I International Congress “La Desbandá” A Century of Popular Antifascist Struggles
TABLE TITLE: The struggle of the memorialist movement. History and future of demands and actions from organised citizens for recovering and socialising the memory of La Desbandá. That still left to do.
TALK I: MEMORIALIST MOVEMENT IN LA DESBANDÁ
Isidoro Coello Infantes. President of the Granada Association of Truth, Justice and Reparation. Member of the Governing Board of the ASC La Desbandá (La Desbandá Social Cultural Association)
Start: In the first five years of this century the first steps were taken towards recovering the memory of the victims of LA DESBANDÁ, at both an intellectual level and in terms of memorialist activism.
It is today the task of the ASC La Desbandá to organise all acts related to La Desbandá and said association, among which attention should be drawn, along with the integrated marches, to the First International Meeting of La Desbandá, along with the participation on different memorialist marches (Jarama, last “paseo” between Viznar and Alfacar, homage to the International Brigades, and homage to the victims of the Franco dictatorship who suffered imprisonment and torture in the provincial prison of Granada and to the over 4000 executed by firing squad against the wall of Granada cemetery etc.) and the informative talks, of vital importance, that are being given by the association to groups of students in different secondary schools. Also particularly worthy of mention is the organisation of one of the most important present day events related to the memory, which is none other than this I International Congress “La Desbandá”: A Century of Popular Antifascist Struggles
Our objective: to achieve truth, justice and reparation. To reach it, it is vitally important to continue investigating the facts and transfer them from the selective memory of the investigator into the collective memory of society. Also of vital importance is of course the memorialist movement, which continues with the active struggle organising events in order for the truth to be known, justice to be done and that damages to victims and their relatives be repaired.
TALK II: THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE XIII INTERNATIONAL BRIGADE TO THE ANTIFASCIST STRUGGLE OF THE SPANISH PEOPLE. THE HISTORICAL FACTS, PERSISTENCE IN MEMORY AND THAT WHICH REMAINS TO BE DONE.
Severiano Montero Barrado. Senior Lecturer in History, retired secondary school teacher. Has taught in different high schools in Madrid and William Ellis School in London. Has published a number of books and forms part of the Historical Commission of the AABI (Association of Friends of the International Brigades)
- The II Republic
- The coup of July 1936 and the war against Spanish fascism
- The Soviet Union and the international brigades
- The fascist offensive on Málaga and Almería. La Desbandá.
- The arrival of the XIII IB and the containment of the fascist advance on the south coast and the Alpujarra
- Assessment of the international presence at the front in Granada and the Spanish war
- The persistence in memory of the IB. The memory of the XIII IB.
Much still to do.
TALK III: MEMORY, A HUMAN AND SOCIAL NEED LIVING WITHOUT BAGGAGE. THE STRUGGLE OF THE MEMORIALIST MOVEMENT IN THE FACE OF THE IRRESPONSIBILITY AND ABANDONMENT OF A STATE.
Andrés Rebolledo Barreno. Coordinator of the La Sauceda Casa de la Memoria (House of Memory) and project supervisor. Treasurer of the Forum for the Campo de Gibraltar Memory. Grandson and nephew of victims of killings and forced disappearances between 1936 and 1940
Presentation: Exhumation of Marrufo Mass Graves.
Memory, a human and social need: While the images are being shown it is explained how and why this human and social need arises in the face of the existing injustice and impunity in Spain.
Presentation: Restoration of the Cemetery and Homage.
Living without baggage: There is a need to live without the baggage that Spanish society is obliged one way or another to drag uphill through the invisible collective trauma that has an effect on our day-to-day lives without us noticing, in the family, in work, with friends, etc. A society that is not freed from this type of trauma does not behave in a serene and natural manner. Emotions are passed down from generation to generation and become entrenched, as is the case for our society.
Presentation: Restoration Casa Memoria.
The struggle of the victims and memorialist movement in the face of the irresponsibility and abandonment of a state: This section gives a brief explanation of our journey as victims and activists for memory from the starting point in the investigation of the Marrufo and La Sauceda mass graves up to the Casa de la Memoria. If the state had fulfilled its responsibilities in matters of memory, mass graves, symbolism, convictions, archives and other scars of the Franco dictatorship, which still exist today, maybe there would not have been a need for so much struggle, suffering and injustice; thus, the collective trauma, above all for sons and daughters and orphans, would not be so painful.
TALK IV: WITHOUT MEMORY THERE IS NO FUTURE
Lourdes Farratell Castro. Granddaughter of victims of disappearance and reprisal, activist in Memory and different local, regional and national organisations.
We can’t build a future, a history, a democracy…. if we don’t know our past.
Let’s speak about the future of Memory.
The power of communication in our discourse and demands. Of how we can approach the new forms of communication in order to be able to arrive with a message of future and of NO repetition to the whole population, but above all to the youngest as they are the future.
Our demands in the values that uphold our movement: liberty, respect, equality… democratic values contrary to fascism, are the true legacy of our past, let us tell it to nourish the future! We’ll see how the absence of this discourse produces a certain desensitisation and ignorance in the minds of society in general, provoking the entry of fascist movements in public opinion. We may be very clear in our ideas, but we must be able know how to explain them in the 21st century, a completely digitised age that is changing almost by the minute.