“The vast majority of the vestiges of war that have survived to this day have suffered decades of neglect and remain unmarked. We intend to generate interest and that anyone can know where they are, can locate them and obtain information about them. With this, we also hope that awareness of this valuable heritage will be raised a little ”. This is how historian Daniel Rodríguez summarizes the main objectives of the application that he has just launched on the market together with the computer programmer José Ignacio Naranjo, the true architect of the idea. An idea that arises, to a large extent, due to the scarcity of initiatives promoted by the public powers to safeguard these vestiges and spread their story: “We have not had any kind of institutional help – points out Rodríguez -, it is a project worked from below, for the two of us and for which we now want to have the collaboration of users ”.
The app, baptized with the name “Vestiges of the civil war”, can now be downloaded free of charge, for the moment on the Android system and in about a month on iOS. Its handling is very intuitive and it has several sections: latest news on issues related to the war, photographs … However, its strength and its true reason for being can be found on the interactive map where the remains of the war are geolocated. . The application uses the GPS of mobile phones, showing the user the closest vestiges to their location, but it also allows them to navigate the entire map of Spain to explore any area. At this moment it already has dozens of locations: bunkers, trenches, machine gun nests, barracks … Each of them has a brief description and, in many cases, current photographs. The app It also has a tab (“1936/1939”) with historical images that, wherever possible, allow the user to see how the place was during the war.
Social networks and applications against historical forgetfulness
Its creators hope that the content will grow exponentially thanks to the contributions that users make: “We believe that more than half of its potential lies in the people who use it. We encourage everyone to add that vestige they know near their home, in their neighborhood, in their city, in their town ”. Providing information is very easy. Simply register in the application, navigate the map and indicate the location of the place you want to include. Finally, the application allows the user to add photographs and an explanation of the vestige in question.
Rodríguez and Naranjo are aware that their app those who resist looking to our most recent past will not like it. For this reason, they will monitor each and every one of these collaborations before they are visible to other users and they are also prepared for the possibility of computer attacks. Even so, they clarify that it is not specifically an application on Franco’s repression: “Initially we want to limit it to the war period. However, many of the places of repression of the dictatorship have their origins in those moments, so many of them will appear. For example, the Soria concentration camp located in the Santa Bárbara barracks; a building that very few people know was used as a field ”.
This application is not the first initiative launched by Daniel Rodríguez to disseminate historical events through new technologies. At the end of 2017, he launched the profile “Guerra Civil en tuit” (@Guerra_Civil_) on Twitter, which has about 40,000 followers, from which he continues to relate the main events that occurred during the war. Each day summarizes what happened on the same day of the same month, eight decades ago. Now this app It is for him a new step on his path as a popularizer: “As a historian, if you want to do a good informative job, you have to adapt to the medium, in this case computers and mobile phones. I am convinced that it is the way to reach today’s society, not only to young people, because the vast majority of people use social networks and applications constantly in their lives. I even think this app it could be a great pedagogical and cultural tool ”.