CRÓNICAS DEL PUEBLO Y DEL PAÍS: CUÉNTAME CÓMO PASÓ Y LA TRANSICIÓN ESPAÑOLA A LA DEMOCRACIA
The “Spanish model” of Transition from dictatorship to democracy continues to provoke controversy in political and academic circles, as well as in the media, and to raise questions on strategies for consensus. My dissertation “Crónicas del pueblo y del país: Cuéntame cómo pasó y la Transición española a la democracia,” analyzes the ideological construction of memory of the Spanish democratic Transition in a highly popular series of Spanish public television. Through the lens of daily life experiences of a middle-class Spanish family, Cuéntame cómo pasó re-writes national history from the last years of Franco’s rule up to the transition to democracy and the first decade of Spain as a democratic state. Using the dynamics of family relations as a metaphor for the process of political change, I explore how the democratization of a rigid patriarchal order in Spain results from the pact-making strategies of a political class unaccustomed to doing “politics”—that is, to reach consensus among a large number of antagonistic voices for an adequate governance of the country. I argue that similar to the pact-making operating model of political reform, the democratization of the Spanish family in the years of the Transition does not imply a clean break with patriarchal order but a gradual transformation of this structure by opening spaces for negotiation and liberation.In this project, I examine how Cuéntame cómo pasó articulates the memories that were pushed to the margins by the official narrative—based on the idea of a consensus between the political elite and the general population of Spain—by addressing the interests of less-represented social groups, including dissidents and other minorities. I conclude that, by virtue of the diversity of its characters and their experiences, the series offers heterogeneous versions of the historical memory of the Transition, thus challenging the official discourse on pact and consensus. In doing so, Cuéntame cómo pasó reveals a number of issues unresolved during the Transition such as the absence of reparation for the victims of the Francoist repression, the lack of candor during the political pact-making, and the failure to eradicate the major institutions of the old regime.
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