The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 10, No 3 (2022)

The humour factor: social media reactions to Franco’s exhumation from the Valley of the Fallen

Matilde Eiroa


This article analyses the social reaction to Francisco Franco’s exhumation from his burial place in the Valley of the Fallen at the end of 2019. This decision was taken by virtue of compliance with the so-called Historical Memory Law approved in 2007 and generated a great social debate. Apart from opinions in favour and against that decision coming from the political spectrum of the left and right, respectively, we observed a new attitude, that of humour, present in tweets and memes. By analyzing a collection of memes that circulated in Twitter and WhatsApp groups, our research shows that the new media have brought in content and symbolism that ridicule the late dictator, trivialise the treatment given to the “Caudillo” [Leader] of Spain for nearly four decades and contribute to an uninhibited interpretation of memory policies.



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