Art and Memory: Laetitia Tura

Art and Memory: Laetitia Tura
Sat, 22. January 2022 - Sun, 10. April 2022
Art i memòria històric EN


Art and Memory space: Laetitia Tura

They leave me the Exile

Exhibition from 22.01.2022 to 10.04.2022

The presentation of the exhibition will take place on Saturday 19 February at 12 noon with the participation of photographer Laetitia Tura.


The title of the exhibition comes from the vers "Me dejan el destierro" (They leave me the exile), from the poem Un español habla de su tierra (A Spaniard speaks of his land) by Luis Cernuda, 1939.


Eighty years after the start of the Spanish Civil War, the rehabilitation of the narrative of the defeated is still a pending issue. Given that they have not been recorded in the collective memory, the remembrances of the Spanish exile take on insidious forms, midway between amnesia and excessive discourses.

I retrace the layers of a narrative produced amidst silence and political mythology. This work does not pursue scientific objectivity but rather to re-establish a form that takes into consideration the process of constructing memory.

January-February 1939: the Retreat. 500,000 Republicans, civilians and military, cross the Pyrenees after the fall of Barcelona to Franco’s army. On the border, the troops are disarmed, and men and women are separated and later reunited in improvised internment camps. The Roussillon coast becomes a large camp, right on the beach and the marshes. And soon camps are established throughout France. The exiles become the undesirables, banished from the town because of their “status” as foreigners.

Today, only the sand, sea and mud remain of those camps.

From now we must fight to defend memory. I meet the last witnesses of this exodus in their homes. They tell me about their memories of childhood. Around the kitchen table, sometimes in the bedroom of a care home, they start talking. Some have gone through life haunted by the ghost of a missing person who has never been found. The children and grandchildren become the guardians of the memory of their parents. But these memories are also secured through the collection of the material remains found on the beaches and the work of archivists on the records of the internees.

The passage through the camps has forged an identity shared by the Spanish Republicans, based on the traumatic memory of the camps. But it also conceals the diversity of the experience of exile, of the groups and the emancipating values of the exiles. Of which utopias were they the bearers?


Laetitia Tura is a photographer and director. In recent years, she has lived in Paris, Barcelona, Dakar and elsewhere. She pursues a work between France and Spain around the memory of exile and state violence. She has directed several documentary films: Les Messagers (2015), Flamboyantes (2021).



More information in:

Laetitia Tura Website

 Ils me laissent l'exil - Laetitia Tura Project

Vimeo Laetitia Tura

virtual visit eng1 250p




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