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TopobioGraphies of the Catalan exile is a collaborative tool to raise awareness and spread knowledge on our history and contemporary culture. The TopobioGraphies of the Catalan exile site is open to everyone, invites participation and is constantly growing thanks to the wide range of contributions in the form of new life and literary stories relating to the Catalans exiled in 1939. It offers the possibility for any user to add the information and documentation they have access to through the integration of web applications on the new site (a mash-up of Google Maps and YouTube, alongside other new functionalities).

The personal and cultural journeys found on TopobioGraphies of the Catalan exile allow us to “ground” and thus get a better idea of the men and women who were unfortunate enough to have to flee their homeland seventy years ago. It presents their lives from a different perspective that asks new questions: had all these men and women really never contemplated having to live far from home? How did they manage to get away, to get from one place to the next with hardly any money? And what about everything they left behind? What forms of solidarity allowed such a large number of exiles to set up home in countries so far away and culturally different? What did these men and women think about their host countries and what did they do in these new settings?

Thanks to the university’s commitment to society, the seventieth anniversary of the start of the Catalan exile is to be commemorated with an invitation to accompany the exiled on their journeys through life, to find out more about the literary work they wrote in these new countries and, if you have a story about their lives you wish to share, to join forces with the collaborators who collectively create these TopobioGraphies of the Catalan exile. To do so, you just need to sign up as a user of the site, identify yourselves with your name and email and create the personal itinerary for an exile or a new cultural itinerary (for a book that talks about the subject of exile and reflects their views on their host country). Once validated by an administrator to ensure the level of quality of the documentation and the seriousness and veracity of the information, the itinerary is published to the website with your signature and you will become a new collaborator on TopobioGraphies of the Catalan exile.

Teresa Fèrriz Roure

Barcelona, March 2009

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