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Igor Contreras Zubillaga (University of Huddersfield): Sounding Democracy in Post-Francoist Spain

Wednesday 24 November 2021, 4.00PM to 5:30pm

Speaker(s): Igor Contreras Zubillaga

Attend the seminar in-person, or online via zoom (Meeting ID: 998 9220 5308; Passcode: 390939).


This presentation examines how musical practices and institutions formed ways of imagining democracy in post-Francoist Spain. Drawn from my ongoing research on the participation of musical cultures in the wider social struggle to define freedom and equality for the post-Francoist era, it participates in contemporary reassessments of Spain’s democratic transition.

In recent years, researchers have begun to question the hegemonic narratives that envelop the complex process by which Spain became a democracy in the 1970s. These narratives present the transition process as one free from fissures, led intelligently and responsibly by a group of politicians who determined (from above) the models, stages and stations along the difficult road to democracy.

This version of the transition excludes other important agents of change (from below) from the political field: feminist and community movements, working class and student struggles, as well as all artistic manifestations produced and disseminated outside the channels of ‘official culture’.

About the speaker

Igor Contreras Zubillaga is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Huddersfield, UK. His research focuses on the relationship between music and politics in Francoist and post-Francoist Spain. His books include the monograph “Tant que les révolutions ressemblent à cela”. L’avant-garde musicale sous Franco (Éditions Horizons d’Attente, 2021), and the edited volumes Composing for the State: Music in Twentieth-Century Dictatorships (Routledge, 2016), À l’avant-garde ! Art et politique dans les années 1960 et 1970 (Peter Lang, 2013), and Le son des rouages. Représentations des rapports homme-machine dans la musique du 20e siècle (Éditions Delatour France, 2011).

Location: Music Department, Room D003, Sally Baldwin Buildings, Wentworth Way