1st stage project outline (Eng/Esp)
The project was initially inspired by the photojournalist Gerda Taro’s1 work during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). She was one of the first female photojournalists to go to the front-lines, and the first to die there. This interest in Taro developed into an engagement with the legacy of the war and subsequent dictatorship (1939–75) in Spain today and the rise of protest and resistance in the evolution of the ‘historical memory’ movement. During the transition to democracy an Amnesty Law (1977) was enacted, giving impunity to the perpetrators of crimes committed under the Franco regime during and after the Civil War. An unofficial silence on the past was embedded in Spain politically and socially for many years. The historical memory movement, which is highly divisive in Spain, has developed within the last decade through various non governmental associations. It has sought to provide assistance in finding the remains of those summarily executed, and establishing moral and juridical vindication of ‘the defeated’ from the Spanish Civil War and dictatorship. The older generation have very little time left to find, identify and give proper burial to parents and relatives who at present are buried in unmarked graves scattered across the country.
I have travelled to Spain since 2011, to Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Brunete and Guadalajara meeting various individuals, including activists and historians, as well as visiting mass grave sites and attending demonstrations.
My first exhibition for this project will be at The Park Gallery, Falkirk (Scotland), from 8 February–20 April 2014.
1 At the time of Taro’s death in 1937 she was hailed as an anti-fascist martyr, though quickly forgotten after WWII, or remembered only as a footnote in the life of renowned war photographer, Robert Capa. Only in recent years has she been rediscovered and recognized for her significant contribution. In 2007 Taro was the subject of a travelling exhibition, ‘Gerda Taro’, which originated at the ICP in New York, and last year as part of ‘The Mexican Suitcase’ exhibition. There is also a documentary feature length film ‘The Mexican Suitcase’ by Trisha Ziff, exploring the recovery of thousands of missing negatives by Gerda Taro, Robert Capa and David Seymour (“Chim”), and highlighting the part these pictures play in the recovery of Spain’s violent past, shown this year at the Glasgow Film Festival.
Mi primera exposición de este proyecto será en The Park Gallery, Falkirk (Escocia), de 8 febrero-20 abril, 2014.