The Democratic Memorial of Catalonia is set to embark on a new chapter: one of consolidation as a national reference for democratic policies related to historical memory in Catalonia. “The Memorial must engage with the entire general public; the policies related to historical memory in Catalonia have some very interesting peculiarities, and the memorial explains them very well, and that’s what we need to take advantage of,” stated Minister Ubasart. She also announced that the institution will have a new headquarters near the Palau de la Generalitat. This building will allow the institution to set up permanent spaces designed specifically for its needs.

Among the different spaces in the new headquarters, there will be the work area for technicians and management; another area for day-to-day use; a multi-purpose room and an exhibition hall, as well as a public information point. The building will also house the Memorial’s documentation centre and library.

The change of location to the city centre is also a clear demonstration of a desire to be closer to the public and to make it a more accessible and visible institution. The move to the new headquarters is scheduled to take place in 2025, as renovation and preparation work is currently underway.

Minister Ubasart also announced that the aim is to strengthen the institution in order to place it at the centre and make it a leading model of democratic commitment in the country. The Minister highlighted the quantity and quality of the activity promoted in recent years, as “it is a pioneering institution in the field of historical memory and a benchmark at European level”.

It should be noted that between this year and next, the Memorial will have promoted some fifteen exhibitions and a similar number of talks and conferences, in addition to the various commemorations and tributes that it organises throughout the country as part of its regular activities. One example is the recent commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the coup d’état in Chile against the government of Salvador Allende, which included the participation of Carmen Castillo, an internationally renowned Chilean exile.

Subsequently, other well-known figures from the Catalonia’s historical memory, educational and cultural spheres, such as Aniol Escorihuela, Carme Maigí and Carles Vallejo, also took part. Vallejo highlighted the stable programming of the Memorial as “fundamental to ensure the proper functioning of the institution and collaborating organisations”.

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In order to strengthen the institution, four strategic areas of work have been designed for the coming year.

First, the consolidation of the Democratic Memory Bank as one of the fundamental pillars of the Documentation and Information Centre, which preserves, catalogues and disseminates bibliography from the period between the Second World War and the late Franco regime. In this regard, the Census of persons deported to the Nazi camps will be updated, as will the Human Cost of the Civil War database.

Second, the Democratic Memorial will strengthen the Network of Historical Memory Spaces by prioritising the identification of spaces linked to the period between the end of Franco’s regime and the democratic transition.

The third of the strategic areas consists of extending links with the university community, foundations and organisations to promote research. The aim is to increase collaboration agreements to spread knowledge as much as possible.

Finally, the Educational Service, one of the main pillars of the Memorial since its creation, will be significantly boosted. The Educational Service includes, for example, the DEMDs (Democratic Memorial working groups), a wide network of teachers spread throughout Catalonia, who work to introduce historical memory in the classroom and raise awareness of democracy among students.

Overall, in order to achieve all the goals, the Memorial will be provided with more personnel, which will allow it to continue its regular activities and comprehensively implement the four strategic pillars.