Memories of the Spanish Civil War

Memories of the Spanish Civil War

This research project involves speaking to people in a small area around the village of Arroyomolinos de León in Southern Spain and collecting their oral testimonies.

Original documents from the 1930s are also used to build up a picture of the way repressive practices emerged amongst relatives, friends and neighbours in small communities when Franco came to power. 

The study focuses on Arroyomolinos de León (Huelva) and its surrounding area, which was among the first to be affected by repressive practices after the uprising led by Francisco Franco in the summer of 1936. This case study also offers a focal point to study socio-economic conditions in the rural context, which was defined by a strong syndicalist movement in the 1930s.

Led by Dr Ruth Sanz-Sabido, the project runs in collaboration with Professor Stuart Price (De Montfort University), the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica), and the assistance of Isabella James, a student intern funded by the Research and Enterprise Development Centre at Canterbury Christ Church University. 

The project provides a critical contribution to memory studies in the context of the Spanish Civil War. The approach requires the collection of oral testimonies through interviews, which are complemented by original documents from the 1930s.

The local focus on this village is considered in relation to the wider national context, and findings are relevant to the broader experience of the War in rural Spain. These experiences are characterised by the repressive practices that emerged amongst relatives, friends and neighbours in small communities. In addition, we present a critical contribution to the literature on this period, including the experiences of women in the anti-fascist struggle, the socio-economic conditions of the time, and the Agrarian Reform.

Dr Sanz-Sabido and Professor Price have co-organised the panel ‘'Memory and Ideology in the Spanish Civil War’, which has been presented in two academic events and as a public event during the Cultural Exchanges week in Leicester (20 February 2014), also featuring presentations by Professor David Deacon (Loughborough University) and Lee Solomon, who recounted his memories of the life and work of the trade unionist and International Brigader Jack Jones.

We have submitted a bid for a British Academy Small Grant and we are currently awaiting the outcome. The project findings will continue to be disseminated through knowledge exchange events and conference presentations, a monograph authored by Dr Sanz-Sabido and, with Professor Price, a peer-reviewed journal article. 


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Last edited: 05/12/2017 11:24:00