1939-2019, La Retirada 80th anniversary.
On November 9th, 2019 opens “Refugium, refugia” at MuME – Museu Memorial de l’Exili (Spain).
Exhibition on Saturday, November 9, 2019 until Sunday, February 2, 2020.
Opening Saturday, November 9 at 12 noon
Museu Memorial de l’Exili, c/Major, 43-47, 17700 – La Jonquera (Spain)
+ info: www.museuexili.cat
On January 18, 2020 will be a visit to the exhibition and Rivesaltes’ Memorial. You can reserve a seat on the bus from Barcelona. More info here.
The work exhibited here – mostly carried out between 2013 and 2016 – emerged from the rubble of the camp, which acted as both executioner and witness of the horror of the Nazi deportations and the drama of the exile of thousands of human beings. The memory of Rivesaltes is the current reality of the camps that today contain millions of lives, millions of refugees, millions of dramas all over the world and at the doors of the European Union. Nevertheless, this is not a work about Rivesaltes, nor is it historical research. In this case, history is really the guide to a journey in the collective emotional memory, seeking the universality of individual experience, beyond eras, boundaries and nationalities.
The word refuge has its origin in the Latin word refugium, a word that was used indistinctly to refer to the place towards which one flees as well as to the “escape route”. In other words, to a place safe from danger (not necessarily physical and immediate) or a means to escape from a dangerous situation. It also meant “return”, “arriving back”, as opposed to “desertion”. The plural – refugia – referred to hiding places in Roman houses where the father of the family could hide his possessions in case of an attack by enemies or a fire. In biology, refugium refers to the area of an isolated population or that of the residual presence of a previously more widespread species. Protection, escape, retreat, exit. Terms that indicate both a withdrawal and an outward movement, whichever the case, a permanent state of transit and danger.
This work has been possible thanks to the support of La Escocesa and Hangar, creation centers in Barcelona. I also thank all the members of MuME, Paula Bruna, Carlos Puyol, Mireia Martínez, Raül Segarra, Tere Badia, Kike Bela, Pep Dardanyà, Piramidón, Yann Molina, Josep Maria Cabané, Elodie Montes, Marta Huguet, Judith López, Pilar Mestre, Mar Arza, Miquel Bardagil…