Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Romance Languages

First Advisor

Luis Moreno-Caballud


This dissertation proposes a counter-history of the transitional period from Franco’s dictatorship (1939-1975) to democracy through the analysis of Barcelona’s urban peripheries and its cultural production, to deconstruct the widely shared paradigm of rupture, progress, and modernity. The collective memory of Barcelona’s urban peripheries conveyed by the presented marginal archive contests the official historical discourse mobilized by the transition and its consensus, visualizing the continuity among both periods and its systematic violence, silenced by a common celebratory discourse of capitalist modernization.

Through intense archival research and built upon cultural, urban and memory studies, the dissertation focuses on three particular cases. The first chapter explores the Colectivo Cine de Clase (1970-1977), a barely known Catalan militant film collective. Through the examination of its production and other hegemonic filmic representations, I explore the articulation and subalternization of the rural subject, as well as Francoist economic modernization, the “interior colonization” of the rural areas, and the mass migration to the cities. The second chapter analyses the fanzine La Cabra (1983-1987), produced by a punk collective of young people in Nou Barris, and offers a different reading about the era known as the “Desencanto” [disenchantment]. Conceived in the main scholarly literature as a period marked by forgetting and collective demobilization, I contend that this reading was articulated after the period and by only relying on hegemonic official narratives and on the canonic archive. A more accurate approximation to its marginal archive shows strongly politicized communities that actively criticized and fought the systemic violence and repression of the democratic period. Finally, the third chapter analyses the Besós popular revolt (1990). The Olympic Games of 1992, celebrated as the definitive advent of Spain’s modernity, mobilized a neoliberal reconversion of Barcelona and the erasure and displacement of communities considered conflictive. The hegemonic memory of the period was contested by collectives such as NO’92 and autonomous popular movements in the urban peripheries such as the Besós revolt.

Thus, the peripheral archive presented in this dissertation challenges hegemonic peninsular historical readings, vindicating a collective memory to which attention must be paid for a better comprehension of the past.


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