1950-1975. Dictatorship and Resistance: the Long Night of Stone

The iron-handed centralist dictatorship of General Franco (1936-1975), imposed fierce repression on any political or cultural, democratic or pro-Galician manifestation, which was condemned to silence, secrecy or exile.

In the first two decades, the contribution from exile, especially from the Americas and in particular from Argentina, was fundamental: two of the most representative figures are the narrator Eduardo Blanco-Amor (1897-1979) and the painter, poet and cultural entrepreneur Luís Seoane. The resistance from within Galicia initially arose in the shape of a publishing house called Editorial Galaxia (founded in 1950) and later in the form of the many clandestine Galician political groups (Unión do Pobo Galego, Partido Socialista Galego, Partido Comunista de Galicia). The former was centered on the figure of R. Otero Pedrayo and was led by Ramon Piñeiro, and it served as a bridge between pre- and post-war Galician culture besides being a reference point for the younger generations. The most important writer of this period, Álvaro Cunqueiro (1911-1981), was linked to Galaxia, while the ‘social’ poet Celso Emilio Ferreiro (1912-1979) was connected with the nonconformist sensibilities of the younger post-war generations.
From the decade of the sixties, a growing number of civic-cultural groups gain prominence in the defense of the language. The university movement comes to the forefront towards the end of the decade with phenomena such as the protest song that favored the visibility of Galician. Research in the field of philology gained an important impetus with the creation of the University of Santiago de Compostela’s Institute of the Galician Language (Instituto da Lingua Galega, 1970), which published the regular language learning handbooks.

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