Photograph of a group of Spanish Republicans in a concentration camp in Bram, south of France, among them the photographer, Agustí Centelles ...

Identity statement area

Supplied Title:

Photograph of a group of Spanish Republicans in a concentration camp in Bram, south of France, among them the photographer, Agustí Centelles.

Reference number:


Date of creation:

Probable 1939

Level of description:

Unidad Documental Simple_en

Reference code:



Biography / Administrative history:

Spanish photojournalist born in Valencia in 1909. His family moved to Barcelona, and it was in this city where, as a teenager, Centelles learned photography and the art of photographic retouching in El Día Gráfico, one of the first Spanish newspapers to incorporate photographic images as a central element for the reader. He later worked for other photographers until he decided to start his own business as a press reporter in 1934. His work began to appear in publications like El Diario Gráfico, Última Hora, and La Humanitat.

Centelles gained special relevance during the Spanish Civil War, as some of his snapshots made the front page of newspapers and magazines from all over the world, such as Newsweek, and they showed the defeat of the Coup d'état in Barcelona and the departure of the first military columns en route to Aragón. Between August of 1936 and June of 1937, he worked as a war correspondent on the Aragón front, specifically in the areas of Huesca and Zaragoza. In July of 1937 he was deployed by the Army of the Republic and incorporated into the War Commission of the 31st Division, in which he continued photographing the war fronts of Aragón, bearing witness to the violent battles of Belchite and Teruel.

In January of 1938, Centelles was assigned to the Republic's intelligence services, first to the photo labs of the Special Department of Information for the State (DEDIDE), intelligence agency affiliated with the Ministry of Government, and from March onward he was cabinet photographer for the Military Intelligence Service (SIM). Additionally, he was appointed as official photographer for the President of the Council of Ministers, Juan Negrín. During this period, he photographed the departure of the International Brigades (Barcelona,October 28th, 1938) and captured images of the relatives of victims of the bombing of Lérida.

After the fall of Catalonia at the hands of General Francisco Franco's army, Centelles crossed the French border and was placed in the refugee camps of Argelès-sur-Mer and Bram; he abandoned this camp on September 13th of 1939 upon obtaining a work contract in a photography studio in Carcassonne.

Following the start of World War II, Centelles enlisted in the maquis, the French Resistance operation that fought the occupying German army, as well as the collaborationist government of Vichy. In January of 1944, he was nearly captured in a Gestapo raid, thus the organization decided to expedite his return to Spain.

Once there, he settled in Reus (Tarragona), where part of his political family resided. In December of 1947, the Special Tribunal for the Repression of Freemasonry and Communism ordered him arrested for his involvement with both a masonic lodge based in Barcelona and the Republican Army. He was sentenced to house arrest with an additional order to appear every ten days at the Police Headquarters of Barcelona; this sentence lasted until March of 1956. Unable to practice his profession as a photojournalist, Centelles set up his own photography studio and worked by making advertising campaigns for businesses and for celebrities like Salvador Dalí.

In 1984, he was awarded the National Prize for Fine Arts. He died in Barcelona on the 1st of December, 1985.

Name of the creator(s):

Centelles, Agustí (1909-1985)

Name of other related agents:

Centro Documental de la Memoria Histórica (Salamanca, España) - Coleccionista

Conditions of Access and Use

General Conditions of Access:

©MECD. Archivos Estatales (España). La difusión de la información descriptiva y de las imágenes digitales de este documento ha sido autorizada por el titular de los derechos de propiedad intelectual exclusivamente para uso privado y para actividades de docencia e investigación. En ningún caso se autoriza su reproducción con finalidad lucrativa ni su distribución, comunicación pública y transformación por cualquier medio sin autorización expresa y por escrito del propietario.

State of conservation:


Related documentation

Existence and Location of Copies:

Existen copias de una parte de las fotografías en la Fundació Vila Casas (Barcelona).

Medium/Archival Material:

Digitized contains digitized images


Centelles, Agustí. Ferré, Teresa. Galvany, Pepita. Diario de un fotógrafo : Bram, 1939. [Cubierta]. 1ª ed.. Agustí Centelles ; edición a cargo de Teresa Ferré ; traducción de Pepita Galvany. Barcelona: Ediciones Península. 2009. 212 p.. 978-84-8307-875-4.

Ferré i Panisello, Teresa. Agustí Centelles i Ossó : Un fotoperiodista a l'exili (1939-1944). Imatges del camp de concentració de Bram.



This document was pre-selected for EXILES, MIGRATORY FLOWS AND SOLIDARITY, exhibition of the "European Digital Treasures" project, funded by the European Union's Creative Europe Programme.

Extent and medium

1 Fotografía(s) on Película Flexible_en .  Size  35 mm_en.