This book explores the role of cultural heritage in post-conflict reconstruction, whether as a motor for the prolongation of violence or as a resource for building reconciliation. The research was driven by two main goals: first, to understand the post-conflict reconstruction process in terms of cultural heritage, and second, to identify how this process evolves in the medium term and the impact it has on society. The Spanish Civil War (193639) and its subsequent phases of reconstruction provides the primary material for this exploration. In pursuit of the first goal, the book centres on the material practices and rhetorical strategies developed around cultural heritage in post-civil war Spain and the victorious Franco regime's reconstruction. The analysis seeks to capture a discursively complex set of practices that made up the reconstruction and in which a variety of Spanish heritage sites were claimed, rebuilt or restored and represented in various ways as signs of historical narratives, political legitimacy and group identity. The reconstruction of the town of Gernika is a particularly emblematic instance of destruction and a significant symbol within the Basque regions of Spain as well as internationally. By examining Gernika it is possible to identify some of the trends common to the reconstruction as a whole along with those aspects that pertain to its singular symbolic resonance. In order to achieve the second goal, the processes of selection, value change and exclusionary dynamics of reconstruction and the responses it elicits are examined. Exploring the possible impact of post-civil war reconstruction in the medium term is conducted in two time frames: the period of political transition that followed General Franco's death in 1975; and the period 20042008, when Rodriguez Zapatero's government undertook initiatives to 'recover the historic memory' of the war and dictatorship. Finally, the observations made of the Spanish reconstruction are analysed in terms of how they might reveal general trends in post-conflict reconstruction processes in relation to cultural heritage. These insights are pertinent to the situations in Cambodia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Publisher: Sussex Academic Press
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 788 g
Dimensions: 171 x 246 x 28 mm
"Is of significant value to both Hispanists and students of civil wars, memory, and reconstruction. Highly recommended." --Choice
"Reconstructing Spain is an excellent book, strongly recommended to those with a general or scholarly interest or anyone wanting to know more about the role of heritage as a propaganda tool, and the risks in reconstructing heritage in postconflict situations. The book offers a fascinating insight into a less reported aspect of the Franco regime. It further enables a better understanding of the current debate about the recovery of lost memories a couple of generations after the end of the Civil War. Perhaps even more importantly, the book contains significant lessons in how the international community should respond to nation building and post-conflict reconciliation." --International Journal of Heritage Studies
"Reconstructing Spain examines, through the example of the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath, the role played by cultural heritage in post-conflict reconstruction, either as the justification of the prolongation of violence or as a contribution to the construction of reconciliation. This is done convincingly through a sophisticated and nuanced examination of various elements of the reconstruction pursued by the Franco dictatorship whether in physical, architectural terms or through 'cultural' devices, the rewriting of history, the demonization of the defeated and so on." --Paul Preston, series editor, London School of Economics