Alumni Highlight

Oriol López-Badell
Monday, October 19, 2015
Congratulations to 2014 AHDA alumnus Oriol López-Badell for the publication of his paper "The Recovery of Memory Sites in the City of Barcelona: Discovering the Past through the New Media" as part of the book Travelling Europe: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Place and Space.
Travelling Europe: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Place and Space contains 14 papers written by postgraduate researchers from all over Europe. These researchers are working within the arts and humanities, life and environmental sciences, and social sciences. The book has been organised into five topical sections addressing the broad themes of Europeanisation, travel writing, migration histories, memory sites, and tourist destinations. As such, the collection promotes a broader discussion on travel practices and attitudes in the past, the present and into the future.
The fourth part of this book turns to remembrance tourism and the social and memorial functions of specific historical sites. López-Badell looks at the recovery of memory sites in Barcelona in connection with the Memòria Bcn project ( He examines the ways in which Spain’s historical record was silenced during turbulent points in the past. López-Badell argues that the recovery of this history is essential in order to grant dignity to otherwise forgotten people and events. Memòria Bcn is the culmination of two years of research that endeavoured to locate and catalogue the historic sites of Barcelona. The multilingual website and smart phone app enable local residents and tourists to engage with and reflect on the Spanish past in urban spaces.
López-Badell is the coordinator of the “European Observatory on Memories” project, which is supported by the University of Barcelona Solidarity Foundation. The Solidarity Foundation seeks to encourage social responsibility, to foster initiatives for defending democracy, peace and human rights, and to promote social action through various projects and community outreach. Previously, López-Badell worked as an historian and officer of international relations in the Memorial Democratic, a public institution devoted to implementing policies to recover democratic memory in Catalonia (Spain). López-Badell also coordinated the project, a website and an app for smartphones designed to disseminate information about sites of memory in the city of Barcelona. This project was led by the Knowing History Association with the support of the Spanish government and Barcelona City Hall. López-Badell is the author of Transitioning: Five Citizen Initiatives to Achieve Full Democracy, (published in Spanish and Catalan languages); and he has participated as a lecturer in conferences and workshops worldwide. He is a graduate in History and postgraduate in History and Communication from the University of Barcelona. He also followed an intensive course on Truth Commissions through the International Center for Transitional Justice.