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Spain 80 years after start of Civil War: Change of a Nation SOLD OUT

Sunday 10 April 2016

1 Hour


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Madrid-based writer William Chislett looks at Spain 80 years after the start of the 1936-39 Civil War sparked by General Franco’s uprising against the democratically elected government of the Republic.

More than 200,000 died in battle, at least 150,000 people were murdered extra-judicially or executed in the Nationalist-held areas and 50,000 in the Republican territories, and over 250,000 went into permanent exile (including Arturo Barea who lived and died in Faringdon, Oxfordshire).

Franco created a victory culture, which divided Spain into winners and losers throughout a dictatorship that lasted until he died in 1975. Most but not all the ghosts of that conflict have been laid to rest since then. Yet, unlike Germany, Spain has been unable to confront its past fully. Chislett looks at some of the issues confronting Spain today including what to do with the Valley of Fallen monument, where Franco is buried, and how the economic crisis and rampant corruption broke the mould of post-Franco politics at the general election last December.

Chislett has lived in Madrid since 1986. He covered the transition to democracy between 1975 and 1978 for The Times and was the Mexico correspondent for the Financial Times (1978-84). He writes about Spain for the Real Instituto Elcano, whose honorary president is King Felipe VI, and has published several books on the country, including Spain: What Everyone Needs to Know.

Programme of Spanish literature and culture.