Experiences of the people in Barcelona during the confinement


In July 2020, the Solidarity UB Foundation European Observatory on Memories ( EUROM ), in collaboration with Barceloneta House 1761 and the Baró de Viver Civic Center, collected a series of stories about the experience of the home confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project is part of the “Memories of Confinement? initiative promoted by the Barcelona Municipal Archive and the Department of Democratic Memory of the Barcelona City Council.

During the period of the first home confinement in Barcelona, the team of historians and heritage managers of the EUROM wanted to contribute to the collection of memories of this harmful and recent historical episode. The initiative led to a series of interviews that present the lockdown from a positive and solidary point of view, narrate the personal and daily experiences of the neighbours of these two working-origin districts (Baró de Viver and Barceloneta), which are in different ends of the city. The production was part of the long-term audiovisual project Citizens Voices and it counted on the collaboration of the filmmaker Carolina Astudillo. This initiative had the support of the Barcelona City Council, as a contribution to the proposal they are conducting, Memories of Confinement.

Memories of Confinement is an initiative by the Barcelona Municipal Archive and the Department of Democratic Memory whose aim is to document and preserve the experiences of residents and citizens, beyond the official accounts, in order to create an archive on the confinement as a place to guarantee the plurality of people’s stories at the service of the collective memory of the city.

Like in recent episodes such as the terrorist attack on the Rambla or October 1, 2017, when the Municipal Archive took part in the collection and preservation of documentary evidence that the public generated, a virtual space called “Confinement Memories? has been created so that everyone can tell their experience. This initiative begins with this first phase inviting citizens to participate, and a second phase, once the COVID-19 pandemic ends, to study and analyse the collected and documented heritage in order to “return? it to the people.

The virtual space is in the open-participation website Decidim.Barcelona. It allows users to send written and photographic, audio and video material. These files require the attachment of descriptive data that enables a proper cataloguing of material, willing to become, in the future, a valuable element for the study and recovery of the memory of the episode of this lockdown. The contributions will be treated as a donation to construct the citizen memory of Barcelona.

Based in the UB Solidarity Foundation , the European Observatory on Memories (EUROM) is an international network of institutions and organizations committed to the analysis and promotion of public memory policies. Created in 2012, EUROM has had the support of the European Commission’s Citizenship Europe program and currently forms a network of 50 members from 21 countries. Its main objective is to promote the reflection on the recent history of the struggle for democracy and freedom in Europe, defending the plurality of memories. Among the promoted actions are interdisciplinary research, academic and cultural activities related to the construction of collective memory and historical memory, the analysis and management of memory policies, and the promotion of the citizen’s right to use and understand commemorative heritage.

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