"We settle a pending moral debt by rescuing the truth from the pit of dismemberment," says Delgado in the first pages of the catalog that has been edited for the show, and underlines that the disdain for the exiles, who were "persecuted, slandered and minimized by Franco, is something that a democracy like the Spanish can not afford. "

The exhibition, which has been run by the head of Justice accompanied by the Ministers of Development, José Luis Ábalos, and Culture and Sports, José Guirao, is a tribute to the nearly half million Spanish Republicans who crossed the border in 1939 with France as a result of the persecution to which his ideals and his defense of democratic values ​​were subjected. It is also intended to bring citizens closer to the relevance of exile and help their legacy be known and contribute to the progress of the countries that welcomed them. The third objective is precisely to extend the gratitude to the different peoples who gave the exiles a new homeland, far from Spain.

The exhibition has been promoted by the Government through the Interministerial Commission for the Commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Republican exile that, throughout 2019, has Ministry of JusticeOrganized more than a hundred acts in a dozen countries spread across three continents.

The space of the Archery of New Ministries brings together for this exhibition, three approaches to exile and more than 300 pieces of plastic work, photographic reproductions and publications, among other media, which reflect the most important cultural, artistic and literary manifestations of those who best They documented this exodus.

The writer and art critic Juan Manuel Bonet is the curator of the main exhibition '1939. Spanish Republican Exile ', in which Manuel Aznar and Idoia Murga have also collaborated as scientific advisors. The assembly is a design by the architect Juan Pablo Martínez Frade, responsible, among other projects, for the authorization works for the access floor of the Reina Sofía National Art Center Museum that will be undertaken from next year.

Felip Solé and Grégory Tuban are the curators of Philippe Gaussot's exhibition of photographs, 'Paths of Exile', which Kiko Herrero has coordinated. Finally, Carmen Fernández Ortiz is responsible for the installation 'Blood is not water' by the artist Pierre Gonnord.

'1939: Spanish Republican Exile'

This exhibition includes a heterogeneous and choral group of plastic works, everyday objects, photographs, sound archives, posters and publications that embody the faithful testimony of an avant-garde of intellectuals, scientists, writers and artists of all kinds who, in 1939, went into exile. Beyond the mere collection of artistic objects, the collective story of the thousands of Spaniards and Spaniards who lived in exile and tried to keep their language, culture, memory and ideals alive throughout the years is offered.

Exhibition PhotographyHundreds of photographers from around the world documented that flight from repression. This is the case of photojournalists David Seymour, Robert Capa or Agustí Centelles, who strongly portrayed the drama of the refugees and whose work can be seen in this exhibition. Like that of photographer Francesc Boix, today recognized as one of the great witnesses of the twentieth century for the images taken during his detention in Mauthausen.

Josep Bartolí also testified through his drawings of his tragic experience in the French concentration camps. Or Ramón Gaya, who after leaving the Argelès camp and before leaving for Mexico, found encouragement to paint some of the most emblematic paintings of exile.

The horror of the Nazi extermination was also reflected in a series of magnificent works present at La Arquería, the Catalan artist Josep Franch-Clapers, in addition to the writers Jorge Semprún and Joaquim Amat-Piniella, interns in Buchenwald and Mathausen. Also noteworthy are the approaches that were made from the sculpture. Examples of this in the exhibition are the works of Baltasar Lobo or Ángel Hernández García, 'Hernán'.

The ships of exile, such as the 'Stanbrook' that arrived at the Algerian port of Oran, or those that departed for America, such as the 'Sinaia' and the 'Winnipeg', have a leading space in the exhibition. Republican exile in Mexico was one of the most important, documented here through different publications. The Caribbean, Chile and Argentina were also prominent cultural centers of exile. Politicians arrived in Buenos Aires like Niceto Alcalá Zamora or the historian Claudio Sánchez-Albornoz, who would become president of the Government in exile. The editorial work carried out by Rafael Alberti, Francisco Ayala or María Teresa León, and in the field of arts, Manuel Ángeles Ortiz and Maruja Mallo, was also very important. Some of his works from those years have gathered for this exhibition.

The Soviet Union was another destination of Spanish exile. The 'children of war' were the first to arrive in the USSR, where journalists, writers, scientists, military, sportsmen or engineers were also installed and, in the artistic field, one of the great figures of the Spanish sculpture of the twentieth century , the Toledo Alberto Sánchez, better known as 'Alberto', who never returned to Spain.

The sample of Juan Manuel Bonet pays tribute, in addition, with two portraits of Picasso and Miguel Prieto and a sculpture signed by Pablo Serrano, to one of the most famous victims of the Retreat, the poet Antonio Machado, who died in the town of Colliure, and whose grave is today a place of pilgrimage and memory. As is the cemetery of Montauban, where Manuel Azana is buried. Numerous objects in the exhibition testify to his intellectual and political legacy, and the work table on which he signed his resignation in exile as the last president of the Republic is exposed to the Spanish public for the first time.

Acting Government members Dolores Delgado, José Guirao and José Luis ÁbalosMinistry of JusticeAnother important chapter is the one occupied by the Spanish artists of post-war Paris in the area of ​​La Arquería, whose core was made up, among others, by Manuel Ángeles Ortiz, Antoni Clavé or Xavier Badia Vilató, authors for whom Picasso was a fundamental reference. From the Malaga artist, six graphic works of different techniques are exhibited.

The exhibition also dedicates a space to the broadcasts of the BBC, Radio Paris and Radio España Independiente, the popular 'Pirenaica', for the role they played as a ram against Franco and as a source of information for the exiles. In their programs collaborated, among others, Luis Araquistain, Arturo Barea or Manuel Chaves Nogales. Some of those sound files are now available to the public.

The exhibition also looks at the Transition to portray the spirit of what supposed the reunion of Spain with exile, as symbolized, for example, by the photographic report of Jesús González on the arrival in Madrid of the 'Guernica' by Picasso.

On the occasion of this exhibition, a vast catalog of more than 700 pages has been published in which half a hundred authors have participated, the greatest experts in historical memory of our country. The catalog can be purchased on the website of the Ministry of Justice.

'Paths of exile' by Philippe Gaussot

The space of La Arquería also houses a collection of unpublished photographs of photojournalist Philippe Gaussot (France, 1911) discovered by his son Jean-Philippe in a suitcase, after the death of his father. It is about a hundred images that portray with enormous hardness what the withdrawal to France of thousands of exiles meant after the fall of Barcelona, ​​and the difficulties of the journey they made on roads and mountain passes. The snapshots also document everyday scenes in the children's colonies sponsored by the National Catholic Committee of France that Gaussot helped raise.

Commissioners Felip Solé and Grégory Tuban, reconstruct in this exhibition, coordinated by Kiko Herrero, the legacy of this photographer, committed from a very young age to the humanitarian cause, who worked as a journalist at Le Dauphiné Libéré.

'Blood is not water' by Pierre Gonnord

The Archery presents, finally, the research work carried out by the artist Pierre Gonnord (France, 1963) based on the memories of survivors and descendants of the Spanish republican exile. It is presented as an expository account of portraits, testimonials and photographs of intimate objects.

The exhibition, coordinated by Commissioner Carmen Fernández Ortiz, is an ad hoc commission made by the Interministerial Commission for the Commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Republican exile and the Ministry of Justice.

Word and image form in this show an inseparable set that invites the viewer to cross the borders of their own territory and recognize the existence of other realities, establishing an intimacy with the people portrayed who, at some point in their lives, needed to be heard, read and looked, and that today is made possible by art.

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