Spain’s Memory Wars: an Interview with Tom Wardle

Episode 41: Exhuming Franco with Sebastiaan Faber The Sobremesa Podcast

The Sobremesa Podcast has slowed down for August like the rest of Spain. But here is some summer listening for you, no matter where you are!Sebastiaan Faber, professor of Hispanic studies at Oberlin College, joins me to discuss his latest book Exhuming Franco What is left of Francisco Franco's legacy in Spain today? Franco ruled Spain as a military dictator from 1939 until his death in 1975. In October 2019, his remains were removed from the massive national monument in which they had been buried for forty-four years. For some, the exhumation confirmed that Spain has long been a modern, consolidated democracy. The reality is more complicated. In fact, the country is still deeply affected—and divided—by the dictatorial legacies of Francoism.In one short volume, Exhuming Franco covers all major facets of the Francoist legacy today, combining research and analysis with reportage and interviews. This book is critical of Spanish democracy; yet, as the final chapter makes clear, Spain is one of many countries facing difficult questions about a conflictive past. To make things worse, the rise of a new, right-wing nationalist revisionism across the West threatens to undo much of the progress made in the past couple of decades when it comes to issues of historical justice. Available now in all good book stores and in e-book form.Sebastiaan Faber, professor of Hispanic studies at Oberlin College, is the author of several books, including Memory Battles of the Spanish Civil War and Exile and Cultural Hegemony: Spanish Intellectuals in Mexico, 1939–1975 (both published by Vanderbilt University Press).
  1. Episode 41: Exhuming Franco with Sebastiaan Faber
  2. Episode 40: The Future of Unidas Podemos
  3. Episode 39: Catalan Political Prisoners Get a Pardon With Andrew Dowling
  4. Episode 38: Nazi Germany and Spain with Dr Mercedes Peñalba-Sotorrío
  5. Episode 37: #4M Madrid Elections 2021 with Caroline Gray and Eoghan Gilmartin

This week’s episode falls on the anniversary of Federico Garcia Lorca’s murder by the fascist forces during the Spanish Civil war.

I took this opportunity to change the podcasts format this week to interview Tom Wardle, a researcher and historian who is currently completing his PhD on historical memory activism here in Spain.

Take a listen to my interview with him as we cover the past, present and future of the movement and why 750,000 euros is not enough of a grant from the government.

I will be taking a break for a week, but I will be back at the end of August with more gossip from the Spanish political world, and discussions on the Spanish identity in the 21st century.

Sobremesa is now available on Google, Spotify and Apple

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