Popular representations of history in film and television are usually viewed, in academic circles, as fanciful cultural products that either distort historical accuracy for commercial purposes or that perpetuate preconceived national narratives. Yet they can reflect and shape political debates in a more immediate way than academic history.
This conference explores how contemporary audiovisual representations of Iberian history have been produced and consumed in the Iberian Peninsula and beyond. Reel history either reflects nostalgia for a past of grandeur or rejects it as a burdensome legacy that is perceived as incompatible with modernity. But historical representations are primarily interventions on contemporary debates, such as immigration, sexual and civil rights, or cultural identity. Stories about the past tell us a lot about the present.