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Art Públic Calaf

Museu de Memòries
Calaf / Catalonia - Spain

to the photos of Calaf to the photos of Calaf to the photos of Calaf

Tell us your story and memories to the photos. Send us your memories in few words or as short story.

Normally we publish anonymous photographs and ask the public to comment them. But in Calaf was published a book in April of this year with private photographs of the time between 1939 and 1975. Because of the circumstances we decided to change the approach of the project.

As it seems, and as it was written in this book of Calaf, the Spanish Civil War didn't harm Calaf and its inhabitants so strong as in other towns in Spain. On the 19th of July 1936, one day after Franco began the Civil War, some people brought the altar of Calaf's church outside on the place and burned it down. An answer to the assault of Franco's troops. During the Civil War suburbs of Calaf were bombed four times. 25 People of both sides died, when Calaf was conquered by the national troops. Some Republicans had to flee.
Our project wants to work out the traces of history, which the Civil War left behind or which are repressed from the peoples memories.

We didn't found photographs of the time of the Civil War in Calaf. But what we found were some pictures of this time, photographed in other towns near Calaf.

This project deals with the memories of the spectators of photographs.
Our thesis is: The language of photographs is universal – the memories of the spectators are individual. That means for examples: a picture of refugees has a meaning, that everybody in our world can understand; but each person thinks in a different context: My grandmother is thinking about the Second World War in Austria; your grandmother thinks about the Civil War in Catalonia – and for examples Serbian and Kosovarian people are thinking about their present Civil War. In that way we work with pictures in the proposed project Museu de Memòries.

Thinking and remembering in different contexts also means, that everybody tells different stories – different histories. The main idea of our project is, to provoke people to tell their history – or to tell what they are thinking about this history. This includes also young people, who didn't lived at this time, but uses historical signs for their graffiti on the walls.

The project consists of three integrated parts:
During the time of six weeks we post twelve different slogans of the Civil War, of the first year after the end of the war and questions of us on the walls in Calaf, posters as you have seen on the slide-projection. These posters shall provoke and build a climate for discussions.
As second we put a big red cube, 3 meters high and 4 and half meters square, in the middle of the Plaça dels Arbres. On this place stood a monument for the memory of Franco soldiers, who were felt in the Civil War. This place was called Plaza del Caudillo. In the year of 1942 this monument was inaugurated and demolished after Franco's death. The cube has slits through that the people can look into the cube. Inside of the cube are posted 12 photographs which deal with the history of the Spanish Civil War. In the night, the pictures are illuminated with spotlights. On the outside of the cube is written, that the people are invited to write their memories and comments into books, which they can find in several places in Calaf, e.g. in the Town Hall, the library, the post office, Bars and restaurants.
As third part of the project, we intend to celebrate an opening at the place were the cube stands. During this event the books will hand over to the owner or officials of the places, were the books will be. This event should promote the project in the public so that the people has the consciousness that their memories are part of the history of Calaf. After this six weeks, all books with the entries can be added to the library of Calaf as contemporary documents and sources of historical consciousness in Calaf.

Opening of the project: Plaça dels Arbres/Calaf 27.05.2000