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Dr Natalia Maystorovich Chulio
The University of Sydney

This paper examines the opening of graves after more than 80 years of silence and institutional denials as rectifying historical record. The exhumation offers a form of post transitional justice after years of impunity, however, the activities are undertaken by civil society. Because exhumations do not receive any institutional support, they remain completely open to the public. This has established mini field schools that inform participants and the public of what happened to the disappeared and victims of the Francoist Regime. The archaeological method has allowed for a new narrative to be established as excavators work with the remnants of the past to describe what happened and who these individuals were. The interdisciplinary work of PhD candidates with civil society has further contributed to the establishment of historical record through the dissemination of their work. This paper asks can justice be achieved in rectifying historical record within local communities or does it merely produce localised effects?

Natalia Maystorovich Chulio recently awarded her PhD and works in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney. Her research interests include humanitarian and human rights law; transitional justice; the archaeological recovery of mass graves; and the capacity of social movements to elicit social, political and legal change as they seek justice for victims. Her focus is on socio-legal research and qualitative methods in an attempt to merge her political and social interests with a scholarship which may enact social change. Since 2012 she has worked with the Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica (ARMH – Association for the Recovery of Historic Memory) in an attempt to draw attention to the difficulties experienced by victims and their relatives in the recuperation of their missing.

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