The difficulties posed by 21st century testimonies in studying the Spanish Civil War

Testimonies collected from the families victimized by Franco during and after the Spanish Civil War are a crucial part of understanding the historical memory movement. I hope to continue my research focused on the difficulties that surround projects of historical memory in Spain. As we transcribe and analyze the interviews of those in Cádiz who lost family to Franco’s dictatorship, I hope to add on a new dimension to my understanding of the difficulty of preserving the memory of an era that was forced into the periphery of Spanish society. While I focused nearly exclusively on the exhumation project at La Sauceda in my research project for the study abroad program, I hope to now shift the focus of my studies to the process of gathering testimonies. As the historian Santiago Moreno pointed out to me during our interview in Cádiz, “exhuming mass graves isn’t the only part of remembering, maybe the most striking.”

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La Sauceda: A Case Study in Projects of Historical Memory in Cádiz

Since I left for Cádiz, the focus of my research project changed  from evaluating the efficacy of the 2007 Law of Historical Memory to focusing on a specific historical memory project that I had several opportunities to interact with during my study abroad. This project revolved around the exhumation and commemoration of the victims of Franco’s army at the village of La Sauceda in Andalucía, near the boarder of the provinces Cádiz and Málaga. While the inefficiencies of the Law of Historical Memory were still relevant to my discussion of the project at La Sauceda, I decided to more broadly evaluate all of the challenges that the project faced, along with the reasons for which the project has been successful .

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