The Spanish Civil War was a devastating conflict that left an indelible mark on the country’s history. In the midst of tragedy and horror, the poet César Vallejo rises with his masterpiece Spain, remove this chalice from me, a collection of poems that implores the cessation of violence and suffering.
In the process of creating the cover for this book, we encountered a painful irony that made us reflect on the massification of civilian deaths during war. We considered using a stark image of the bombing of Guernica, an attack that symbolized the cruelty of war and violence against the civilian population. However, we found that the most frequent image attributed to the bombing actually shows casualties from the Allied bombing of Dresden. This fact reminded us once again how the war affected not only Spain but also other nations, leaving a trail of destruction and suffering in its wake.
In our quest to represent the tragic reality of war, we come across an aerial sequence of the bombings of Barcelona.
Among the images captured from the Italian bombers, we found one that impacted us deeply, and we decided to use it for the cover of the book of poems.
However, these aerial images have their reverse: other photographs captured on the ground show the bodies and the destruction left by these air strikes. This duality of perspectives reminded us that, behind every shocking image, there is a story of human pain and suffering.
Spain, take away from me this chalice of César Vallejo is a call to peace and compassion in the midst of the chaos and desolation of war. Through his verses, the poet invites us to reflect on the devastating consequences of violence and the importance of valuing human life above any conflict.
In a world marked by wars and conflicts, this work remains a powerful indictment of barbarism and a hope that one day we can turn away the chalice of suffering and find peace. Let us always remember that behind the shocking images there are human beings who suffer, and it is our duty to fight for a more compassionate and supportive world.