In the Transnational Memory Seminar of 4 June, Paloma Aguilar-Fernández (UNED, Madrid, Spain) will be giving a lecture titled 'Arduous Tasks and Risky Labours: Media Covering and Social Promotion of Mass Graves Exhumations in the Spanish Transition to Democracy.'
This presentation is based on research into media accounts and interviews with journalists reporting on the exhumation of mass graves during Spain’s transition to democracy. The mass graves date from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and the Franco regime (1939-1975). Aguilar-Fernández will explain the reasons behind this exceptional reporting and provide information about the first exhumation wave that took place after Franco’s death in 1975.
The difficulties and risks involved in both giving media coverage and actually undertaking these exhumations help to explain the political constraints faced in this period and account for the veil of silence that was re-imposed on the past after the first exhumations had taken place. This is a work in progress co-authored with Francisco Ferrándiz.
Paloma Aguilar-Fernández is Associate Professor of Political Science at the UNED, Madrid. She was Tinker Professor at the University of Madison-Wisconsin and Visiting Professor at Princeton University. Currently she is Associate of the Southern Europe International Affairs Programme, London School of Economics, IDEAS. She is the author of Memory and Amnesia: The Role of the Spanish Civil War in the Transition to Democracy (2001, also published in Spanish and Greek), Políticas de la memoria y memorias de la política (2008) and coedited The Politics of Memory. Transitional Justice in Democratizing Societies (2001, also published in Spanish and Portuguese). Her main research interests are collective memories, transitional justice, legacies of authoritarian regimes, political violence, and state repression.
The Transnational Memory Seminar is supported by Utrecht University's research focus area Cultures, Citizenship, and Human Rights.