The Spanish Civil War: The Weight of Silence

Territories in Question: Routes in Territories
By Aitzpea Leizaola


The exhumation of the corpses of people executed during the Spanish Civil War has opened an interesting debate on the memory of the civil war and Franco's dictatorship, breaking for the first time in seventy years the pact of silence that made of the wartime a taboo. Drawing from ethnographic data and fieldwork conducted during the exhumation of various mass graves, this paper aims at exploring the implications of bringing to light a memory kept in silence for decades. It also questions the way oblivion and memory have been used as political tools in Spain all through the twentieth century.


  • memory
  • oblivion
  • silence
  • Spanish civil war
  • exhumation of communal graves
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