An interesting talk here about the life of Gerda Taro, the pioneering and largely unknown female photojournalist whose work consisted almost exclusively of dramatic photographs from the Spanish Civil War.The talk is given by Irme Schaber, Taro’s biographer.
Taro was companion and professional partner of photographer Robert Capa.
When the Spanish Civil War broke out (1936), Gerda Taro travelled to Barcelona, Spain, to cover the events with Capa. Taro acquired the nickname of la pequeña rubia (“the little blonde”). They covered the war together at northeastern Aragon and at the southern Cordoba. Always together under the common, bogus signature of Robert Capa, they were successful through many important publications (the Swiss Züricher Illustrierte, the French Vu). Their early war photos are distinguishable since Taro used a Rollei camera which rendered squared photographs while Capa produced rectangular Leica pictures. However, for some time in 1937 they produced similar 135 film pictures together under the label of Capa&Taro.
Subsequently, Taro attained some independence. She refused Capa’s marriage proposal. Also, she became publicly related to the circle of anti fascist European intellectuals (Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell) who crusaded particularly for the Spanish Republic. The Ce Soir, a leftist newspaper of France, signed her for publishing Taro’s works only. Then, she began to commercialize her production under the Photo Taro label. Regards, Life, Illustrated London News and Volks-Illustrierte were amongst those publications.
Reporting the Valencia bombing alone, Gerda Taro attained the photographs which are her most celebrated. Also, in July 1937, Taro’s photographs were in demand by the international press when, alone, she was covering the Brunete region near Madrid for Ce Soir. Although the Nationalist propaganda claimed that the region was under its control, the Republican forces had in fact forced that faction out. Taro’s camera was the only testimony of the actual situation