Santi Palacios

Photographer
  
RAMBLAS AFTERMATH
Public Story
RAMBLAS AFTERMATH
Credits: santi palacios
Updated: 10/03/20
Location: barcelona, spain
Barcelona, Spain | 2017

On the afternoon of 17 August, a van attacked the crowd walking along the emblematic Ramblas promenade in Barcelona, leaving fifteen dead and more than a hundred injured, with victims of 34 different nationalities. It was the worst terrorist attack on Spanish soil in thirteen years. On the days that followed, in a city mourning the tragedy, thousands of people left messages, flowers, candles and other objects at the scene of the massacre to pay homage to the victims and express their rejection of terrorism. The 500 metres of pavement where the attack took place became an immense, spontaneous memorial that, for twelve days, did not stop growing. "Islam is peace", "We are not afraid" and "No crashes or bombings. Peace right now” were some of the messages that could be read in numerous languages and on various mediums (postcards, photographs, papers and even written with chalk on the pavement) along the entire trajectory that the van drove. Along with the messages, thousands of objects were placed: plush toys, shirts, balloons, flags, paintings, and more. The tributes left on those days represented more than a show of solidarity— together, they allowed for us to shape the way in which large part of society responded to a moment that would leave its mark on Spain’s history.  

Twelve days after the attack, the cleaning teams of the Barcelona City Council carefully disassembled this huge memorial so that the Ramblas promenade could get back to normal, where today there are no visible signs of the attack. A total of more than 5,000 objects, twenty-seven boxes of documents, hundreds of bouquets and thousands of candles were removed. Where were these tributes being taken? Aware of the historical and sociological value of these documents and objects, the Barcelona City Council undertook the colossal task of cleaning, selecting and archiving them so that they could be part of the historical record of the city. Fifteen technicians, historians and municipal restorers have been working since September on the cleaning and classification of the tributes in a project that will last for several months, until all of them are inventoried and digitised. In one of the rooms of the Museum of History of Barcelona, half a dozen experts are working at a large table located in front of several shelves of amphoras. The team, more used to handling historical pieces than plush toys and t-shirts, selects, cleans, photographs and classifies each of the objects. The documents, on the other hand, are being handled by professionals from the city’s Municipal Archive. Surrounded by boxes and donning white coats and gloves, several restorers carefully remove the dirt and wax from each one before cataloguing them.    

The work of these experts will last for several months. The final goal is to build a record: once digitised, the objects that embody the mourning of an entire city will be uploaded to a digital archive serving as the basis for study, while also being a testimony for future generations of the social reaction to the attack that this year shook Barcelona to its core. 

Text by Maribel Izcue    
170

Also by Santi Palacios —

VISUAL STORY

SENIORS IN SOLITUDE

By Santi Palacios — Barcelona, Spain I 2020 What happens when you can’t say goodbye? What do you do when that inevitable..
VISUAL STORY

PUBLISHED

By Santi Palacios
VISUAL STORY

ASTRAL

By Santi Palacios / SABRATHA — SAR zone, off the Libyan coast | 2016 The clandestine sea route that separates Libya from Italy is the most..
VISUAL STORY

WAHED

By Santi Palacios — Morocco, Spain | 2014 In 2014, three years after the beginning of the Syrian Civil War, the UN Agency for..
VISUAL STORY

FROZEN MAIDAN

By Santi Palacios / KIEV — Kiev, Ukraine |  2014 As January 2014 drew to a close, any expectation of a forthcoming end to the..
VISUAL STORY

CLANDESTINE BOARDING

By Santi Palacios / MELILLA — Melilla, Spain | 2013   Dozens of children and teenagers, mostly from Morocco but including some from..
VISUAL STORY

IN THE ABODE OF CLOUDS

By Santi Palacios / Meghalaya — Meghalaya, India I 2019 Clouds envelop everything in Mawsynram, a remote village in the state of Meghalaya,..
VISUAL STORY

KYIVSKYI DISTRICT

By Santi Palacios / DONETSK — Donetsk, Ukraine | 2015 The Kyivskyi District, one the neighbourhoods nearest the Donetsk International..
VISUAL STORY

EN ROUTE

By Santi Palacios / munich — Spain, France and Germany | 2009 On a cold Monday in January, Cesar set off on his usual route. He was..
VISUAL STORY

THE FENCE

By Santi Palacios / MELILLA — Morocco and Spain | 2014  Melilla is a Spanish enclave of only 12.5 km² located in the North of..
VISUAL STORY

CAPTAIN ELIAS

By Santi Palacios / KOS — Kos, Greece | 2015   Thousands of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries..
VISUAL STORY

NEWSROOM

By Santi Palacios
VISUAL STORY

MISTRAL

By Santi Palacios / tripoli — Central Mediterranean sea, off the Libyan coast | 2018 In January 2018 a rescue team set off for mission..
VISUAL STORY

SAR ZONE

By Santi Palacios / TRIPOLI — Central Mediterranean sea, off the Libyan coast I 2017   On July 25 we awoke to rough seas in the..
VISUAL STORY

EUROPEAN DREAM

By Santi Palacios — Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary | 2015 In 2015 more than a million people risked their lives by..
VISUAL STORY

PUBLISHED

By Santi Palacios
VISUAL STORY

DELHI HILLS

By Santi Palacios — Delhi, India I 2018   The Ghazipur landfill is located in East Delhi, almost on the border with the..
VISUAL STORY

OBRAJES

By Santi Palacios / la paz — La Paz, Bolivia | 2013 450 women and 200 children live in a former convent built in the early nineteenth..
VISUAL STORY

LEFT BEHIND

By Santi Palacios / lesbos — Lesbos, Greece | 2015 Migrants arrive by the hundreds on the beaches of the Greek island of Lesbos. And in..
VISUAL STORY

SHORT CUT

By Santi Palacios / METRO MANILA — Metro Manila, Philippines | 2017   Since Rodrigo Duterte came to power in the Philippines in June..
VISUAL STORY

GOLFO AZZURRO

By Santi Palacios / lampedusa — Italy, Malta, off the Libyan coast | 2017 Between February and March 2017, a team from the Spanish NGO..
VISUAL STORY

HOME

By Santi Palacios
VISUAL STORY

SINGLES

By Santi Palacios
VISUAL STORY

PANCHON TEAM

By Santi Palacios / navotas — Navotas, Philippines | 2017   Navotas is one of the seventeen districts of Metro Manila, a humid and..
Join us
for more access