The 2016 AIMS Conference, titled “Mediterranean Crossroads: Spanish-Maghribi Relations in Past and Present” kicked off on Saturday May 14th at the Grand Hotel Villa de France, with three panels that cast a new light on the history and people of this region.
May 14-15, 2016 at the Legation
Submissions Deadline January 10, 2016
We are seeking participants for the 2016 AIMS Annual Conference Mediterranean Crossroads: Spanish-Maghribi Relations in Past and Present. This interdisciplinary conference will take place in Tangier, Morocco, on 14 and 15 May 2016. The aim of the conference is to reconceptualize the relations between North Africa and the Iberian peninsula during the modern era (18th-21st century). Despite the significance of this geographical nexus centered on the Strait of Gibraltar, contemporary scholarship on this pivotal topic is underdeveloped and deficient, creating absences where there should be narratives of engagement and connectivity. Some of the questions we shall be asking are: What are the various aspects of this shared relationship, what are the sources of its specificity, and how has it shaped ideas and events in the western Mediterranean historically and today? Our objective is to deploy an array of methodologies to elucidate new ways of thinking about the region as a crossroads of human activity.
All of us at TALIM are very excited to host next year’s AIMS conference May 14-15, 2016. The theme, “Mediterranean Crossroads: Spanish-Maghribi Relations in Past and Present” is perfect for Tangier! Please see attached announcement and details about participation. http://aimsnorthafrica.org/AC/ac.cfm
Ali Al Tuma of the Institute for History at Leiden University, the Netherlands, has published "Tangier, Spanish Morocco and Spain's Civil War in Dutch Diplomatic Documents" in the June 2012 issue of JNAS, The Journal of North African Studies (Vol.17:3 (2012) pp.433-453) of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS). Al Tuma has found a valuable resource in the rarely consulted archives of the former Dutch Legation in Tangier, which in its reports did not hide its distaste for Spanish "reds," as it termed the Republicans.
The following excerpts illustrate the confused and "precarious" situation in Tangier at the outset of the Civil War, which ended with Franco's victory and his later takeover of the Tangier International Zone after the fall of France in June 1940. The entire article can be obtained through the JNAS website of publisher Taylor & Francis. The excerpts (in plain text below) are presented with the permission of the author, the publisher, and the JNAS editor.
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Tangier: Spain to the north & Spanish Protectorate to the south; Spanish in the International Zone
An international territory since 1923, Tangier's neutrality was supposed to be guaranteed by "The Powers" – represented in the International Zone by the Committee of Control – in time of war, tested for the first time by the Spanish Civil War.
This was not easy, especially during the first stage of the conflict. Tangier was surrounded by the Spanish Protectorate where the military rebellion against the Republic first started and prevailed. Spanish political and diplomatic representation in Tangier was Republican, but the Spanish colony, the largest European one, was divided between Republicans (the majority) and those pro-Franco.
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Firefights over the bay of Tangier
In July 1936, seven Republican warships came to Tangier, precluded from using the Nationalist-held ports of southern Spain for refuelling.
Republican sailors had formed ‘committees’, imprisoned the officers, and asked Madrid to send leftist officers to take command. Franco requested the Mendoub (Sultan’s representative in Tangier) to prevent the ships from leaving the harbor or he would reserve the right to undertake ‘violent measures’. British and Portuguese envoys requested more ships to safeguard the city. Franco’s planes flew over Tangier from Cadiz, [and Republican] ships opened fire. ‘This happened in the immediate neighborhood of the bay in front of thousands of onlookers’. The situation was so tense that the Comité de Contrôle requested French and Italian marines to guard legations.
[Note: Shortly thereafter a British cargo ship was attacked, and the British destroyer Whitehall engaged Nationalist planes. The Republican ships left Tangier, but later submarines came into Tangier.]
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