La Rambla Memorial 17A: remembering citizen solidarityThe attack on La Rambla on 17 August rocked the entire city. In response, local residents and people from all over came together to once again reaffirm Barcelona as a city of peace, open, diverse and inclusive. To mark the first anniversary of the attack, a memorial ceremony will be held to remember the victims and the solidarity which filled the streets of the city.
Act of homage
Entitled ‘Barcelona, City of Peace. Solidarity ceremony in remembrance for the victims of the terrorist attacks on 17 August 2017’, this sombre, simple and emotive ceremony will take place in Plaça de Catalunya, with the focus being on the families of those killed and injured, with no official speeches to be made.
The city’s five municipal music schools and the Municipal Music Conservatory will be performing El cant dels ocells before the reading of a poem in each of the seven languages of the sixteen victims who died: Catalan, Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Italian and German. The poems will be read out by young people of different religions and beliefs who were taking part in an inter-faith meeting that month.
A wreath will be laid beforehand at the Joan Miró mosaic in Pla de l’Ós, the spot on La Rambla which became a symbol of the spontaneous cry of solidarity from citizens the day after the attack.
Preserving collective memory
That wave of spontaneous solidarity filled La Rambla with objects and documents in homage to the victims and in support for affected families. Over twelve thousand items were gathered, listed and stored in all. A year on, these can now be viewed on the Memorial La Rambla 17A website.
This digital archive is intended to preserve collective memory, with a browsable collection where users can see and read all of the offerings and tributes left in the street and written in the book of condolence. The site is in Catalan, Spanish and English.
The MUHBA collection centre documented around eight thousand items after the material was collected from different spots in La Rambla and organised. Specialist staff from the Museu d’Història were tasked with identifying, listing, photographing and gathering basic information on the items to then include them on the memorial website.
At the same time, the inventory, preservation and dissemination of the documents gathered from La Rambla was carried out by the Municipal Contemporary Archive. Staff specialising in restoration and conservation treated all documents to prevent their deterioration and keep them in good condition. In all, 4,654 documents were identified.