Thinking Outside the Grave: The Material Traces of Republican Lives Before the Spanish Civil War

  • Layla Renshaw
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Cultural Heritage and Conflict book series (PSCHC)


There has been a dramatic shift in Spain’s memory politics since 2000, shaped in large part by the campaign to exhume the mass graves of Franco’s civilian victims. For many, the exhumations have enabled the illumination of family history and a process of mourning. However, this chapter argues that there are major limitations in the way the identities of the dead are remembered and publicly represented. The historical significance of these graves lies in the lived identities, agency, and achievements of the dead, which cannot be recovered through their human remains alone. A fuller archaeology of the period should encompass the material traces of Republicans’ pre-war lives and their contribution to politics and civil society during a time of radical change.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Layla Renshaw
    • 1
  1. 1.Kingston UniversityKingston upon ThamesUK

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