October 2012        

Essay competition on the international brigades


The Friends of the International Brigades in Ireland are launching their first essay competition for second-level pupils. The winner will be invited to read their essay in Madrid on Friday 15 February 2013, and to attend the annual commemoration of the Battle of Jarama on Saturday 16 February, accompanied by a parent or guardian. Flight and accommodation costs will be paid.
     The subject of the essay can be any aspect of the role and experiences of the members of the international brigades during the Spanish Civil War (1936–39) that is related to Ireland or that deals with the consequences for brigaders after the war ended.
     Essays should be in English and not more than 1,600 words long. Sources should be given for all facts cited.
     Any person between the ages of sixteen and nineteen in any second-level course in Ireland during the time of the competition is eligible to enter, whether at school or any other educational institution or in apprenticeship, provided the essay is submitted by noon on Monday 3 December 2012, together with the contact details of the writer and of their teacher or course supervisor who can confirm the person’s age, details of second-level course, etc.
     The e-mail address to which essays with contact details should be sent is fibispain36to39@gmail.com.
     All decisions by the judges are final.
     Every competitor who fulfils these conditions will receive a certificate attesting to their participation, which could be included in CVs etc.
     The organisers also hope to arrange an event here in Ireland for the writers of the essays placed first and second and of the most original essay, at which they would read their essays.
     The aim of the competition is to develop young people’s interest in modern history and in particular an appreciation of the principles and activities of the international brigade volunteers. In this way we hope to carry out the wishes of the great Republican leader Dolores Ibárruri, who asked those watching the brigades’ farewell march in the autumn of 1938 to tell their children about those volunteers who came to Spain to defend democracy.
     In today’s world we are living through times that recall the dangers and the challenges of the 1930s, and we need to remember the aspirations and the deeds of those who risked their lives for a cause that remains as a lesson, and a warning, to us today. ■ www.facebook.com/spanishcivilwaressaycompetition

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