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Death of Pepita Carpena

category iberia | anarchist movement | news report author Wednesday June 08, 2005 20:42author by CIRA and others Report this post to the editors

The Centre International de Recherche sur l'Anarchisme (CIRA) of Marseilles sadly announced the death of Pepita Carpena in Marseilles on 5th June 2005. Pepita Carpena was involved with the Mujeres Libres (Free Women) movement.
Pepita Carpena
Pepita Carpena

Death of Pepita Carpena

The Centre International de Recherche sur l'Anarchisme (CIRA) of Marseilles sadly announced the death of Pepita Carpena in Marseilles on 5th June 2005. Pepita Carpena was involved with the Mujeres Libres (Free Women) movement.

Pepita Carpena was born in Barcelona in 1919. An anarchist worker, at an early age she took part in the Spanish Revolution in the ranks of the CNT, the Iberian Libertarian Youth Federation (FIJL) and the Mujeres Libres movement. Franco's victory forced her to go into exile. In Marseilles, she participated in the activities of the CNT and also of the CIRA, of which she was coordinator from 1988 to 1999. Her busy life as a militant was recounted in the pamphlet "Toda la vida", published in 2000 by Éditions du Monde libertaire and Alternative libertaire as part of the Graine d’ananar collection.

based on an article by CIRA(Translation by ainfos)

In order to spread their message Mujeres Libres had their own magazine and also published numerous articles in the libertarian press. Members of the organisation travelled the countryside on propaganda tours to talk to the women there and also to help establish rural collectives. Pepita Carpena spoke of her experiences:

"We would call the women together and explain to them... that there is a clearly defined role for women, that women should not lose their independence, but that a woman can be a mother and a companera at the same time... Young women would come over to me and say, "This is very interesting. What you're saying we've never heard before. It's something that we've felt, but we didn't know" ...The ideas that grabbed them the most? Talk about the power men exercised over women.. There would be a kind of uproar when you would say to them, "We cannot permit men to think themselves superior to women, that they have a right to rule over them". I think that Spanish women were waiting anxiously for that call."

From the article Free Women of Spain

author by CIRApublication date Thu Jun 09, 2005 00:54Report this post to the editors

Pepita Carpena (Josefa Carpena Amat) wrote her memoirs, "Toda una vida: vivencias", in Castilian from April 1992 to June 1993. She translated the text into French under the title "Toute une vie : mémoires", which was distributed in photocopy form in 1998. In 2000, the text was published as a 72-page booklet by les Éditions du Monde libertaire and Alternative Libertaire (Brussels) as part of the Graine d'ananar series.

Pepita participated in two collective works. In "Mujeres libres: luchadoras libertarias" (published by the Fundación Anselmo Lorenzo, 1999, 191 pages), she provided two contributions: "Vivencias" (pp. 73-78) and "Solidaridad fraterna" (pp. 79-82). This book was translated into French under the title "Mujeres libres : des femmes libertaires en lutte" (published by Los-las Solidarios-solidarias, 2000, 329 pages). In the Acts of the Barcelona symposium, "Anarquisme: exposició internacional" (published by the Fundació d'estudis llibertaris i anarco-sindicalistes, 1994, 592 pages), she contributed to the debate on Feminism/post-feminism (pp. 340-377).

There were also two articles in CIRA Marseilles Buletins: "1886. 1936 et quelques autres anniversaires" (n° 26-27, 1986, 120 pages), "Les anarchistes espagnols dans la tourmente (1939-1945)" (n°29-30, 1989, 199 pages).

Pepita Carpena appeared in two films dedicated to the Spanish Revolution, "Un autre futur" by Richard Prost (1988-1997) and "De toda la vida" by Lisa Berger and Carol Mazer (1986). Her photo was also included in "Le petit voleur" by Érick Zonca (1999).

She also worked with the Spanish and French anarchist press: Cenit, CNT, Le Combat syndicaliste, Ideas-Orto, Solidaridad obrera.

translation by ainfos


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