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> Ginestà was born in Toulouse, on January 29 1919, into a working-class leftist family that had emigrated to France from Spain. Her parents were both tailors: Empar Coloma Chalmeta, from Valencia, and Bruno Ginestà Manubens, from Manresa. She moved to Barcelona with her parents at the age of 11. Ginestà later joined the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia. As the war broke out, she served as a reporter and a translator assisting Mikhail Koltsov, a correspondent of the Soviet newspaper Pravda. Before the end of the war, Ginestà was wounded and evacuated to Montpellier.
The famous photograph was taken on 21 July 1936. It shows the 17-year-old girl posing with a rifle on the top of the original Hotel Colón. As she was a reporter, it was the only time Ginestà was carrying a gun. The picture was later seen in the cover of the book Las Trece Rosas by Carlos Fonseca. The hotel was destroyed after the war and on its place is today the building of the Banco Español de Crédito.
The Spanish Civil War was fought from 17 July 1936 – 1 April 1939 and pitted a broadly leftist coalition, the Republicans, against the authoritarian Nationalists under the command of Generalissimo Francisco Franco. The war was marked by intense sectarian violence between political ideologies and for the amount of passion it inspired both at home and abroad. As a result of this, it attracted many idealistic volunteers. Perhaps the most notable among these was George Orwell, who wrote *Homage to Catalonia* as a personal account of his service fighting for the Worker’s Party of Marxist Unification. Both sides in the war carried out campaigns of repression directed at rooting out political opposition, with the Republican-led Red Terror killing anywhere from 30-50,000 people and the Nationalist White Terror claiming a death toll of around 200,000. The war ended with a victory for the Nationalists in 1939, and Franco would rule Spain as an autocrat until his death in 1975.
Image colorized by SYNTH-GUY (Christian Andrade) of DeviantArt: https://synth-guy.deviantart.com/art/Marina-Ginesta-COLORIZED-692964732