Reconciliation in the Basque Country: Are monuments a thread linking the past to the future?”

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This study explores the current condition of reconciliation in the Basque Country, an environment in which reconciliation interventions are almost non-existent. It asks what are the effects on reconciliation when there is minimal intervention in a post-conflict environment. This study thus attempts to provide more context and insight into the sometimes-elusive process of reconciliation. Central to this study is the question: What can memorials and monuments within the Basque Country reveal about the current level of reconciliation in the region? It explores the connection between visual symbols, state-citizen relationships, identity and collective memories within the context of reconciliation. To do so, it relies on stories from Basque citizens as the main data source. These interviews have provided context to how the memorials have contributed to the process of reconciliation, or yet lack thereof. The results show that the Basque citizens continue to experience that there is no space for the Basque identity in society. Hence, this study concludes that placing a monument is not enough to achieve such a societal transformation. Monuments can act as a starting point for this societal process but in the Basque Country more additional transformative action is needed.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen