Special Event | Cultural Program | Movement, Migration and Refugees The Arches
Jul 07, 2023 10:30 - 12:30(Europe/London)
20230707T1030 20230707T1230 Europe/London A memory itinerary of the Spanish Civil War in Newcastle

I propose a memory itinerary around Newcastle that connects the North East of England with the cultural memory of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), a conflict that is commonly read as a prelude of WWII. The Spanish case is a representative case (among many other similar cases internationally) in the fight for justice and reparation for victims during the three years of war and the 36 years of dictatorship by General Francisco Franco. The transition to democracy in Spain was facilitated by an amnesty law (1977) which extended the traumatic legacy of the dictatorship for many victims and relatives well into the 21st century. It was in 2007 when the Spanish government first legislated on the topic of historical memory, removing street names and sculptures across Spain associated with the dictatorship. But the law did not go far enough in the moral reparation for victims who were killed and buried in mass graves across Spain. Their relatives, organised since 2000 under the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARHM), influenced policy urging the Spanish government to intervene, claiming for the identification of their loved ones and the right for a decent burial. The recent passing of the Law of Democratic Memory (5 Oct 2022) contains important measures, such as the creation of a census and a national DNA bank to help locate and identify the remains of thousands of people who still lie in mass graves, as well as a ban on groups that glorify the Franco regime.But what does this have to do with the Britain and, specifically, the North East? Around 2,500 volunteers from Britain fought in the Spanish Civil War against fascism, near a 100 from the North East and Cumbria. The proposed memory itinerary will begin at the grounds of the Civic Centre where the Memori ...

The Arches MSA Conference Newcastle 2023 conference@memorystudiesassociation.org
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I propose a memory itinerary around Newcastle that connects the North East of England with the cultural memory of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), a conflict that is commonly read as a prelude of WWII. The Spanish case is a representative case (among many other similar cases internationally) in the fight for justice and reparation for victims during the three years of war and the 36 years of dictatorship by General Francisco Franco. The transition to democracy in Spain was facilitated by an amnesty law (1977) which extended the traumatic legacy of the dictatorship for many victims and relatives well into the 21st century. It was in 2007 when the Spanish government first legislated on the topic of historical memory, removing street names and sculptures across Spain associated with the dictatorship. But the law did not go far enough in the moral reparation for victims who were killed and buried in mass graves across Spain. Their relatives, organised since 2000 under the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARHM), influenced policy urging the Spanish government to intervene, claiming for the identification of their loved ones and the right for a decent burial. The recent passing of the Law of Democratic Memory (5 Oct 2022) contains important measures, such as the creation of a census and a national DNA bank to help locate and identify the remains of thousands of people who still lie in mass graves, as well as a ban on groups that glorify the Franco regime.
But what does this have to do with the Britain and, specifically, the North East? Around 2,500 volunteers from Britain fought in the Spanish Civil War against fascism, near a 100 from the North East and Cumbria. The proposed memory itinerary will begin at the grounds of the Civic Centre where the Memorial to the Spanish Civil War remembers 35 names of volunteers from the North East of England who were killed in Spain and now lie in unmarked graves across Spain.
The second stop in this proposed memory itinerary linking the Spanish Civil War with Newcastle will be Newcastle Central Library, where the holdings of the Newcastle-based North Mail contain several articles that described the dramatic siege of Madrid in 1939, written by Manuel Chaves Nogales (1897-1944), a Spanish journalist renowned for refusing to take an extreme ideological position and who warned against the growth of fascism across Europe. Chaves Nogales, after going into exile first to France and then to Britain, remained committed to spreading awareness of Europe's struggle against the rise of fascism and wrote extensively, including opening a news agency in Fleet Street and reporting for the BBC. We will have an opportunity to see the actual North Mail volume and explore the significance of some of the articles published by Chaves Nogales.


Places are limited to 25 participants and pre-booking is required. 

Book your place by selecting a (free) ticket for the workshop on our registration page: https://msa2023newcastle.dryfta.com/attendee-registration-tickets

Chief Executive
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Motivait
Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies
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Newcastle University
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