My musical documentary about the volunteers

Post date: 27/06/2023

Doc Ritchie of AVzounds writes…

No Pasaran! is a 30-minute musical documentary about the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War and uses electronic beats, voice-overs, samples, contemporary songs and music to tell a story of great courage, danger, and political conflict. 

Listen to it here.

In 1986, I was in Barcelona, 50 years after the war had started, with an unofficial contingent of English anarchists, where we met people from the CNT union and listened to speeches from Spanish Civil War survivors. 

There were colourful posters and stickers on every wall with the majority for the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) and the CNT. There was also lots of rough red wine, delicious tortillas, and the smell of coffee and cigarettes in the morning.

I had just turned 21 and knew very little about the complexities of the war, but when I got back home I absorbed as much as I could. 

Doc Ritchie: Inspired by a visit to Barcelona.

That experience in Barcelona has remained a lifelong inspiration and maintained a belief that international working class solidarity can and must defeat fascism whenever it appears.

No Pasaran! is a celebration of those from around the world who went to Spain to fight against Franco’s fascist coup in 1936, those who fought and died there, those who tended the wounded and dying, those who witnessed or wrote about it and sent their reports for the rest of the world to hear.

It is also dedicated to the memory of life long anti-fascist Richard Bircumshaw (1951-2019) who I went to Barcelona with in 1986.

 AVzounds is a company-in-community who mix radical speech with lo-life beats. Our first release was Speak! with American poet Hans Ostrom, followed by Pink Punk Poetry by Swedish poet Louise Halvardsson, and we are currently working with asylum seekers in Teesside to tell their stories of exile.

Musician and writer Doc (Dr C) Ritchie runs AVzounds. His new book, ‘Marx & Work and the 21st century’, is published by Manifesto Press:
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