Spain, 2015–2016 | Azahara Cerezo
Digital Landscapes from a War revisits sites of political tension during the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) through the digital interface of Google Street View.
The war itself was fought between Republicans and Nationalists, the latter a Falangist (fascist) group led by General Francisco Franco. Although Falangism purported to be against both the political left and political right, its policies were far-right ones. When the Nationalists won, Spain began a thirty-six–year period of fascism that ended only with Franco’s death in 1975.
The project grabs images in Street View of places known for graffiti in Madrid’s University City, which was constructed during the civil war and became a location for much of the fighting.
Images in the project reveal current political tensions, sometimes appropriating the language of the civil war, such as “nazis no” (“No to Nazis”), “La Falange. Muerte al separatismo” (“The Falange: Death to Separatism”), “CNT” (Confederación Nacional del Trabajo, a worker’s union made illegal under fascism), “Rojos proetarras fuera de la Universidad” (“Get pro-ETA [Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, a Basque nationalist/separatist group] Reds out of the University”).
Slogans and pronouncements are spray painted onto walls — and sometimes later placed under erasure with spray-painted strikethrough lines.
The online platform extends an earlier project entitled Paisajes digitales de una Guerra (2015) of digital prints and projections of such three crucial sites of the civil war — Ciudad Universitaria in Madrid, Cartagena in Murcia, and Pamplona in Navarra — on Google Street View.
Azahara Cerezo graduated in Audiovisual Communication at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and completed a Master in Visual Arts and Multimedia at the Polytechnic University of Valencia. She has been in residence at 1646 (The Hague, Netherlands), Flax Art Studios (Belfast, Northern Ireland) and MoTA (Ljubljana, Slovenia), and her work has been recently exhibited at Nieuwe Vide (Haarlem, Netherlands), MACBA (Barcelona, Spain), Spielart Festival (Munich, Germany), and St. James Cavalier (Valletta, Malta).