Final Visibility Events

The Memory beyond Rhetoric project came to its end with the Final Visibility events that took place in Barcelona from the 19thto the 21stof February. While immersed in the Catalan history and memory; the project coordination team retraced and evaluated the activities, share the project tools and outcomes and discuss the next steps, specially leading to the 100 anniversary of SCI.

On the 19thof February SCI Catalunya launched the exhibition “SCI, between war and peace since 1920”, a work that gathers the history and the role of the Service Civil International during the conflicts that devastated the world in the aftermath of the First World War.

The exhibition was opened by a round table, in which the Memory beyond Rhetoric representatives discussed the current and past challenges for peace with local experts in historical memory and refugees. The exhibition will remain open until the 9thof March 2016 at the Memorial Democratic (http://memorialdemocratic.gencat.cat/ca/).

On Saturday 20th of February, the group met a group of local activists for a common visit to two key places for the Catalan Memorial: The Maternity of Elna and The Exile Memorial Museum.

The Maternity of Elna is an institution supporting exiled women from the Spanish Civil War. Founded in 1929, this Maternity saw the birth of 600 babies, whose mothers where refugees in the camps close to Elna. The Maternity of Elna was also known as the Swiss Maternity, as it was promoted by the Swiss organization, the Swiss branch of Service Civil International. Assumpta Montellà, expert and author of the book “La Maternitat d’Elna” guided the visit together with some members of Elna city hall. The study trip included also some stops in key historical places linked with Memory, such as the 'Campo de Argelés', an internment camp for Spanish refugees during the civil war.

The day will finish with a visit to The Exile Memorial Museum - MUME (http://museuexili.cat/), a place for memory, history and critical reflection. This is an interpretation center which recalls the exiles brought about by the Civil War in Spain and Catalonia. Above all the exile of those defeated in that conflict inseparably linked to the Europe of the ascent of totalitarianisms and which was the prelude to the Second World War.

All these inputs were further analysed in the last day of the event by participants and key representatives of the Memoric Team met as to plan possible follow up actions. As a result it was decided to apply for a new project, again under Remembrance Programme from EACEA, focusing exactly on the topic of refugees and memory, and including future activities to be realized in cooperation with the Maternilty of Elna. Besides, different activities were proposed, as the event and the project as a whole, constituted a great source of inspiration for activists and partners.

All and all these final visibility events saw the participation of 60 citizens, 1 participant coming from Bulgaria, Belgium, France, Germany, UK, Italy, two from Portugal and 52 from Spain.

If you want to read the commentary of one of the participants, you can find it here.

If you want to see more picture of the event have a look at our Flickr page