Emilio Silva Back in New York City

December 15, 2019

Silva (L) at the Tamiment, with Andrea Weiss, Stephanie Golob, Mark Wallem, Michael Koncewicz, and Jo Yurek.

Emilio Silva, the founder of the ALBA/Puffin Award-winning Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARMH), was back in New York City in October as part of a North-American tour. His New York visit included a screening of Bones of Contention, a documentary by Andrea Weiss about Spanish efforts to locate and exhume victims of the Spanish Civil War and the Franco regime.

On October 13, Stephanie Golob, Associate Professor of Political Science at Baruch College, hosted an ALBA-sponsored meet-and-greet. That same week, Silva visited the ALBA Collection at NYU’s Tamiment archive, in the company of ALBA’s Josie Yurek and Mark Wallem. Silva’s visit turned out to have been timed propitiously: less than two weeks later, former dictator Francisco Franco was exhumed from his tomb at the Valley of the Fallen.

Silva and the ARMH have applauded the decision by the Spanish government, which was also approved by the Parliament, to remove Franco’s remains from his tomb at the Valley’s massive basilica. As a national monument, the Valley is maintained by taxpayers. Yet the ARMH has criticized Franco’s new resting place, a family grave, because it is still a public cemetery. “This is a slap in the face of the victims,” Silva said. “How can you oblige them to pay for the maintenance of the person responsible for their suffering?”