What is it about?

This article looks at violence by the Franco regime and how this is located across Spain in the form of monuments and mass graves. Through the recovery of the missing people learn about the history and what happened in their localities establishing a shared understanding.

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Why is it important?

This work is important as it shows how the development of forensic science has enabled stories of those erased from public memory to be returned. Two significant findings of the paper are (a) despite Spain's transition to democracy being regarded as a success it failed to attend to past violence and (b) exhumations are a pedagogical activity that is able to democratise collective memory by including those silenced. This has a wider application for other post conflict societies and it reflects the importance of relatives involvement in the location and recovery of the disappeared.


Writing this article was a pleasure as I was able to share findings from my dissertation. It was the culmination of many years work with an NGO in Spain. I hope that you find this article thought-provoking.

Dr Natalia Maystorovich Chulio
University of Sydney

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Democratising Collective Memory Through Forensic Exhumations in Spain, Australian Journal of Politics & History, November 2022, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/ajph.12865.
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