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Department of Archaeology


Spain: Mourning and memory

The Spanish research explores mourning and the material manifestation of mourning, and looks at contested heritage within the politics of urban space and the construction of symbolic places.

The work of the Spanish research teams has provided an insight into how memory becomes attached to places, and how contested symbolic sites emerge. Throughout the project the destruction of cultural heritage was approached not as a series of isolated events but rather as part of a process that has a transformative effect on the social, cultural and political landscape.

The research was based on case studies in Madrid and Gernika.


The research carried out by the project partners based at CSIC in Madrid has centred on two case studies: the Archive of Mourning, produced in response to the train bombings in Madrid on 11 March 2004 (11-M), and the site of the Carabanchel prison. Work on these sites has been drawn together through the shared focus on three thematic axis: i) material and immaterial manifestations of mourning, ii) contested heritage within the politics of urban space and the construction of symbolic places, and iii) the construction and transmission of memory. The case studies have made an important contribution to CRIC by developing theories on mourning and memory and providing a focused discussion of the concepts of dissonant and emergent heritage and ‘grassroots’ or spontaneous memorialization.


Estación de Atocha


The research carried out by project partners based at Gernika Gogoratuz and the University of Cambridge have focused on three dimensions of the town’s heritage: the reconstruction of the town after its bombing in 1937, the memorial practices that have evolved around the bombing, and the town’s armament factory ASTRA. On the basis of empirical work, the analytic dimensions of this research have sought to establish a theoretical framework for understanding the construction of a ‘collective memory’ of the bombing, its integration into contemporary identity and the symbolic and memorial landscape that has evolved in Gernika. The work on these sites has focused on three lines of inquiry: i) post-conflict reconstruction of a heritage site, ii) sites of contentious meanings and memories (the ASTRA weapons factory), and iii) commemoration and the transmission of memory (with a chief focus on trans-generational transmission).

 McDonagh, F. (2009). The Astra Factory, Gernika  

Film and Video

Reconstructing Spain

CRIC researcher Dr Dacia Viejo-Rose discusses various dimensions of the reconstruction of cultural heritage after the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and their continued presence in Spain today. She visits various sites of memory in Madrid and discusses issues of memorialization with art historian Ángel Llorente, explores the more and less visible remains of the war with anthropologist Alicia Quintero Maqua and listens to Concha Carretero tell of her war-time experiences and thoughts on why it has taken 70 years for a process of recognition and recovery to get underway in Spain.

This video introduces some of the ideas explored in the book: "Reconstructing Spain. Cultural Heritage and Memory after Civil War" (Sussex Academic Press, 2011). Further videos introducing case studies from the CRIC project can be found on the CRIC Youtube channel.

Spain Now! - Digging the Spanish Earth: a roundtable discussion

Spain NOW! is an annual season showcasing the latest creative talent coming out of Spain. It takes place all around London and strives to break traditional geographical barriers in as much as cultural consumption in the capital is concerned.

The Digging the Spanish Earth, chaired by the CRIC projects Dacia Viejo Rose, brought together individuals working on the recovery of memory in Spain from various angles in a round-table discussion. The discussion explored how the work of literally digging up the past is inspiring Spanish artists to address the issue, and how various art forms including film-making and photography are being used in the process of uncovering.


The research carried out by the Spanish work package has resulted in several books and journal articles. A selection of these publications is given below:

  • Anheier, H., Isar, Y. R. and Viejo-Rose, D. (eds) 2011. Cultures and Globalization Series, vol. 4, Heritage, Memory and Identity. London: Sage
  • Haque, A. and Oianguren Idígoras, M. (eds) 2010. Historias de vida lugares simbólicos y recontrucción de identidades en la construcción de la paz: XIX Jornadas Internacionales de Cultura y Paz de Gernika. Documento nº 17. Red Gernika. Gernika Gogoratuz, Gernika
  • Margry, P. J. and Sánchez-Carretero, C. (eds.) 2011. Grassroots Memorials: The Politics of Memorializing Traumatic Death New York: Berghahn
  • Oianguren, M. and Carrascosa, A. 2009. El Bombardeo de Gernika. Pedagogia de Paz a través de la memoria y del arte. Gernika-Lumo: Gernika Gogoratuz
  • Sánchez-Carretero, C. (ed.) 2011. El Archivo del Duelo. Madrid: CSIC
  • Viejo Rose, D. 2011. Reconstructing Spain: Cultural Heritage & Memory After Civil War. Sussex Academic Press: Brighton


Centro de Cienias Humanas y Socials, CSIC

Gernika Gogoratuz Peace Research Center Gernika Gogoratuz Foundation

Gernika Peace Museum Foundation


Carmen Ortiz García
Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales Homepage

Cristina Sánchez Carretero
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas Homepage

María Oianguren Idigoras
Gernika Gogoratuz  Email Homepage

Dacia Viejo Rose
Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge  Homepage