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Ocho apellidos vascos and the poetics of post-ETA Spain

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The article takes as a starting point the idea that the ceasefire announced by ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna) in October 2011 has allowed for the appearance of newly inflected cultural engagements with the legacies of the Basque-Spanish violent conflict. Among these, the blockbuster Ocho apellidos vascos (OAV) is without a doubt the most significant exponent of a post-ETA poetics that engages with the present memory wars on the Basque-Spanish conflict from a state-aligned perspective on consensus. This perspective is characterized by the use of soft metaphors related to (heteronormative) romantic or familial love as a way of condensing the complexities of Spain’s internal national conflicts; the privileging of individual forms of memorialization over collective ones; the fetishization of affects such as forgiveness; and the erasure of politics and history. After an analysis of how these strategies play out in OAV and its sequel Ocho apellidos catalanes (OAC) (Martínez Lázaro, 2015), the article places these films in relation to a larger corpus of statealigned post-ETA cultural products comprising, for example, the repenting ex-ETA member Iñaki Rekarte’s autobiography, published in 2015. By way of contrast, the article proposes that other post-ETA cultural products such as Ion Arretxe’s memoirs Intxaurrondo: la sombra de un nogal (2015a), the art exhibition Todo lo demás (Katakrak, Iruña-Pamplona, 2016) and recent Basque-language literature disrupt the narratives and metaphors of state-aligned consensus on the legacies of the Basque-Spanish conflict.
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Keywords: Basque-Spanish conflict; consensus; heteronormativity; memory politics; post-ETA Spain; romantic love

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Bangor University

Publication date: September 1, 2017

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  • The International Journal of Iberian Studies (IJIS) is the academic journal for scholars from around the world whose research focuses on contemporary Spain and Portugal from a range of disciplinary perspectives. IJIS is interested in history (20th century onwards), government and politics; foreign policy and international relations.
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