The Visible Differences of Dictatorships in the Iconic Forms of Representation of Fransisco Franco and Antonio Oliveira de Salazar

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“The differences in both dictatorships were visible in the forms of propaganda and public profile of the dictators. Compare and contrast the iconic forms of representation of Francisco Franco AND Antonio de Oliveira Salazar.”

This essay considers the question above by addressing the notion of “dictatorship” and its representation through iconography. We look at the definitions of “propaganda” and “iconic” and the context of the two dictators themselves, and then compare the techniques and actions used to promote these two individuals as icons.

Francisco Franco governed Spain with an iron fist from 1939 to 1975 following the brutal civil war of 1936 to 1939 that had overthrown the monarchy and left Spain fragmented, disunited and impoverished after participating in the First World War. He was a military man who had a leading role in the civil war and went on to form and lead a junta government; he was also a devout Catholic.

Antonio de Oliveira Salazar governed Portugal from 1933 to 1968. He was an academic, a professor of Economics at the University of Coimbra. After a period as Minister of Finance, he became Prime Minister in 1933. Salazar presented himself as an academic, not a military man, and he was a devout Catholic.

The term “dictatorship” can be described as a form of government in which absolute power rests with one person – a “dictator” – who has achieved power not through hereditary succession (like a monarch). The term “dictator” itself goes back to Roman times, meaning a person with supreme authority. Although the term usually refers to a ruler that has obtained power by force, it has also been used to define a person who can achieve any feasible social



References: Gunther R., Montero J.R. , Wert J.I. (1999, july).THE MEDIA AND POLITICS IN SPAIN: FROM DICTATORSHIP TO DEMOCRACY. ( Demoscopia WP núm. 176 ). Ohio State University,Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Institut de Ciències Polítiques i Socials Barcelona , Barcelona. Available from: . Accessed: 20/01/2012. Preston P. (ed). (1999).¡Comrades! portraits from the Spanish civil war.. London: UK: HarperCollins.. Sapega, E. W. (winter 2002). Image and Counter-Image: The Place of Salazarist Images of National Identity in Contemporary Portuguese Visual Culture. Special Issue: Portuguese Cultural Studies . Vol. 39, No. 2,, pp.pp. 45-64 . Michael Sanfey (Winter, 2003). On Salazar and Salazarism. Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review. Vol. 92, No. 368, pp.pp. 405-411 . Ilham Jalal 12 of 12

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