Antoni Benaiges, the teacher who promised the sea

3D virtual tour

Handy information
Antoni Benaiges, the teacher who promised the sea

An exhibition on Antoni Benaiges, the Republican schoolteacher from Mont-roig del Camp who adopted the pedagogical methodology of Célestin Freinet. This methodology involved producing, in school, a series of little publications or 'notebooks' in the form of drawings and texts made by the school’s pupils, and which reflected how they perceived and understood the world: about the family, friendships, the village, local areas, festivals, excursions, journeys, games and folklore. Thus, the printing press came to play an important role in the classroom: it was a tool that enabled students to express, grasp, see and touch everything they learned. The notebooks at the Bañuelos de Bureba school were titled Gestos (Gestures) and Recreo (Playtime).

But the teaching methods used by Benaiges soon clashed with some of the local families and powers-that-be. The boys and girls of Bañuelos had never seen the sea, and in January 1936 the teacher asked them to imagine it and describe it. The result was the notebook The sea. The view of children who have never ever seen it. The teacher promised to take the boys and girls to see the sea that summer, and to visit his family home. But on 19th July that year, while he was planning his pupils’ trip to Mont-roig, he was arrested, tortured and executed.

The exhibition, organised in conjunction with Memorial Democràtic de Catalunya, pays homage to the community of teachers who worked during the Republic, and to the notebook that some children from a school in Castile wrote one day, in which they imagined the sea.

Exhibition curated by the photographer and documentary filmmaker Sergi Bernal (Barcelona, 1973).


  • Virtual exhibition


  • Web




  • OrganizersMemorial Democràtic - Generalitat de Catalunya
  • OrganizersMuseu Marítim de Barcelona