Thursday, 27 January 2011, 12.00 noon, Room 321, Malet Street, Birkbeck, London WC1E 7HX
Narrating History is an interdisciplinary project in different formats, mediums and spaces that alludes to subjective memory’s ways of loss, trauma and narration. It thus comes from official oral history, the return to intimate and family remembrance, as well as the character of the documentary as artistic, dialectic and fragmentary practice. This project focuses its attention on the visual historical memory of the mass graves resulting from the Franco repression in Valencia. Buried here, between April 1, 1939 and December 31, 1945, were thousands of victims of summary executions, tortures and beatings by the brutal Franco apparatus. A period of conflict and denial in Spanish history, where ignorance of the exhumation and identifying processes of bodies undermines the democratic pact on which the Spanish Transition was constructed. A few years ago, some of these Valencia mass graves were covered with concrete, and over their cemented memory new niches were built. The Moment in Memory is a gaze at this recent past, blending private testimonies and research with photographs taken during two years of work in these graves, a condemnation both realistic and poetical that speaks of the need to recover our recent memory.
Virginia Villaplana (MBA in Media Studies; PhD in Arts and Visual Culture) is an artist whose practice expands into critical theory, editorial work, curatorship and teaching. She wrote El instante de la memoria, Zones of intensity, 24 Back beats, Cárcel de amor. Relatos culturales sobre la violencia and Infinite Film. She is also editor of Arte y Políticas de Identidad (http://revistas.um.es/api) and teaches at the University of Valencia. She is a member of the collective group Las Lindes art, radical pedagogy and cultural practices. Her work explores writing as a negotiation between memory and history tales of fiction and documentaries, gender narratives, the strategies from Do it yourself to Do it together, the palimpsest and contextual participation (for further information visit www.virginiaviallplana.com).