Public Archive

The Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and Franco regime (1939-75) have caused more than half a million deaths and resulted in 300.000 people exiled from their country. Yet, in contrast to other European countries with their own dark history, Spain has no museum or information point attempting to tell the history of the Civil War and Franco era.

Because archives are usually maintained by governmental institutions, they can be a powerful political instrument. Who decides what is and is not admitted to the archive, has the power to rewrite history. We therefore propose to take the archive out of the political realm and give it back to the public, who can fill it with personal memorabilia.

To give these personal items meaning towards the general public, they are juxtaposed with politically charged artefacts from the Civil War and Franco era, such as statues and military equipment.

This creates a dialogue, further strengthened by introducing art cabinets, spaces for exhibiting contemporary art reflecting on Spain’s history. Like in a Wunderkammer, by juxtaposing apparently unrelated cultural artefacts and phenomena, their interconnectedness is shown and curiosity about history is encouraged.