A few years ago Spain was not oriented on social quality but on economic growth at the most basic level. It was necessary to improve economic conditions and to restore and consolidate democracy in order to enable Spain to enter the European Union in 1986. Once a member, Spain set out to increase its economic, political and social standing and saw it approximating the European average on the majority of indicators. As we will see below, Spain still has to improve on some of the indicators in order to reduce some persistent imbalances in its socio-economic structure. Hence, the effort made by Spain for some years now must be maintained in order to consolidate its position at the heart of the European Union from a social quality perspective.
Juan Monreal and Salvadora Titos
A Battle That Raged during the Spanish Transition
In mid-1970s Spain, many new satirical magazines featured a strong political stance opposing Francisco Franco’s regime and in favour of democracy. Magazines with a significant amount of comics-based content constituted a space for political and social critics, as humour allowed them to go further than other media. However, legal authorities tried to censor and punish them. This article analyses the relationship between the Spanish satirical press and censorship and focuses on the difficulties their publishers and authors encountered in expressing their criticism of the country’s social changes. Various cartoonists have been interviewed, and archival research carried out. In-depth analysis of the magazines’ contents is used to gain an overview of a political and social period in recent Spanish history, in which the satirical press uniquely tackled several issues.
Ordering and Managing Migration in Ceuta (Spain)
Ceuta is a Spanish city in Northern Morocco. It is thus situated at a European Union border on the African continent. In this context, I contend that migration is generally considered a potential threat to the pacified local order of things by the Christian majority. In order to protect this order of things referred to as convivencia, Christian Ceutíes tend to prefer depoliticizing strategies to manage migration. Nonetheless, migration sometimes becomes highly politicized and is framed as a security issue. This essay thus suggests that the concept of securitization is relevant to grasp the problematization of migration in times of crisis in Ceuta and analyzes three occurrences of local processes of securitization.
Ana Isabel González Manso
This article investigates how the perception of living in novel times influenced Spanish intellectuals from the late eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century when they wrote or thought about history. The perception of time would influence the way in which history was written, and in turn this would reflect the model of society that Spanish intellectuals aspired to when they turned to the past for the political and social features they wanted for their present and future. At that time, different time perceptions coexisted and combined in a very complex fashion; the present article, however, is focused on the perception of time mainly as an opportunity, with its advances and retreats, doubts and problems. The article will show how those intellectuals thought about history and the various solutions they put forward for society’s problems.
An Example of Conceptual History
Javier Fernández Sebastián and Gonzalo Capellan de Miguel
This article provides an account of the concepts of modernidad and modernismo in the Spanish language, chiefly in Spain, from the end of the eighteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century. This account also reflects the peculiarities of how conceptual history is being conducted in Spain, which resulted in the recently published Diccionario de Conceptos Políticos y Sociales del Siglo xix Español. The authors conclude that an examination of these two terms reveals that the emphasis upon Spanish singularity has been exaggerated and that, despite the presumed historical backwardness of the country, Spain played an outstanding role in the creation of the language of modernity and postmodernity.
María y yo by Miguel and María Gallardo, Arrugas by Paco Roca and Una posibilidad entre mil by Cristina Durán and Miguel Ángel Giner Bou are contemporary Spanish graphic novels that can be considered pathographies. This article shows how they use the metaphor of the journey to deconstruct social representations and challenge preconceived ideas about autism, Alzheimer’s disease and cerebral palsy. By making readers travel to the unknown territory of differences and diseases, these works help them to discover and understand alterity. I also study how the authors use techniques specific to travel guides to explain these disorders, and interrogate the extent to which creating and reading those pathographies can have a curative dimension. This will lead to questioning the concept of the therapeutic journey.
This article contrasts two accounts by women written between 1936 and 1939 describing their experiences of Spain during the Spanish Civil War. The aim is to question how far travel writers have a political and ethical relation to the place they visit and to what extent they deal with this in their texts. The global politics of travel writing and the distinction between colonial and cosmopolitan travel writers affect the way a foreign culture is articulated for the home market through discursive and linguistic strategies. The texts are Kate O’Brien’s Farewell Spain (1937) and Gamel Woolsey’s Death’s Other Kingdom: A Spanish Village in 1936 (1939). The conclusions suggest women adopt a range of positions toward the Spanish conflict, depending on their personal commitment and their contact with local people, but their concern to articulate the experience of others in time of crisis has a strong ethical component.
Some Examples from Spanish Museums
Lourdes Prados Torreira
Through the items in archaeological museums’ collections, it is possible to create inclusive narratives and discourses in which different social groups, ethnicities, age groups, and genders can and must be present. With this in mind, we shall focus our attention on some Spanish archaeological museums inaugurated in recent years, with the aim of analyzing how they have represented and represent women, which roles are assigned to women within the collective community, and how gender relations in past societies are illustrated.
The Israeli Communist Commemoration of the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1986
The Spanish Civil War of 1936–1939 aroused strong responses in the Jewish Yishuv in Palestine. The support for the Spanish Republic—prevalent in the Zionist left as well as among the Communists—resulted in young Jews and Arabs volunteering to fight in Spain. These volunteers, primarily Jewish Communists, became part of a cult created around the war by the Communist Party. This article will examine the content of this cult while relating it to parallel groups in the West and in East Germany. Through this analysis, the ideological elements, heroes, modes of memory, and dissemination of the memory of the war will be explored.
The Example of Cuerda de presas
Since the end of the 1990s, more and more Spanish comics have focused on the recent Spanish past, including the memory of the Civil War (1936–1939) and the succeeding dictatorship. This article offers an analysis of a particular comics volume, Cuerda de presas (2005) by Jorge García and Fidel Martínez, and discusses the way in which it interprets the role of the past in Spanish society thirty years after the political transition to democracy. I argue that Cuerda de presas participates in the questioning of the dominant memory about the past. It does this by undermining narrative coherence and by pointing to the plural and unstable characteristics of memories. Charles Peirce's semiotics constitutes the framework for the analysis, according to which there is a dynamic relationship between Cuerda de presas and Spanish society.