Sea of Shadows exhibition opens at Instituto Cervantes Manchester

Instituto Cervantes Manchester has announced the opening of “Sea of Shadows,” a powerful and evocative new exhibition exploring the experiences of around four thousand Basque children who were evacuated to Great Britain during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), which will run to 19th July 2024.

Sea of Shadows” sheds light on the heartbreaking decision made by Basque families to send their children into exile to protect them from the horrors of war. The exhibition showcases previously unseen photographs and archival materials documenting the lives of these young refugees in Great Britain, offering a moving testament to their resilience and fortitude.

Pedro Jesús Eusebio Cuesta, Director of Instituto Cervantes Manchester and Leeds, comments:

“This exhibition helps us to discover fundamental aspects of the history of cooperation and solidarity between the British and Spanish peoples.”

Sea of Shadows
Sea of Shadows. Photo by Rina Srabonian

In addition to commemorating the experiences of the Basque children, the exhibition fosters reflection on the enduring legacy of their stories and their impact on future generations.

Acclaimed visual artist, Judith Martínez Estrada, and poet, Alicia García-Bergua – herself a descendant of Spanish Civil War exiles – contribute original works that evoke the emotional power of intergenerational memory and the human capacity for love and resilience.

Sea of Shadows” is made possible through the collaboration of the University of Birmingham, the University of Reading, BCA’37 UK – The Basque Children on ‘37 Association UK – Intxorta 1937 Kultur Elkartea, Gernika Memoriaren Lekuko, People’s History Museum, The Salvation Army, West Glamorgan Archive Service, UKRI (Arts and Humanities Research Council), University of Southampton, Word Music Image, and Consulado General de España in Manchester.

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