CULTURE & ARTS

Photography Project Seeks To Preserve Memory Of Spanish Civil War Victims

In a new exhibition, descendants of Civil War victims embrace the memories of their loved ones.
Juan Santos holds a photograph of his great uncle, Jose Sanchez Chia, assassinated on August 10, 1936. It is believed that hi
Juan Santos holds a photograph of his great uncle, Jose Sanchez Chia, assassinated on August 10, 1936. It is believed that his remains are in a mass grave in the Dos Hermanas cemetery in Seville. This photograph was taken on the grounds where he was shot.

A photography exhibit, on view at El Tejar del Mellizo community center in Seville, Spain, presents photographs of the descendants -- the living remains — of those who lost their lives during the Spanish Civil War. 

Organized by the Our Memory association, "DNA of Memory -- Graves from the Franco Regime" features photographs by more than 30 Spanish artists. The images, on view until June 11, capture descendants carrying photographs of relatives killed at the beginning of the Civil War.

Many of the victims, killed by fascist forces, are currently buried in mass graves --  there are approximately 2,300 of these across the country. Amnesty International has reported that only Cambodia has more mass graves than Spain. Up to 200,000 people were killed in Spain’s three-year Civil War (1936-1939), which pitted Nazi-backed Fascists against Communist-backed Republicans.

Victims and their relatives have not yet seen justice. In a report titled “Time passes: impunity remains,” Amnesty International states that “Spain is not investigating the crimes committed during the Civil War and under Franco, thereby failing to comply with its international obligations.”

Instead, this exhibition affords the living relatives an opportunity to revisit the memory of the victims of the crimes committed during Spain's Civil War. See some of the heart-wrenching images on view below. 

  • The hands of Dolorcita Perez Mora (daughter), Rogelia Beltran Perez (granddaughter), Patricia Gonzalez Beltran (great-grandda
    LAURA LEÓN
    The hands of Dolorcita Perez Mora (daughter), Rogelia Beltran Perez (granddaughter), Patricia Gonzalez Beltran (great-granddaughter), and Abril Nieto Gonzalez (great-great-granddaughter) touch the photograph of their relative, Rogelio Perez Rodriguez.
  • Pictured here are Antonia Macero Navarro, 83, Jose Maria Sanchez Macero, 65, and Maria Dolores Sanchez Sanchez, 33, daughter,
    MARCELO DEL POZO
    Pictured here are Antonia Macero Navarro, 83, Jose Maria Sanchez Macero, 65, and Maria Dolores Sanchez Sanchez, 33, daughter, grandson and great-granddaughter respectively of one of the 17 Roses of Guillena, Ramona Navarro Ibañez (in the original photograph). Ramona was assassinated in Gerena, Seville, in 1937, while eight-months pregnant. She was 24.
  • Adelita Parra Hermoso (left, granddaughter) and Adelia Hermoso Santos (right, daughter), hold a photograph of Baldomero Duran
    JOSÉ ANTONIO DE LAMADRID
    Adelita Parra Hermoso (left, granddaughter) and Adelia Hermoso Santos (right, daughter), hold a photograph of Baldomero Duran Vazquez, who was assassinated in Real de la Jara, Seville, on August 28, 1936. It is not known where his remains are located.
  • Beatriz Alonso lost her grandfather Ignacio Alonso Alonso in Plaza Nueva, Seville, on July 18, 1936 -- the day of the fascist
    PACO PUENTES
    Beatriz Alonso lost her grandfather Ignacio Alonso Alonso in Plaza Nueva, Seville, on July 18, 1936 -- the day of the fascist uprising. He was an Assault Guard. His remains are in the Picoreja grave in Seville's cemetery.
  • Antonio Narvaez Hernandez holds up photos of his parents Enrique Narvaez Borrego and Concepcion Hernandez Garcia, who both di
    JAVIER DÍAZ
    Antonio Narvaez Hernandez holds up photos of his parents Enrique Narvaez Borrego and Concepcion Hernandez Garcia, who both died in Marchena, Seville, when Hernandez was 3 years-old.
  • Manuela Fernandez and her two daughters Gracia Maqueda and Paqui Maqueda pose with a photograph of Juan Rodriguez Tirado, ass
    JULIÁN ÁLVAREZ
    Manuela Fernandez and her two daughters Gracia Maqueda and Paqui Maqueda pose with a photograph of Juan Rodriguez Tirado, assassinated on August 22, 1936.
  • In the image, Patricia Gonzalez Beltran (left, great-granddaughter), Abril Nieto Gonzalez (great-granddaughter), Dolorcita Pe
    CRISTINA QUICLER
    In the image, Patricia Gonzalez Beltran (left, great-granddaughter), Abril Nieto Gonzalez (great-granddaughter), Dolorcita Perez Mora (center, daughter), Jaime Beltran Perez (great-grandson), Rogelia Beltran Perez (right, grandaughter), hold a photographs of Rogelio Perez, assassinated on the walls of the San Fernando cemetery in Seville on November 19, 1936 when the war rules were applied. It is believed that he rests in the Grave of the Monument cemetery in Seville.
  • Cristobal Espinosa Guerrero stands with his daughter Maria in the cemetery of Teba, Malaga, next to a mass grave where the re
    NIEVES SANZ
    Cristobal Espinosa Guerrero stands with his daughter Maria in the cemetery of Teba, Malaga, next to a mass grave where the remains of 151 victims of the Civil War were exhumed, among them Cristobal’s uncle, Cristobal Guerrero Moreno. Coincidentally, the photograph they’re holding was taken the day he was shot, in 1937.
  • In the image, Sergio Vazquez Moreno and Sanchez Silva hold the photos of family members who lost their lives in the reprisals
    JOSÉ MANUEL CABELLO
    In the image, Sergio Vazquez Moreno and Sanchez Silva hold the photos of family members who lost their lives in the reprisals. Antonio Sanchez Moreno (left), was assassinated on the walls of the San Fernando cemetery in Seville on April 14, 1937. Ramon Sanchez Moreno was assassinated in the Park Maria Luisa in Seville on July 22, 1936. Their remains are in the Pico Reja grave.

This post originally appeared on HuffPost Spain and has been translated into English and edited for clarity.

HuffPost

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