nogales’ articles for the North Mail and other examples of his writing. As well as paying homage to Chaves Nogales and the memory of other exiles in Britain, it also remembers the significant number of men and women from the North East who travelled to Spain in the 1930s to fight against General Franco’s forces.
Chaves Nogales, a renowned Spanish journalist
Manuel Chaves Nogales was a Spanish journalist renowned for refusing to take an extreme ideological position and who warned against the growth of fascism across Europe. He travelled extensively through Europe and was one of the first foreign correspondents to witness and report on events taking place in Russia in the immediate aftermath of the 1917 revolution, pioneering a new style of journalism that was more similar to feature-based, in-depth journalism.
In 1930, Chaves Nogales became editor of the influential and ideologically moderate newspaper, Ahora. Although he nominally supported the Republic against the military uprising of General Franco in 1936, his overriding commitment was to report the truth of what was unfolding across Europe and became part of the so-called ‘Third Spain’ affiliated to neither far right nor far left. As a result, he was regarded as one of the most incisive and unbiased journalists working in Europe.
Last November, Instituto Cervantes in London paid tribute to the memory of all Spanish exiles at the grave of Chaves Nogales. The tribute took place in the North Sheen Cemetery in London and was chaired by the ambassador of Spain to the United Kingdom, Carlos Bastarreche.