Justice Prohibited

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Date: 1961

Region: Europe

Subject: Language, Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Literature


Aresti.jpg

Artist: Gabriel Aresti (1933 - 1975)

Confronting Bodies: Spanish government under dictator Francisco Franco

Date of Action: 1961

Location: Spain

Description of Artwork: Aresti wrote poems that are compared to the allusiveness and density of T.S. Elliot; also known to be full of contradictions. His work was written in Basque.

The Incident: When Franco became the dictator of Spain in 1936 he forbid the use of languages other than Castilian that were present in Spain, such as Catalan and Basque. Aresti's poetry was met with resistance for its use of the Basque language. In his book, Justice Prohibited (1961), he took a direct political stance and was promptly banned.

Results of Incident: Aresti conspired with other Basque writers in France who began creating and publishing openly in Basque. His work, which delineated from Basque songs and oral traditions, are regarded among the most influential works in Basque literature.

Source: Censorship, A World Encyclopedia, ed. D. Jones