Part of the Body and Knowing Symposium
of the Institute for Advanced Study
Saturday, April 24, 9:30am-6:00pm
This International Conference will explore the role that the recent exhumations of mass graves from the Spanish Civil War and subsequent dictatorship have had in the emergence of the movement for the "recovery of historical memory" in Spain.
At the beginning of the 21st century, over 30,000 bodies were still interred in mass graves throughout the country. Subsequently, the emergence of civic associations, created by ordinary citizens to undertake exhumations of these graves, has had an enormous impact on Spanish society. In part, the media impact of the exhumations has led to pressure to pass the "Law of Historical Memory" by the Spanish Congress in October 2007, a significant, if insufficient, step towards confronting the legacy of the war and dictatorship in contemporary Spanish society. We will analyze the multiple and complex relations between bodies and knowledge that arise in such exhumations and discuss their political, social, cultural and legal significance, in Spain and in other post-authoritarian or post-conflict settings.