In an era ruled by a dictatorship, Madrid’s youth emerged as a force for democracy and resistance. In Antiauthoritarian Youth Culture in Francoist Spain (Bloomsbury Press, 2018), Louie Dean Valencia-Garcia, assistant professor of history, explores the role of young people in shaping a democratic Spain.
Valencia-Garcia describes how the punk scene in Spain spawned performances of dissent, censored literature, and comic books that influenced political thought and social action. For example, what eventually grew into the “Movida Madrileña,” a nation-wide countercultural movement, began as a small group of young Spaniards occupying public areas, subverting cultural norms and generally undermining the authoritarian government that oppressed them. Valencia-García’s book about these young people and their everyday performances of dissent illustrates how, generally speaking, anti-authoritarian culture struggles to fight back against the ideological indoctrination and dictatorship through the adoption of a “postmodern punk subculture.”
Antiauthoritarian Youth Culture in Francoist Spain offers a detailed account of this time period and the role these young people played in transitioning the country towards the modern Spanish democracy. It also offers lessons learned from the past for our time in political history today.