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The "Ermua garage" moves to the University
The Miguel Ángel Blanco Foundation has donated unpublished material and documents stored since 1997 for research and knowledge dissemination at School of Communication of the academic center.
22 | 06 | 2023
The Miguel Ángel Blanco Foundation has donated to the University of Navarra 43 boxes with documents, letters and other materials that condense the expressions of solidarity generated after the kidnapping and assassination of Miguel Ángel Blanco. These are unpublished documents that have been stored in a garage in Ermua for 25 years. Researchers from the School of Communication of the academic center will analyze the file and will propose lines of work to study and disseminate the impact that the assassination had on society.
The donation was made in September 2022 and until January 2023, the University's file General has catalogued the more than 40 boxes. These contain letters from anonymous people, as well as drawings, telegrams and institutional letters; and 3 include commemorative objects of different kinds, as well as documents and some personal belongings of Miguel Ángel Blanco, such as his briefcase staff or calendars and posters of his favorite musical group "Héroes del Silencio", among others.
Charo Sádaba, dean of the School of Communication at the University of Navarra, commented that "the file is yet another test of the solidarity that the murder of Miguel Ángel Blanco generated in Spanish society. It is a responsibility and an honor for the School of Communication to guard and analyze this material, which will serve as an antidote against oblivion".
Cristina Cuesta, director of the Miguel Ángel Blanco Foundation, said: "We have found the ideal place to make a dream come true: that the report of Miguel Ángel Blanco, his social, ethical and political significance, overcome oblivion and continue to inspire new generations. Preserving what we learned together those indelible days of July 1997 and being able to share it with society is a goal that is beginning to be fulfilled in a solvent way".
"The kidnapping and murder of Miguel Ángel Blanco in 1997 constitutes one of those essential events for the configuration of the collective report : the vast majority of citizens who lived through it remember where he was or what he was doing when he was killed," said María Jiménez, principal investigator of project. "This is a file of pain, but when we finish the research we are likely to realize that this is also a file of hope, of social mobilization and civic engagement that condenses a very specific, but decisive moment in our recent history."
"It is often said that the assassination of Miguel Angel Blanco changed history and this file is the collective yet individual reflection of that change. Each of the letters and messages show that the kidnapping and assassination of Miguel Angel reached the deepest part of many people, that it influenced their perception of terrorism, that it led them to mobilize in public and to cry in private. The letters reflect that nothing was ever the same again", says María Jiménez, who has already been able to review some of the material from file, unpublished until now. "This file also reinforces our conviction that Miguel Ángel Blanco is a memorial reference in Spain. His figure constitutes a point of collective meeting and in a context of growing polarization, establishing links and spaces of concord can help to counteract radical discourses. Likewise, the dissemination of the contents of file can contribute to counteract the lack of knowledge and make the story of Miguel Ángel Blanco a door from which young people can look at history".
The research team has designed a two-year project which, for the time being, is financed by the Fundación Víctimas del Terrorismo, after competing in its national call for grants. The University's file General, once the classification phase is completed, will begin a process of digitization and cataloguing. And from the School of Communication will begin the phases of research and knowledge dissemination.
25 years since the assassination of Miguel Angel Blanco
July 13 marked the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Miguel Angel Blanco by the terrorist organization ETA. His kidnapping and assassination had a great impact on society, which mobilized massively and set the instructions of what would later be known as "the spirit of Ermua".
The donation of this file is the culmination of the anniversary, a project that will address the expressions of affection and solidarity that the Blanco Garrido family received from anonymous people from all over Spain.
Narrative, violence and report
The group of research Narrative, violence and report will be in charge of the classification and the research of the materials of the file. It is an interdisciplinary group whose goal is to investigate the testimonies of victims, the representation of violence and speech of hate and radicalization and the construction of report.
The incorporation of this file to the University and, with it, the beginning of a project of research of the School of Communication, adds one more line in the work that, for more than a decade, professors and researchers of the School of Communication and, also now, of the group of research "Narratives, violence and report".