Sociedad Estatal de Conmemoraciones Culturales

May 12, 2009

The Sociedad Estatal de Conmemoraciones Culturales, within the auspices of Spain´s Ministry of Culture, organizes cultural exhibitions and events to commemorate a vast spectrum of Spanish cultural topics, including those related to the II Republic, the Spanish Civil War, 1939 exile, and the postwar period. For more information on the SECC and its exhibitions, or to contact the organization, visit their website here.

“Las Presas de Franco”

May 12, 2009

The “Presas de Franco” exhibition was held at the Centro Cultural Conde Duque in Madrid from March 4 to May 9, 2009. For more information click here.

Guernica – Summary

April 26, 2009

0102085656800.jpg 6a00d834515c2769e200e54f465d838834-640wi.jpg72 years ago today, on April 26, 1937, the Nazi Condor Legion bombed the small basque town of Guernica. Days later, Picasso, who was commissioned to create a piece to represent Spain for the 1937 Paris World’s Fair, began the creation of what would become an icon for the Spanish Civil War.While in Madrid, my main focus was to capture how the Spanish Civil War is being represented through exhibitions. Read the rest of this entry »

Photo Gallery from “Franco’s Female Prisoners” Exhibition

April 6, 2009
  • Photos courtesy of Conde Duque.  

Franco’s Female Prisoners

March 10, 2009


    Today at the Centro de Conde Duque, we saw an exhibition detailing the lives of the female political prisoner being held during the war and under Franco´s regime. In April of 1931, Victoria Kent became the director of prisons of the 2nd Republic. She assumed this position with the goal to humanize these prisons. In one of the `prisons, Ventas, there were fewer female prisoners, however the conditions on the women’s quarters were worse than those of the men. Witnesses reported that the women prisoners were extremely stern, strong figures out of Garcia Lorca poems, who were incarcerated due to their resistance to respond to accusations about who and what they may or may not have even been hiding in their homes. This Ventas prison was destroyed in the 1970s nothing exists today as a testimony to its existence. It was this prison where the ¨Trece Rosas Rojas¨ whose memorial we saw at the Almudena Cemetery) were held and later executed. Read the rest of this entry »

Everyone has a story.

March 9, 2009


This morning we met with Elena Díaz of the Sociedad Estatal de Conmemoraciones Culturales (State Society of Cultural Commemorations). This agency works to create cultural exhibitions and events with the goal of commemoration. Today we spoke with her to learn about the recent and past exhibitions her office  has produced related to the Spanish Civil War. Read the rest of this entry »

Guernica Re-visited

March 7, 2009


  • Standing before Picasso´s Guernica today, I felt small. This was not due to the painting’s enormous size (11ft tall and 26.5 ft wide!) or the grotesque, writhing figures that dance across a stark white wall, in bold black and white brushstrokes. It was due to my recognition of the audacity behind the work, and the context in which I, and the painting literally and historically stood. Read the rest of this entry »

The Capa Collection at Reina Sofia

March 7, 2009

The presence of Picasso’s Guernica overshadows the entire museum de Reina Sofia, it is by far the most popular and most lingered upon piece. A side effect of this overshadowing presence and beauty is that a truly important role of the painting is overlooked in favor of its own immense value as a time capsule of the terror of the war. Read the rest of this entry »