6 Apr, 2024 @ 14:08
2 mins read

Who was Blas Infante? All you need to know about the ‘father of Andalucia’ – following his daughter’s death aged 93 this week

800px Blas Infante Archidona

MARIA Angeles Infante, preserver and ambassador of Andalucian culture, passed away on Thursday at 93. 

Andalucian politicians like Junta president Juanma Moreno and Sevilla mayor Jose Luis Sanz left heartfelt condolences on social media to honour the woman who, continuing the legacy of her father and Andalucian cultural icon Blas Infante, fought to promote and preserve Andalucian cultural identity. 

As president of the Blas Infante Foundation, she led the organisation’s efforts to investigate the history of “andalucianism” and the region’s cultural autonomy, and to disseminate Andalucian culture through conferences, concerts, exhibitions, the funding of research projects, and organising cultural festivities on Andalucia Day, which happens on February 28th every year. 

The Junta awarded Infante with the Manuel Clavero Andalucia Medal on Andalucia Day in 2022 for her role in continuing her father’s legacy, who is widely regarded as the “Father of Andalucianism.” 

To understand the significance of Maria Angeles Infante’s death, we must understand the importance of her father, Blas Infante. 

Blas Infante Perez was born on July 5, 1885 in the Malaga town of Casares. 

He was a lawyer by education, but after living for a time in Sevilla in the early 20th century, he became a prominent socialist thinker and outspoken proponent of a unique Andalucian identity. 

In his groundbreaking book, Ideal Andaluz, Infante proposes a new Andalucia, built upon the ideals of egalitarianism and agrarian socialism, a democratic society in which a peasant middle class controls entirely the land they work. 

In Ideal Andaluz, he framed the reconquista – the nearly thousand-year military conquest by Iberia’s Catholic monarchs to retake the peninsula from the Muslim kingdoms that ruled during the Middle Ages – as catastrophic and the period of Moorish rule that preceded it as prosperous, with the economic problems of his time being a direct result of the reconquista. 

800px Blas Infante Archidona
Maria Angeles Infante was the daughter of Blas Infante, a fierce advocate for Andalucian autonomy and known as the “Father of Andalucia.”

Infante was a proud Andalucian nationalist. 

Andalusian identity, as Infante saw it, was a fusion of Spanish and Moorish identities. 

He later became a figure in the region’s anarcho-syndicalist movement, which sought to consolidate Andalucian peasant power into a unified political force. 

He organised the first Andalucian Center in Sevilla in 1916, and has been credited with designing the current green and white-striped Andalucian flag. 

The 1919 Cordoba Manifesto, of which Infante was a key author, demanded that Andalucia become an independent, democratic nation. 

However, his radical, fiercely democratic thinking was seen as a threat by the rising fascist powers of the 1920s and 1930s. 

On August 11, 1936 at the age of 51, Infante was murdered in Sevilla by a firing squad of Francisco Franco loyalists. 

He was likely buried in an unmarked mass grave, as was the fate of numerous intellectuals deemed threatening to Francoism. 

In 1983, just eight years after Franco’s death, the Andalucian Parliament unanimously declared Infante the “Father of Andalucia.” 

His memory lives on today with the Blas Infante Foundation and its efforts to promote the democratic ideals and connection to the land that Infante saw as so integral to Andalucian identity.


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