Heritage and colonial memory in Barcelona
  • This webinar aims to give voice to the diversity of colonial memories of America, Africa, and Asia that are present in Barcelona taking as a starting point the monument to Columbus: for some, a source of shame recalling a colonial past that has not been discussed; for others a part of the immovable heritage of a great city;
  • Organized at the initiative of the Council for Democratic Memory of Barcelona, it will gather  18 experts and activists in six roundtables to address colonial and decolonial memories in the city’s heritage and urban space;
  • The relations of Africa and Latin America with Europe will be highlighted in a dialogue between Mbuyi Kabunda and Caroline Silveira Bauer, while José Luis Villacañas will discuss conceptual precisions on the so-called Spanish empire;
  • All sessions will be live broadcasted on our Youtube channel .


Click the image to download the full programme | Feu clic a l’imatge per descarregar el programa complet | Haga clic en la imagen para descargar el programa completo

Cover image: performance and pictures by Marcia X


Today, the presence of the colonial past, its traces and its consequences are keenly felt in the public, political and academic debate. The violence of colonialism, the political, economic and cultural subordination of the colonies, the public exaltation of these processes in the old centres of power and the structural marginality that colonial peoples have suffered (and still suffer today) have given rise to protest movements and activism all over the world, the most prominent of which is #BlackLivesMatter. With the iconoclastic attacks on statues, the debates over their maintenance or their possible resignification, the activist, political and academic worlds have positioned themselves and have generated an energetic debate that is expected to grow even more intense in the coming decades.

This international webinar aims to bring these debates closer to home. Barcelona is a city that was also a colonial metropolis. We can trace this legacy through its historical centres of power and its public spaces, but also in the migratory flows from the global south, the socio-economic structures of our society, racism, and the political neglect of the situation of immigrants and ethnic minorities.

The tables have been organized as a forum for debate, a space for looking at the past with the desire to transform the present. It also intends to give a voice to the diverse colonial memories of America, Africa and Asia. And in the centre, the monument to Columbus: for some, a source of shame recalling a colonial past that has not been discussed; for others a part of the immovable heritage of a great city.

Please contact Dr. Celeste Muñoz for registration. Simultaneous translation (English and Spanish) will be available for those attending the webinar.

Live streaming will be available both in the original version of the webinar and with English simultaneous translation.


Tuesday, December 1

17:00 – 17:15
Opening session

Jordi Guixé, director of EUROM
Montserrat Iniesta, director of El Born CCM
Jordi Rabassa, Councilor for Democratic Memory of Barcelona City Council

17:15 – 18:45
Colonial and slave memories. An international view

Presented and moderated by Oriol López, EUROM project coordinator

Editing the past: What corrective measure for colonialism in an urban space
Ana Milosevic, University of Leuven

The living ashes of Portuguese colonialism
Miguel Cardina, Center for Social Studies, University of Coimbra

EU External Cultural Action: decolonizing the praxis?
Alexandra Gil and Celia Zayas, Culture Solutions

19:00 – 20:30
America and Africa, their relations with Europe.

Presented and moderated by Paula Guerra, former president of SOS Racism Madrid and antiracist activist

Mbuyi Kabunda, the Autonomous University of Madrid and member of the International Institute of Human Rights of Strasbourg

Caroline Silveira Bauer, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), founder of the Laboratory of Studies on the Political Uses of the Past (Luppa)


Wednesday, December 2

17:00 – 18:30
Forgotten memories of colonial Barcelona

Presented and moderated by Celeste Muñoz, Professor of African History at the University of Barcelona

Barcelona, ​​Catalonia, Spain and the African colonial divide
Alberto López Bargados, University of Barcelona

The Philippines, the Mariana Islands, and the Spanish colonial legacy from the present
Verónica Peña Filiu, Pompeu Fabra University

Decolonial activism and migration in today’s Barcelona
Norma Véliz Torresano, an activist for the rights of migrants, member of Mujeres Unidas Entre Tierras

18:45 – 20:15
Decolonize and rethink heritage

Presented and moderated by Xavier Roigè, professor of museology and heritage intervention at the University of Barcelona

Outside in inside out: negotiating decoloniality at museums ’threshold
Chiara de Cesari, University of Amsterdam

Equatorial Guinea, the complex dialectic between plunder and restitution
Gustau Nerín, University of Barcelona.

The misappropriation of indigenous designs and symbols in Latin America, a new form of colonialism?
Mónica Martínez Mauri, University of Barcelona


Thursday, December 3

17:00 – 18:30
Columbus: Conquest and Colonization of America. The struggle of the story

Presented and moderated by Marta Nin, director of Casa América Catalunya

Columbus and the pseudohistory of Catalonia
Stefano M. Cingolani, Sapienza University of Rome and co-author of Pseudo-history against Catalonia.

On the so-called Spanish empire: some conceptual precisions
José Luís Villacañas, Complutense University of Madrid.

From celebration to vindication. October 12, a key date in Latin America
Cielo Zaidenwerg, University of Barcelona

18:45 – 20:15
Columbus under debate: memory, public space, and heritage

Presented and moderated by Núria Ricart, professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Barcelona.

The monument to Columbus: between memory and heritage, the party of history
Stéphane Michonneau, University of Lille

Urban symbolic polysemy. The monuments of Barcelona
Jose Mansilla, Observatory of Anthropology of Urban Conflict (OACU)

Heritage and conflict. The living vestiges of colonial Barcelona under debate
Laida Memba, architect and researcher (Patrimonio Guinea 2020)


Share This
Skip to content