FOSSAR DE LA PEDRERA (CEMENTERIO DE MONTJUÏCH – BARCELONA) JUNE 18, 2011, 12:00
The Monolith of Memory
After a year of celebrations, on 18 June, the events of the Centennial of the founding of the National Confederation of Labour will culminate with the placement of a monolith in memory of the hundreds of thousands of members of the libertarian movement who gave their lives for freedom and the Social Revolution and who fell under the genocidal bullets of Francoism. And it cannot be put in a more representative place than the Fossar de la Pedrera in the Montjuïc Cemetery, where thousands suffered the holocaust of the Franco regime.
It was necessary that there be a memorial to remember the libertarian victims. Because they lost twice the Civil War. They lost in the battlefield. And they lost in the field of history, sentenced to forty years of repression in every way, and nearly as many of ostracism, which continues to be another form of killing. Because although before the firing squad, all the victims of Franco are equal, for some political interests it is best to distinguish the victims, claiming some and forgetting others, distorting history and thus burying the memory.
On April 1, 1939 the official end of the Spanish Civil War was decreed from Burgos and Franco's rebel troops first set foot in their killer boots in Madrid, for libertarians there was only one way, with double meaning: to fight the prevailing fascism and never forget the past and the militants who gave their lives for freedom and a better and fairer world. Their efforts cost them many lives.
After a "transition" that it was nothing more than the continuation of the Franco regime, where even organizations that had suffered repression under Franco did not hesitate to return to bury their members for a few miserable benefits, the libertarian movement understood that it had to continue with the path bequeathed by its predecessors. Do not bend to the system and fight for what we consider to be just.
Now that certain pacts of the Transition have expire, which open the pits of shame showing the genocidal criminality of Francoism and the complicit silence of some who call themselves democrats, we must continue in the effort to reclaim the libertarian memory.
The act of June 18 in Barcelona, at the opening of this monolith made by Juan Jose Novella, where the branches of a cypress made of steel grow and extend the idea, will serve not only as the culmination of the centenary of the CNT but also as the continuing recovery of our memory and history. It is a tribute to those who lost their lives for freedom. And a tribute to those still living, who survived the Spanish Holocaust of Francoism, and with their lessons and experiences they leave us with the best medicine: history as the first pillar of the struggle for the society of the future.
The monument In the images of the monument you can make out the words: to the men and women of the CNT ... Juanjo Novella, Basque sculptor with a special sensitivity to issues of memory, has created a strong sculpture, prepared to resist time and the elements and, at the same time, is complex and tender, pointing upward, toward the ideals we had of the better and that the organization lost: all those who fought for freedom and social revolution who died. A remembrance that those who share and want to continue the path are obliged to make.
The sculpture is a truncated cypress, symbolizing a yearning for bearing and dignity for those buried anonymously. Thus we set a milestone where the cypress with all its symbolism is the main protagonist.
A mark on the small open space surrounded by cypress trees will create a small square in la Fosera. This sculpture was inspired by the columns that greet the pedestrian entering the area and the cypresses and rows of vegetables.
The verticality of the sculpture and its presence refer to the columns and the cypresses around them.
The sculpture is integrated without adverse impact on the location. The presence of the piece is appropriate to the place, fitting in snugly without being loud.
There is a significant degree of transparency that will emphasize the interest in the Sacercamiento and experience a vision through it. This also allows a minimal presence in the square, allowing one to perceive it unobstructed. The installation allows to maintain the use of the space and circulation of traffic.
The dimensions are of human scale, the sculpture does not overwhelm with monumentality but with its human implications.
It sought to express austerity and simplicity as in the spirit intended and expressed by the CNT.
Juanjo Novella, sculptor
Would you like to go to the ceremony? Check the availability of accommodation on the memorial blog.
More information on the memorial blog: a history of the CNT, about the sculpture, audio ...