Live Souls

Live Souls presents 210 of the numerous photos that Alec Wainman took in the midst of the Spanish Civil War, and his personal story of his time as a volunteer member of the British Medical Unit. Until the present only a small number of his photos have appeared in a few historical books, where they have been valued for their insight into the troubled period. After much research by Serge Alternês, the entire corpus of the photos was discovered – in excellent condition. In Live Souls, Alternês has selected the best of these photos and imparted valuable detail with his introduction, captions to the photos, a timeline, as well as an overview of the international implications of Spain’s civil war from a contemporary perspective. Alec’s photographs and story bring revolutionary history to life, offering a complement to what George Orwell described in Homage to Catalonia and what the volunteer medical teams achieved with Drs. Norman Bethune and Reginald Saxton. Alec’s humanitarian ideal as an apolitical Quaker persuaded him to volunteer in August 1936 at the outbreak of the war to defend the ideals of liberty. His lens reflects his compassion for the citizens, volunteers and the civil war itself. The story and photographs keep the souls of the Spanish citizens and volunteers alive.


Serge Alternes

Serge Alternes was born and raised in Vancouver. He completed his degree at the University of British Columbia. He has worked for more than thirty years in Europe, Africa and Asia. Discovering the missing collection of the Wainman pictures after years of searching, he determined to bring them before the public. He presently divides his time between Vancouver and Salzburg.


Alec Wainman

ALEC WAINMAN was an ambulance driver, then interpreter and press officer in Civil War Spain. During and after WWII, he served as an intelligence officer in the British Army in Italy and Austria. As an Oxford-educated linguist, he taught as professor of Slavonics at the University of B.C. His passions were languages, photography and travel. He was a life-long humanitarian.


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325 Pages
8.88in * 7.75in * .74in


October 25, 2015


Ronsdale Press



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