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5847 - Exile, Memory, and (Trans)National Identity.

The Spanish Civil war began in 1936 and reached its end in April 1939 with the defeat of the Republicans. The subsequent exile of 450,000 Spanish Republicans was part of this process. All in all 20,000 Spanish-Republicans came to Mexico. It is my goal to analyse the Spanish Second Republic which was founded on April 14, 1931 as a “lieu de mémoire”. The concept of “lugares de memoria” for the Spanish history remains hardly discussed. In between the complicated question of national and regional identities and the divided memories of the Spanish Civil War the area of conflict in which memory, politics and history move(d) in the past and present, the Spanish case is the prime example of a country with divided memory. Thus the history of the Spanish Republicans in Exile who represent the forgotten part of the Spanish memory of the Civil War is within this context an ideal example to link an empirical study with the theoretical study on issues of individual, national and cultural identity, memory, and the loss of history in a transnational context. The talk will explore the collective experiences of Republican refugees in Mexico and the construction of an imaginary homeland in exile through collective memories turned canonical. Their identities in Mexico were still centered on their homeland Spain while at the same time they started to make a life in a country far away from her. Questions are focused on how the Republicans transferred their identity and culture into Mexican culture and vice versa and, secondly, how the two cultures mutually had an impact on to each other. By including a generational study it will be possible to examine the way the exiles themselves, their children and grandchildren built from afar an idealized Spain and how the Spanish culture was transfered from generation to generation while at the same time Mexican influences grew stronger.

Keywords: migration, exile, transfer, memory

Author: Röwekamp, Marion (LAI, FU Berlin/IIH, UNAM/Colmex, Mexico / Mexiko)

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