Memoria Perdida | Spain's Lost Memory 1936-1975
To this day the bodies of up to 114,000 ‘disappeared’ from the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939, and the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, 1939-1975, lie in unmarked mass graves in roadsides, on the edges of towns and villages, in ravines or in fields.
Memoria Perdida comprises photographs of the sites of the mass graves and related atrocity sites that have not been opened or commemorated yet. Many sites have been lost, have been hidden by new constructions or have disappeared without any hint or sign remembering their cruel past. The lack of historical memory, justice and truth that I encountered at those locations made me wanting to shed a light on its hidden past.
I intended to approach the atrocity sites as neutrally as possible and to respond to what I would find and feel. I captured the places as close to the same hour, day and season of the year of the killings as possible. Most photographs were taken after sunset and before sunrise, the preferred hour for “walking” and executing people. The emptiness and silence that caught me when visiting the sites gives a certain serenity to the landscapes in strong contrast to the horrors which occurred there. Whilst the sites were impregnated with human traces, it was the human absence that struck me the most. It made me think about the victims and somehow re-established their presence into the empty landscape.