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CHGS

Exhumations, Memory, and the Return of Civil War Ghosts in Spain

Exhumations, Memory, and the Return of Civil War Ghosts in Spain

Francisco Ferrandiz, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Reframing Mass Violence: Human Rights and Social Memory in Latin America and Southern Europe.

Thursday, May 8
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
1-109 Herbert M Hanson, Jr Hall

Since 2000, the exhumation of mass graves from the Spanish Civil War and the Post-War years, mostly involving the largely abandoned graves of civilians killed in the Francoist rearguard by paramilitary groups, has become a central element in contemporary social and political debates in the country about the nature of the armed conflict and the dictatorial regime following it. Although exhumations have become a crucial tool for symbolic reparation and have triggered claims for justice for the crimes committed and now unearthed, the social process unleashed by their opening is way larger, and relates to the emergence of a fragmented and heterogeneous political culture focused on the memory of the defeated in the war.

In this talk, the complexity and dynamism of this process is analyzed, including from political and legal initiatives of great social and media impact to local actions on the ground, at times failed, ephemeral or almost imperceptible, but no less crucial. Regional differences, associated to uneven public memory policies, will also be considered.

Organized by the IAS Reframing Mass Violence Research Collaborative. Cosponsored by the Human Rights Program, and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.