Tag: gfa

A Dance for the Republic (and other uses for blogs)


So one day way back last summer, my friend Pep tells me about this book he’s recently published, Un ball per la República, which is the story of the Spanish Civil War and the Republic in the village of Alcampell where he grew up. And so we get talking and I ask if he’s going to do an English version, but he says it’s impossible because it’s published by a small Catalan publisher, and I suggest blogging about the book and, you know, making it more than a “book”, with hyperlinks and maps & photos and all the sorts of stuff that a small publisher can’t afford to do, even if they had the vision. Pep loved the idea and A Dance for the Republic was born.

I’m sure “the author” will excuse me for saying that he had a very linear & chronological approach to writing and it took him a few meetings to get his read around the idea of using the blog structure as a platform, the use of categories etc. Check it out if you’re at all interested in the subject matter or how an “online book” can work.


Ricard Espelt is well known to visitors of this blog for both his role as councillor for new technology in the village of Copons, as well as interviews & posts for TalkingAbout. Right now Ricard is doing a Phd on technology & rural communities and I’ve been helping him a little on his English language blog which he describes as:

“This blog is a platform to communicate with the rural communities and develop a research space for my Phd. My intention is to  use this blog to help my Personal Learning Environment to find more connections and more dialogues with the rural-local researchers.”

So here we have blog repurposed as a publicly available academic research document and communication vehicle. Check it out here


[gfa] is the working title of a blog which we are using to document the investigation into the fascinating and obscure of life of Ana’s grandfather, Gerardo Fernández Agüadero. Read the post about it here or go to the blog itself

[gfa] A story worth telling


When I first met Ana, she didn't tell me that both of her grandfathers had been in prison after the civil war in Spain. That's understandable, but when I first visited her parents place, there was a framed yellowing newspaper article on the wall which was unavoidable. And it spoke of her grandfather, of his time in a dungeon in Venezuela, and then the rest of the story came out. More or less. Because there are an incredible amount of contradictions in the story, but it is a story well worth telling. So after many years, and false starts, we've begun investigating, and now we have the tools to tell thae story as we go along.

Here's the introduction Ana has written on the "project" blog:

Tenemos una tendencia a mejorar nuestros recuerdos, a cambiar los hechos a nuestra conveniencia, no es mal intencionado pero cuando hablamos de un pariente explicamos nuestra versión, y no nos preocupa, demasiado, la veracidad. Si le queremos solo explicamos las cosas buenas y sino ya sabemos que hacemos…

Me gusta escuchar a mis padres explicar historias de nuestra familia, pero como los dos son hijos únicos acaban pronto. Pero hay una historia que siempre ha captado mi interés, la vida de mi abuelo paterno, un hombre que siendo muy joven emigró a América, que estuvo diez años en una mazmorra venezolana, que salió de esta porque le dieron por muerto y le tiraron a los cocodrilos, que le robaron su fortuna, que regresó a España, que lo encarcelaron durante tres años al final de la Guerra Civil , que contrajo matrimonio en artículo mortis, y que como él dijo en una entrevista: "lo que no pude desde entonces es huir de aquel recuerdo…, huir de mí…"

Mi interés por saber qué sucedió, dónde ocurrió y por qué, me ha llevado hasta aquí.


We have a tendency to improve our memories, to change the facts to our liking, it is not malicious but when we speak of a relative we explain our version, we are not  too concerned about the truth. If we liked the person we just explain the good things and if not, well, you know …

I like listening to my parents tell stories of our family, but as both are only children the stories end soon. But there is a story that has always captured my interest, the life of my grandfather, who as a very young man emigrated to America, spent ten years in a dungeon in Venezuela, who came out of this because he was thought  dead and thrown to crocodiles, who had his fortune stolen, who returned to Spain, was imprisoned for three years at the end of the Civil War, who married in articulo mortis on his deathbed, and as he said in an interview, "what I could not do from then on was escape this memory… run from myself …"

My interest in knowing what happened, where it happened and why has led me here.