Online hitzaldia: Doing research in Euskadi from a feminist perspective: collective memory and Basque women

08 Aza 2023

Malena R. Maceira is a Ph.D. researcher at the Basque Institute of Criminology (IVAC - KREI) at the University of the Basque Country. Malena graduated from the University of Buenos Aires as a criminal lawyer and she holds a degree of M.A. in Sociology of Law from the International Institute of Sociology of Law, Oñati, Basque Country. She has developed her professional path at the Public Prosecution’s Office since 2015 investigating crimes related to tax evasion, money laundering, and drug smuggling. 


This work aims to reflect how women of the Basque Country build memories. In particular, I am interested in the social group identified as "women victims of torture" in contexts of political violence suffered between the Transitional period that started in 1975 –after Francoism- to the present. In order to do so, the research design will require gathering the judges’ rulings of judicial processes initiated for claims on torture suffered –or not- by all women in the Basque Country between 1975 and the present. Among the judges’ rulings, I seek to identify how justice identifies an “objective fact” and how judges process that information. These facts will be observed from the counterpoint offered by the social groups constituted by women victims who build their counter-memory.

From a feminist epistemological perspective intersecting with the theoretical framework produced by memory studies scholars, I ask: Who are the women who denounce torture? How is the subject "woman victim of institutional torture" produced in the judicial process? How do these women victims (re)construct collective memories? What does the construction of alternative memories on the part of women respond to? How do judges produce or participate actively in the construction of memories? 

This perspective will allow me to observe if and in which way power relations exist in the practices associated with the construction of hegemonic and counter-memories and how they are resisted by Basque women. The recognition and understanding that a phenomenon such as institutional violence can affect a social group in such a way that it has to create a new counter-hegemonic discourse will allow the pacification process that Basque society is going through to be more inclusive.