Deep Space @ University Library Hamburg

Instead of creating a gap in this highly symbolic place, the Valle de los Caídos, the international think tank Hybrid Space Lab represents the impetus to explore alternative memory narratives to the previously totalitarian narrative of the monument.

Article
Romanistik Blog

8 July 2019

@ State- and University Library Hamburg Carl von Ossietzky
Hamburg

“Re-significando el Valle de los Caídos” – this is the aim of the project Espacio Profundo / Deep Space. How does that work with a massive and crushing stone cross that towers over the mountain landscape from a distance of 30 km? A huge Aufmarschplatz in sublime place? A 42-meter-high basilica that drills 262 meters deep into the granite mountain? Which one can only reach by following a cave-like path under larger-than-life angelic figures with swords in hand, leading one directly to the tomb of José Antonio Primo de Rivera and that of Francisco Franco? That until recently was decorated daily with a fresh bouquet of flowers? And at the thought of the 20,000 prisoners of war, who toiled for 19 years under the toughest conditions in the creation of this monument, which Franco himself created during his lifetime?

The basic coordinates of the project are outlined on its website:

Espacio Profundo es un programa de investigación a largo plazo iniciado para tratar con política de la memoria, digitalización, monumentos y patrimonio controvertidos.

It suggests here that it is about crystallization points of the relationship to the past. Remembrance politics can always work with different narratives, as well as the design of digital spaces and the entire handling of cultural heritage. The project continues with the explicability of places.

The project was founded in the summer of 2018 after the exhumation of Franco was approved by royal decree. Instead of creating a gap in this highly symbolic place, the international think tank represents the impetus to explore alternative memory narratives to the previously totalitarian narrative. Thus, the project aims at the integration of marginalized voices in the discourse and puts, among other things, the history of the origin of the place in the foreground. The prisoners of war and their families locked up in barracks on the outskirts of the grounds gain a presence that they often do not enjoy in the current culture of remembrance. The founders of the behind-the-scenes Hybrid Space Lab continue to emphasize a particularly striking aspect:

Además, no se menciona el hecho de los ca los del lado republicano del controversial fronçadas trasladados al Valle de los Caídos desde fosas comunes diseminadas por todo el país, to obtain the consent of the familiar “, cuentan los profesores Elizabeth Sikiaridi y Frans Vogelaar. (El País)

Among other things, digital methods are used to make the discourse plural. Thus, not only a digital archive is being created to assemble diverse collections to the Valle de los Caídos. According to the principle of Augmented Reality, for example, the surrounding barracks of the families of the prisoners should receive a visible place in a digital model of the place.