Fear and Silence Meet Ignorance


When I studied in Spain in 1969 and 1970, I knew about the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), briefly mentioned in my Spanish history books; General.simo Francisco Franco declared victory. I knew Spain through my graduate studies in Spanish literature and through Michener’s book Iberia (1968). In 2000, I met Jordi Calvera, a Catal.n whose post-war stories conflicted with that idyllic Spain. I returned to Spain in 2013, still with no idea of the impact of the totalitarian dictatorship based on fear and silence through which Franco ruled until his death in 1975, leaving a legacy of fear and silence. In Barcelona, I met a group of adults in their eighties who shared Jordi’s experience. My intrigue with these stories led me to learn more about the war, the dictatorship and the aftermath by interviewing people whose lives had been touched by those years. Through a layered account, I present some of the stories and examine my oblivion.

Keywords: Critical autoethnography, autoethnography, ethnography, Spanish Civil War, Franco’s totalitarian dictatorship