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Department of Archaeology


Work package 3: Spain

CRIC Spain, The Carabanchel Prison: "A Model of a Repressive Space"

This film introduces one of the most emblematic buildings of the Francoist repression. Using the forced labour of the very same prisoners that it was intended to hold, the Carabanchel prison was built in the south of Madrid in the 1940s by the Francoist regime to imprison those who had opposed the military rebellion during the civil war, and political opponents of the regime in the postwar. It was to be a modern prison built in the form of a panopticon, crowned by a vast dome and divided into different spaces of imprisonment and surveillance. From its opening until the 1960s Carabanchel was a political prison marked by the tensions between a repressive system and acts of resistance. Throughout the political transition period and into democracy the prison went through several changes: after the amnesty for anti-Francoist prisoners came the struggles of the ordinary prisoners claiming their rights, and eventually a progressive decay of the prison set in marked by drug trafficking and the dawn of HIV- AIDS.

After its closure in 1998, other social agents became associated with the ruins of the building: squatters, anti-prison activists, graffiti artists and finally, the local community who sought to lay claim to the prison site in order to transform it into a neighbourhood social centre. Finally, as of 2007 and until today, various movements have vindicated the prison as a site of memory for the anti-Francoist resistance. Despite these multiple claims on the site, the building was demolished in October 2008. The physical disappearance of the prison however, has not erased it from the memory of those who lived with it for so many years and its absence continues to have a powerfully evocative presence. This film is based on research carried out by archaeologists, anthropologists, and historians led by CRIC researcher,Dr. Carmen Ortiz García. Their studies started with the building itself, and explored the prison's material and symbolic meaning from the 1940s onwards.

Reconstructing Gernika's Foru Plaza: Something Old, Something New

When the Spanish Civil War ended, on the 1^st of April 1939, a General Directorate for Devastated Regions and Reparations was set up to administer the reconstruction of the country. Soon a law was created by which those towns most severely damaged during the war were 'adopted' by the regime. Gernika was amongst the first towns to be adopted. In this short video, CRIC project researcher Dr Dacia Viejo-Rose briefly describes how the reconstruction of Gernika was taken up, focusing on the town's main square, its Foru Plaza, she traces the history of its rebuilding and how a changing political context affected the meaning of the square. As the centre of the town and locus for buildings housing key administrative and political functions the square's story is particularly revealing of how the reconstruction was imbued with ideological significance.

Remembering Gernika /Gernika Remembers

Nine months into the Spanish Civil War, on 26 April 1937, the Basque town of Gernika was the target of a large aerial bombing campaign carried out on behalf of Generals Emilio Mola and Francisco Franco by the German and Italian air forces. Over 75% of the town's built structures were entirely destroyed in the attack. In this video CRIC researchers Dr Dacia Viejo-Rose and Fiachra McDonagh explain how that attack quickly became imbued with symbolic meaning that turned it into a 'memory event'. They discuss the censorship that existed in Spain during the Franco period that prevented public commemorations of the event, how the anniversaries were marked by the Basque government in exile, and how from 1976 memory of the event began to be marked in Gernika.

See more WP3 results here.


Work package 4: France

"Places that Died For France" : Commemoration and Memory on the Verdun battlefield

In this film, CRIC researcher Dr Paola Filippucci discusses a unique type of commemoration that takes place on the Verdun battlefield, remembering nine villages that were destroyed during the battle of 1916 and were never reconstructed. In 1919 the nine villages were declared 'dead for France' [mortise pour la France] , awarded medals, and retained a mayor and municipal councils named by the state. Each municipal commission holds an annual ceremony to commemorate the village's 'sacrifice' for the nation. However new forms of commemoration have also emerged by which descendants of the former inhabitants remember the lost village: heritage trails, excavations of the village remains, searches for archival documents, genealogies and photographs of the pre-war village, some of which are exhibited at the village site. This case study highlights the extent of civilian losses in the Great War, and shows that not only people but also places can die in war, with an equally painful impact on communities and individuals.

The Verdun battlefield: New debates on the heritage of destruction for 2014

'The Cemetery of France'
The title of this film cites the words used by French President Michel Lebrun in 1932 to describe the battlefield of Verdun, site in 1916 of one of the most brutal battles of the Great War.

The CRIC Research Project has studied the post-war reconstruction of the battlefield and in this film, researcher Dr Paola Filippucci from Cambridge University's McDonald Institute discusses some of the findings of the project. As she explains, partly because of the extent of destruction the battlefield was declared off-limits for ordinary settlement and turned into a forest, containing only burials, memorial monuments and vestiges of the battlefield.

The post-war history of the battlefield landscape shows that since its reconstruction in the 1920s, the forest has matured and developed significant biodiversity, with many rare plant and animal species thriving in some of the man-made wartime vestiges (shell-holes, forts and dugouts). This creates today a new type of heritage value on the battlefield, and as we move towards the centenary of the Great War in 2014, it gives rise to new debates about how to protect and valorise this landscape so as to harmonise historical and natural heritage. This case study shows that reconstruction after conflict is a very long-term process, that leaves a material legacy that continues to change and to interrogate later generations after the disappearance of direct survivors.

See more WP4 results here.


Work package 5: Cyprus

The research conducted by project partners based at the PRIO Cyprus Centre has provided insight into issues concerning the marginalisation of minority heritage, analysis of the destruction and preservation of sites connected to the two major ethnic groups in the south and north of the island, and the classification of site positioned on the Green Line and their relation to notions of collective heritage. Significant results of this area of project research have related to the exclusion of certain ethnic groups from the interpretation of cultural heritage through the ethnicization of that heritage and its current predominant ideological interpretations and the unintended and paradoxical preservation of certain sites of cultural heritage through abandonment or underdevelopment within some areas.

Memorial Wall, Nicosia

See more WP5 results here.


Work package 6: Bosnia

MOSTAR: heritage reconstruction in a divided city

This film shows the often unexpected outcomes of reconstruction after war , and demonstrates the complexity of international involvement in this process. CRIC researcher Dr. Ioannis Armakolas discusses the case of the post-conflict reconstruction of cultural heritage in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina. The rebuilding of the iconic 16th century Old Bridge of Mostar was the most prominent and well-publicised international effort for the support of reconstruction of war-ravaged heritage in the Balkans.

The "new" Old Bridge was to be a powerful symbol of reconciliation after civil strife , and through this project the international community sought to promote its vision for a new peaceful and multi-ethnic Bosnia. However, the reconstruction of the Old Bridge and other heritage in the city became contested. Ethnic and political conflict among the Mostar's main groups continued, not least through competition over heritage and war memorialisation. This film analyses the idea that cultural heritage reconstruction can become a means of prolonging conflict through non-violent methods.

TUZLA: a changing memorial culture for a new vision of Bosnia

CRIC researcher Dr. Ioannis Armakolas discusses post-conflict heritage reconstruction and memorialisation in the city of Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Tuzla had a unique history in the 1990's Bosnian war and its aftermath. It is a prime example of a political elite and a local community stuggling to prevent nationalism and division from taking root despite the ethnic turbulence and war dominating in the entire region. In the post-Bosnian war period, the local auhtorities reconstructed Tuzla's Slana Banja memorial complex by creatively combining socialist regime heritage with 1992-95 war memorials. The reconstructed Slana Banja became an important example of how heritage management can be used for promoting a political vision for a less-ethnically divided Bosnia

CRIC, Bosnia: Reinventing Cultural Heritage

CRIC researcher , Dr. Dzenan Sahovic explains how heritage sites from the socialist era have been transformed in the aftermath of the 1990s war in Bosnia. World War II monuments built to represent the national identity of the former Yugoslav regime at Kozara, Neretva, Sutjeska, Jajce and Drvar have been examined for their preservation, neglect ,destruction and reconstruction during and after the war. Physical alterations at symbolic sites are documented to understand the cultural and political changes imposed on societies through conflict.

Interpreting and remembering genocide at the Srebrenica-Potočari memorial

The CRIC Research project has investigated the use of memorials, commemorations and anniversary events to understand the way communities attempt to come to terms with catastrophic loss of life. Significant sites across Europe provide examples of the way memories of conflict are interpreted and transmitted, and the role this plays in post conflict identity formation. This film describes the development of the Potočari Memorial Centre at Srebrenica to commemorate those who died during the genocide against the Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) population in eastern Bosnia in July 1995. Dr Dzenan Sahovic's analysis outlines the diametrically different views held by Bosniak and Serb groups towards the events at Srebrenica. His research examines the changing use and meaning of this contested site and the impact this has on Bosnian politics. The images in the film were taken on the 15th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide when mass burials and large rallies were taking place at the memorial centre.

See more WP6 results here.


Work package 7: Germany

Germany's reconstruction of symbolic sites

CRIC researcher Prof. Karl-Siegbert Rehberg introduces a new study , carried out with CRIC historian, Matthias Neutzner on the emergence of the Frauenkirche Dresden. as a place of German memory and commemoration.

The cupola of the Frauenkirche dominated the city silhouette from the days of the Baroque period. Its collapse one day after the bombing of Dresden on the 13th and 14th of February 1945 seemed to seal symbolically the downfall of the city.This film examines how from its construction in 1727 until today, this building has proved to be not only an aesthetic landmark of the city but also an ambivalent symbol of history

The Heidefriedhof Cemetery, Dresden: interpreting disputed wartime memories and loss

CRIC historian, Matthias Neutzner looks at the creation of a symbolic site of wartime trauma and loss and the political manipulation of commemoration ceremonies held there. The Heidefriedhof is Dresden's main municipal cemetery and memorial for those who died in World War II. CRIC research examines Heidefriedhof's role during GDR times and after reunification in the political legitimisation of post-war memories . The presence of Neo-Nazis, and counter groups at civic ceremonies over the last decade are discussed as an extreme illustration of the way attempts can be made to establish political claims to symbolic sites. This biography of Heidefreidhof is part of wider CRIC research in Dresden investigating how the city's post- war reconstruction since 1945 has been negotiated and the local and national impact of commemorative practices marking the 13th February bombing of Dresden.

The continuing controversy over Dresden's 13th February anniversary

CRIC resarchers Prof. Karl-Siegbert Rehberg and historian, Matthias Neutzner explain how the memory of the bombing of Dresden on the 13th of February 1945 has been affected by political instrumentalisation from the aftermath of war until the present day. The anniversary has been instrumentalised by the national socialst propaganda, by the GDR government and by different social movements. The political use of history strenghtened the symbolic meaning of Dresden. The memorial culture changed through time and influenced the reconstruction efforts before and after 1990 in Dresden, especially the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche.

As Carsten Paludan-Müller and Dr. Marie-Louise Stig Sorensen of the University of Cambridge point out, the Dresden case gives insight into the way perceptions of cultural heritage can affect the construction of history and identity.

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