Paper Session
Nov 11, 2021 02:00 PM - 02:50 PM(America/Chicago)
20211111T1400 20211111T1450 America/Chicago Francisco Franco's Specters and Shadows AMS 2021
New Music and the Democratic Imaginary in Late-Francoist Spain
Individual Paper 02:00 PM - 02:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/11 20:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/11 20:50:00 UTC

In 1972, distinguished composers including Steve Reich, Sylvano Bussotti, David Tudor, and John Cage, descended upon the capital city of Navarre for a turbulent episode in late-Francoist Spanish artistic life: the Pamplona Encounters experimental art festival. The festival drew international practitioners to experiment with new forms of audience-making and interaction. For musicians, a range of events, including free improvisation performances, minimalist pieces and electro-acoustic works, offered opportunities to put into practice emerging ideals around participatory spectatorship.

Due to this participatory dimension, and in line with the idea that the construction of democracy in Spain began before Franco's death, the Pamplona Encounters festival has recently been celebrated as a laboratory of the upcoming democracy (López Munuera 2016). However, this interpretation does not consider sufficiently the strong tensions that arose during the encounters. Indeed, the festival was an extremely turbulent event: the armed leftist Basque nationalist and separatist organization ETA tried to sabotage it with bombs, the organizers censored some of the programmed works, loud electronic music was played to dissolve a spontaneous citizens' debate that was taking place in one of the festival venues, and the artists published a protest writing against the organizers.

This paper channels growing interest in the relationship between music and democracy (Adlington and Buch 2020, Adlington 2019 and 2020) and participatory art and the politics of spectatorship (Bishop 2012, Zhong Mengual 2018) to examine closely the competing aesthetic and political ideals that characterized the Pamplona Encounters festival. Drawing on extensive archival research, interviews with artists and audiences, and the insights of political science and philosophy into democracy (Held 1987, Rancière 2007, Mouffe 2009), I offer a critical reassessment of the event, to argue that it illustrates particularly the strong political tensions that existed in the last years of Franco's regime. Rather than a laboratory in which to experiment artistically with democracy, I conclude, the Pamplona Encounters festival was a battlefield where opposing and incompatible ideas of democracy collided.

Igor Contreras-Zubillaga
University Of Huddersfield
Punishment and Ostracism during the Franco Dictatorship: Rafael Rodríguez Albert’s Internal Exile in Granada, 1940-47.
Individual Paper 02:00 PM - 02:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/11 20:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/11 20:50:00 UTC

Spanish musicologists tend to regard all the composers who remained in the country during Franco's dictatorship as equal regarding their professional opportunities. In addition, they consider that the dictatorship and its repressive policies did not impact the development of Western art music, though scholars such as Xoán Manuel Carreira, Enrique Sacau-Ferreira, and Gemma Pérez Zalduondo have already stressed the opposite regarding cultural policies. However, none of them has ever mentioned or analyzed the careers of some of the composers who did not support the fascist regime after the Spanish Civil War, yet remained in the country, such as Fernando Remacha (1898-1984), Arturo Dúo Vidal (1901-64), Rafael Rodríguez Albert (1902-79), and Carlos Palacio (1911-97); when they suffered the consequences of their political position. Indeed, in her work on Rafael Rodríguez Albert, scholar María Palacio asserts that he did not suffer repression during the dictatorship. However, a close analysis on these disaffected composers shows a different professional and personal development in comparison with those who supported or were favored by the regime. It shows that they suffered the consequences of their political position as internal exiles, an ambiguous term and vague condition often misunderstood. By analyzing documentation from Rafael Rodríguez Albert's archive, as well as other materials, in this paper I examine the first eight years of his life after the Spanish Civil War, from 1939 to 1947. A blind composer who nonetheless had already had a flourishing career when the Civil War broke out, Rodríguez Albert suffered internal exile due to his political position during the war, the actions he took then, the affiliations he consistently cultivated, and his determination to support and defend the legitimate government.  His leftist views and activities resulted in his being tried, purged, and then forcibly deported to Granada, where he suffered ostracism, repression, and oppression during seven years in internal exile.

Pedro López De La Osa
University Of California Riverside
Sorority and Hispanidad Across the Atlantic: Women as Musical Diplomats in the Batista, Trujillo, and Franco regimes (1950-61)
Individual Paper 02:00 PM - 02:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/11 20:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/11 20:50:00 UTC

This paper reveals how female representatives of the Cuban Batista regime (1952-59), the Dominican Trujillo regime (1930-61), and the Spanish Franco regime (1939-75) used music to promote a pan-Hispanic 'sisterhood' during the 1950s. Official Secciónes Femeninas (Women's Sections) organized diplomatic missions on both sides of the Atlantic to establish political solidarity and highlight common historical, cultural, and linguistic characteristics between Spain and two of its former colonies. Such transnational narratives were shaped through music education exchange programs and the establishment of local dance troupes in the Caribbean trained by Spanish female music instructors. Batista and Trujillo commissioned musicians of Spain's Sección Femenina to collect, surreptitiously rewrite, and 'Hispanicize' many Cuban and Dominican folk songs, replacing local Afro-Caribbean rhythms and melodies with those of Iberia. This helped a lighter-skinned  Cuban and Dominican elite to identity with a white, Spanish 'fatherland' and negate the cultural influences of Black citizens and neighboring states (e.g. Haiti). In Spain, fueled by a desire to recover national pride, propagandists of the Franco regime promoted cultural exchanges with Cuba and the Dominican Republic to support its own national myth of 'heroic' conquistadors of the sixteenth-century 'Golden Age'. Franco's resurrection of Spain's imperial influence was not to be accomplished through military force, but by becoming the spiritual leader of a federation of Spanish-speaking nations. The cultural missions of the Spanish Sección Femenina in the Dominican Republic and Cuba were connected to the Franco regime's broader diplomatic objectives in Latin America, including an intervention program against aggression from former Allied nations after the Second World War; mediation in inter-Hispanic conflicts; the protection and promotion of a shared cultural heritage; the strengthening of economic ties via a customs union and an inter-Hispanic bank; founding an inter-Hispanic citizenship; and extraditing Spanish republicans and communists in exile. Referring to contemporary literature on soft power and cultural diplomacy, I show how Spain's imperial history in the Americas was invoked through music to help all three of these states maneuver out of political and economic isolation at the beginning of the Cold War.

Daniel Jordan
University of Huddersfield
University of California Riverside
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