Ponencia aceptada para su presentación en el congreso“Adapting Historical Narratives’. De Montfort University, UK. 28 de febrero de 2012.
Breaking the silence: Catalan TV narratives on the Spanish Civil War
Enric Castelló, Universitat Rovira i Virgili
This paper describes how Catalan public television has offered renewed narratives regarding the Spanish Civil War in recent decades by reporting on ‘silenced topics’ and bringing the conflict back to the political scenario. Since its launch, Televisió de Catalunya (1983) has been committed to producing features, documentaries and fiction on historical subjects, but it was only from the mid-1990s that the subject of the Spanish Civil War has been tackled in documentaries. Some of the documentaries have touched on controversial issues in the Spanish political context, such as the exhumations of Republicans killed by Franco’s dictatorial regime during and after the war, the sending of children of Republicans to religious boarding schools and the bombing of civilians in Barcelona during the war. The author argues that Catalan television is a pioneer in how it is breaking the silence regarding Francoist repression and in ‘preparing’ a cultural and discursive media setting for the Spanish Law of Historical Memory (Ley de la Memoria Histórica), passed in 2007. The author also criticises the state public television system for paying so little attention to these revealing documentaries. A detailed analysis is made of three key documentaries by Ricard Belis and Montse Armengou (National Journalism Award 2002): Els nens perduts del franquisme (The lost children of Francoism) (2002), Les fosses del silenci (Graves of silence) (2003) and Ramon Perera, l’home que va salvar Barcelona (Ramon Perera, the man who saved Barcelona) (2006).
This paper is part of the project titled The media construction of political and territorial conflicts in Spain. Study of discourses and narratives, CSO-2010-20047, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.