«Creadoras olvidadas: las Sinsombrero y Suiza» is a cultural project co-sponsored by RECEPTIO and the Swiss platform for the development of the Spanish language, art and culture Casa Cultura based in Lugano.
The project seeks to recover the memory of those Spanish women writers, artists, activists and philosophers of the generation of 1927 known as Las Sinsombrero (Women Without Hats) during their exile in Switzerland.
Las Sinsombrero were the female half of a prolific group of Spanish intellectuals in the 1920s and 1930s – a group that included Federico García Lorca, Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí.
Sadly, the contributions of these female avant-garde poets, painters and philosophers have been hit by a damnatio memoriae and they have largely been forgotten.
It's been more than 40 years since the publication of the monumental study El Exilio español de 1939, by José Luis Abellán. In these forty years there has been a slow reevaluation of the literary reputation that many Spanish male authors gained in exile. But so far no one has been concerned with analysing the role played by the exiled women writers, artists, activists and philosophers. The research intends to focus also on the host land, Switzerland, where these women found the serenity that allowed them to be highly productive.
A brief comparison of their Swiss trajectories seems an appropriate way to introduce Rosa Chacel, Ruth Velázquez, María Zambrano, Clara Campoamor, Mercé Rodoreda (who belonged to the Catalan Sabadell Group) to a wider public, and it also serves to raise a few questions about the influence of gender and nationality on the exile experience.