Process for transforming of the prison La Model into a Culture and Memory Space

Participatory process

There is no doubt that one of the projects with greater attitude and deepest  impact carried out in the coming years in Barcelona is the transformation of the  prison La Model prison into a public space with mixed-use facilities. The Neighbours’ Association of Esquerra de l’Eixample, together with other actors  involved in the transformation process and the City Council of Barcelona agreed upon a recently published plan that includes an interesting perspective regarding the valuation of the city’s heritage while defending the panopticon structure of the building and its adaptability to new public uses. The plan shows a clear will to maintain the democratic memory of our country through a memorial space located in the 4th floor Gallery, in which the artist Helios Gómez painted the fresco of the so-called Gipsy Chapel  while he was imprisoned (1948-1954), right next to the death-row cells.

It is within this context that the European Observatory on Memories (EUROM) and the research group CrPOLIS of the University of Barcelona suggest the creation of call for a participation process and integrated management to transform a part of the prison into a space of Culture and Memorial. All  groups are interested in interdisciplinary work regarding the socialisation of democratic memory, and they also all have relevant experience in memorial project management. For this reason, it is in the groups’ nature to back this cross-cutting approach –open to sensitivities from many different perspectives–, which should grow steadily until the joint development of a comprehensive plan.

Board of Experts: Jordi Guixé, Antoni Remesar, Núria Ricart, Jordi Borja, Josep Maria Muntaner, Zaida Muixi, Horst Hoheisel, Stephanie Hendlich, Pedro Brandao, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Fernando Hernandez, Jordi Henrich, Kristina Norman, Valentina Rozas, Francesc Torres.

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