Museums, Memory, Human Rights, and Democracy in Contemporary Spain
Museums, Memory, Human Rights, and Democracy in Contemporary Spain The beginning of the twenty-first century in Spain has seen renewed interest in the Civil War and especially on the excavation of mass graves related to Franco’s repression; there are popular books that now reference the “Spanish Holocaust” and the “genocide” carried out by the Franco regime during the civil war and after its victory. How does this new interpretation of the Civil War, focused on rights and their deprivation, connect to contemporary ideas about human rights, democracy and the lens through which to view the historical conflict?
CGS Research Excellence Award
Jim Hyun-Lim and Peter Lambert have argued that a social framework for memory can be global, and that “a growing sense of global connectivity and global human rights politics has brought a profound change to the memory landscape.” In this way, the struggle and story of victimhood in Spain is connected to both understanding how social memory works on a large scale, how specific conflicts are remembered, and how human rights and democratic ideals become part of the process of telling history.
Observation of museum exhibits and other related memory sites like memorials; interviews with curators and officials from the Basque Government’s official memory institution, Gogora; reading and analysis of materials for educational curricula.
Messenger, David A., "Museums, Memory, Human Rights, and Democracy in Contemporary Spain" (2016). CGS Faculty Awards 2016. 8.