A record of remembrance during lockdown

Post date: 20/04/2021

IBMT Film Coordinator Marshall Mateer gives an update on the ‘Remembering in a Time of Lockdown’ project, which can be viewed on the IBMT’s Flickr page here.

Members and supporters send in photos of their raised fist sculptures.

In July last year a small group gathered – socially distanced – at the national memorial in Jubilee Gardens in London. As Jeremy Corbyn spoke to the camera in a near-deserted Jubilee Gardens, I uploaded a short video as a personal act of remembrance on the International Brigade Memorial Trust’s Flickr page. Later I noticed several other IBMT members had made similar posts on their Facebook pages: a posy of flowers in Republican colours from Jane Bernal in London; a poem by Edwin Rolfe from Nancy Wallach in New York; messages and images of past commemorations from Dublin and Sydney by Manus O'Riordan and Sylvia Martin; and on Twitter a message of support from Almudena Cros of our Spanish sister-organisation AABI.

From these ideas developed the IBMT’s 'Remembering in a Time of Lockdown' project. It is made up of photomontages on the IBMT Flickr accompanied by statements, stories, other images and information. There are now forty pages from events around the world: Spain, Belgium, Poland, Germany, Croatia and several pages from Spain. They come from sister organisations and from individuals and there have been more than 20,000 views.

The latest pages include, the recent commemoration at Tarancón and last September's online event from San Francisco and events across Canada.

People have remembered in many different ways: a raised fist sculpted in wood as a birthday present, memories of 1930s Manchester, a newly discovered grave stone, memorials discovered during a holiday, a memory in Stockholm of a visit to Belgium several years before, a short video about the new mural to refugees in Gernika, a poem from Middlesbrough, a photograph of a friend who died during the year.

Sometimes events have had to be postponed; such as the unveiling of a new plaque in Hamburg, socially distanced events in Scotland and the Soviet memorial in London.

In Britain and Ireland many of us are involved in setting up new memorials. In Perušić, Croatia, they fear that their memorial may be removed and dumped without respect or ceremony. In Poland young people in face masks took to the streets to remember the International Brigades and stand against fascism, despite the pressures against them.

The 'Remembering in a Time of Lockdown' project will continue until the pandemic eases. It is no surprise that the pandemic did not hinder our desire to reflect on time past, on commemorations today and the importance of remembering the International Brigades, and what they represented, in the future. It seems we may have gained in steadfastness to our purpose and found new ways of sharing with each other and reaching out to those beyond our International Brigade supporter community. La lucha continúa.

To discuss the project or contribute stories please contact:


Posted on 20 April 2021.

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