History from the grave? Politics of time in Spanish mass grave exhumations
During the last decade, a Spanish memory movement has exhumed a great number of mass graves from the Civil War (1936–1939) and Francoist repression (1939–1975). This exhumation campaign is often interpreted as a natural reaction to a traumatic past, and as proving that this past should be healed by a therapeutic memory that fosters closure—a vision that we call “trauma-therapy-closure (TTC) time.” In this article Lore Colaert argues that the Spanish situation does not prove the naturalness and universal applicability of trauma-therapy-closure time. Although we do identify aspects of this trauma-therapy-closure vision in an influential exhumation group, this vision is contested by local actors and sections within the memory movement that engage in alternative politics of time.
B. Bevernage, B & L. Colaert (2014), ‘History from the grave? Politics of time in Spanish mass grave exhumations’, in Memory Studies, vol. 7, nr. 4, p.440-456.