The so-called “Spanish transition to democracy” was a time of uncertainty and political turmoil in which the Spanish people looked forward, but also a period in which they had to deal with the effects of the strong socio-economic changes experienced during the dictatorship. Questions about areas rapidly transformed by Franco’s “desarrollismo” emerged, particularly about the rural world, which had suffered a severe depopulation and a significant dislocation of its cultural identity. The artistic circles of the transition period began to take interest in the fate of this fragile world: Spanish artists collected testimonies of rural hardship and survival, satirized the maladjustment of migrant villagers to the cities, and wrote novels recreating oral legends told by old peasants.
This dissertation studies such cultural interventions in a moment that was not only decisive for the creation of parliamentary democracy in Spain, but also for the country's full entry into an industrial, urban and global consumer society. In its three chapters, it tries to assess to what extent testimonial strategies were used to account for rural marginalization or to perpetuate it, what kind of cultural translation was needed for the avant-garde to connect with the remains of popular and carnivalesque traditions, and, finally how often “realist” authors were capable of going beyond a merely idealized and mimetic understanding of collective peasant traditions.
To address these issues it is necessary to connect the stories and documentaries of artists like Ramiro Pinilla, Pilar Miró and Basilio Martín Patino with the pro-amnesty movement and the denunciation of the dictatorial legacy, the provocations of avant-garde artists such as Almodovar and Ocaña with the counter-cultural and underground cultural scene, and the realist proposals of authors like Mateo Díez, Delibes or Montxo Armendariz with emerging environmentalism and peripheral nationalisms.
These dialogues draw the map of three artistic drifts of rural culture that provided tools for the construction of the post-dictatorial present and form part of the complicated debate about how Spanish society should treat its profoundly changed pre-industrial and pre-capitalist legacy.
At the same time, this thesis exposes the trend towards a new paradigm: that of the rural world as a supposedly disappeared social area, relegated to a mythical, magical or legendary past, which can provide adequate entertainment in the new mass-media society, but that appears too distant to influence the present in any way.
|Advisor:||Loureiro, Angel G.|
|School Location:||United States -- New Jersey|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/01, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Romance literature, European history, Film studies|
|Keywords:||Contemporary Spanish film, Cultural studies, Film, Popular culture, Rural cultures, Spain, Transition to democracy|
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