2009 Itinerary

W&M “Mapping Memory” Mellon Research Project

Project Director: Francie Cate-Arries, Hispanic Studies Program, Dept of Modern Languages
Student Participants: Nathan Hoback, Casey Lesser, Shannon More, Mary Schrack, Alex Wright

Field Trip Travel Itinerary, March 6-13, 2009

Saturday, March 7: Arrival in Madrid

  • 6:30 pm. Guided Tour of Museo Reina Sofia, with Professor Angel Llorente, art history scholar & author of Arte e ideologia en el franquismo (1936/1951) (Madrid: Visor, 1995). Visit includes early 20thc. collection including Picasso´s Guernica and artwork by Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, & Robert Capa´s civil war photograph collections.

Sunday, March 8

  • 9:30 a.m. Guided Tour of the Battlefronts of Madrid in Civil War, with the President of the Grupo del Estudios del Frente de Madrid (GEFREMA), Antonio Morcillo López . Our guide is the son of a civil war veteran who fought on the side of the Spanish Republic, and spent several years as a political prisoner in Franco´s prisons after the war. We also are accompanied by the son of a civil war veteran who fought on the opposite side of Franco´s Nationalist troops, a medical doctor stationed—with his nurse wife—along these very battle lines of the University City during the war.
  • Visit to Cementerio Almudena, final resting place of the famed 13 Rosas Rojas, young women political prisoners executed in August, 1939. We are accompanied by Marcos Burgos, the son of a Captain in the Republican army similarly executed in front of the same cemetery wall in July 1939, after the war´s end in March. Marcos Burgos—born in May ’39 two months before his father´s death—only recently learned of his father´s execution, and is actively seeking further information and documentation. Students assist in placing flowers along the wall, as we read Spanish poetry out loud to honor the dead.

Monday, March 9

  • 10:00 Meet w/Elena Diaz,State Council for Commemorative Events, Ministry of Culture
    Topic: Recent and current government-sponsored commemorative events in association with historical memory projects on the topic of civil war, exile and Francoist repression
  • 11:30 Visit to the Fuencarral Cemetery, with members of the Association of the Descendents of Exile (Spaniards forced into exile after the Spanish Civil War), Carmen Ruiz, Ceferino Alvarez, Ludivina García. This cemetery was burial site for many of the International Brigades & foreign-born soldiers who died fighting for the democratic Republic of Spain.
  • 4:30 Meeting with Carmen Ortiz, Ethnographer, State Council for Research (CSIC) Topic: The history of the Carabanchel prison, landmark of Francoist repression as postwar penitentiary for political prisoners; Current neighborhood community activists’ efforts to build memory museum on demolition site (prison demolished in Oct 2008)
  • 6:15 Interview with Bibiano Morcillo, 94-year old civil war veteran, who spoke to our group about his experiences as a 21-year old soldier stationed in the barracks of Madrid the day the war broke out; his civil war experiences and years as a political prisoner.

Tuesday, March 10

  • 11:00 Visit with Manuel Muela, President of Center for Research and Republican Studies Topic: Preserving the history of Spanish Republicanism, and moving into the political mainstream the vision and benefits of a liberal, democratic Republican agenda for Spain in the 21st century.
  • 1:00 Visit with Ana Pérez, of Asociación de Amigos de los Brigadistas Internacionales Topic: Current efforts to memorialize the Brigadas Internacionales, and keep their legacy alive
  • 5:00 Exhibition, “Franco´s Women Prisoners”, Conde Duque Cultural Center
  • 8:00 Entertainment: Flamenco performance by Eva Yerbabuena´s dance troupe, Teatro Español

Wednesday, March 11

  • 9:00 Comunidad de Madrid´s 5th Anniversary Wreath Ceremony for the Victims of Madrid Train Bombings, Mar 11, 2004
  • Alcalá de Henares: Visit to Miguel de Cervantes´s birthplace
    12:00 Visit to the Archive of Popular Writings, Dept. of History, University of Alcalá de Henares, with Profs. Antonio Castillo, Verónica Sierra, and Carmen Serrano.

Topic: Overview of the Collection; cataloguing process; samples, including love letters from concentrations camps in France, appointment book from the Francoist women´s group, Sección Femenina; children´s patriotic school notebooks with illustrations.

  • 2:00-4:00 Lunch and Interview with Marcos Burgos, son of executed Captain in Republican army (1939), who shared with us letters his father wrote to his mother from Franco´s jail; photos of the couple during the war; death certificate; letters written on his behalf from Francoist sympathizers trying to commute his death penalty
  • 7:30 Entertainment: Flamenco trio performance in Alcalá de Henares

Thursday, March 12

  • 10:00 Walking Tour of key places of Madrid in war: la Casa del Campo; The Plaza de España; Site of the military barracks, el Cuartel de Moncloa
  • 3:30 Valle de los Caidos,, Valley of the Fallen, Memorial inaugurated in 1959 by Franco, constructed with Republican political prisoners´ forced labor.
  • 7:30 Farewell Cocktail with the Members of the Association of the Descendents of Exile. An evening of conversation with family members who fled Spain during and after the war, to escape Franco´s reprisals. Current activities and plans to commemorate the past and disseminate the history of war and exile.

Friday, March 13
Departure from Madrid

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