University of the Arts London
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Irma González Sánchez - Forgiven but not Forgotten: Historical Memory and Comic Book Representations of the Spanish Civil War and Franco's Dictatorial Regime

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conference contribution
posted on 2020-06-29, 15:50 authored by Irma González Sánchez

03/07/2020 13:00 Room 1 #forhnr

Between 1936 and 1939 Spain went through a cruel and bloody civil war that ended with the triumph of Francisco Franco, a fascist dictator who ruled the country until his death in 1975. In a collective effort to move forwards and settle a fresh democratic regime and a newborn Constitution, the Parliament embraced a policy of amnesty and forgiveness, although never forgetting the preceding period.

In recent years, however, there has been a surge in comic books (mostly in graphic novel form) that are revisiting the civil war and the repression, imprisonment and exile of the Republican side that followed. This paper will investigate these works, which can be autobiographical, and explore how they gather and use first hand information, mostly from oral sources, but can also present extensive research supporting the narrative. We’ll also discuss the reach of these titles and their appeal to an audience hungry to know more of Spain’s recent past and their potential as academic tools to teach a period of the country’s recent history that is often watered down in modern textbooks.



Irma González Sánchez has a B.A. in History from the University of Oviedo and a M.A. in Film and TV Production by the University of Bristol. She is an independent researcher at the Franklin Institute of the University of Alcalá, and combines her work in production for a major TV broadcaster with the preparation of her PhD dissertation. Irma is also a published author of comics and has been writing about the medium for over twenty years. She has also participated as a speaker and moderator at conferences, comic conventions and other meetings on a national and international level.