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A Spaniard in Oxfordshire: The archive of Arturo and Ilsa Barea

This exhibition brings together a selection of documents from Arturo and Ilsa Barea’s archive, by researcher Eva Nieto McAvoy and a video installation by the artist Sonia Boué.

The deposit of Arturo and Ilsa Barea’s archive at the Bodleian Library closes a chapter in the life of one of the most important figures of Spanish exile in the United Kingdom. Arturo Barea arrived in England in 1938 and until his death in 1957 his life combined elements of both cultures: he published his seminal work, The Forging of a Rebel, in English, lived under the protection of Lord Faringdon in Oxfordshire, worked in the international service of the BBC under the pseudonym Juan de Castilla, participated in the cultural life of the exiles, and acquired British citizenship. He never returned to Spain. On the occasion of the deposit of the Barea archive, and coinciding with the exhibition at the Cervantes Institute in Madrid “Arturo Barea. The English window”, we wish to pay tribute to his memory as a major intellectual figure in history of Spanish exile, and to honour his ties with the United Kingdom.

This inaugural event will be an opportunity to hear talks by our expert guest speakers : Prof. Tom Buchanan (The impact of the Spanish Civil War in the United Kingdom), Dr. Nigel Townson (Life as an exile), Dr. Eva Nieto (A voice for the Americas, the talks by Arturo Barea in the BBC) and the editor Uli Rushby-Smith (Arturo Barea, a personal memory).

A production of Instituto Cervantes and IC Communication, with the collaboration of the Bodleian Library and Spanish Studies at Oxford.

Please RSVP here.


February 8, 2018
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


The Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford, OX1 3BG United Kingdom
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Full Name
Culture Department at the Instituto Cervantes in London