• Anonymous, Prisión Provincial Femenina de Mallorca, September 24, 1940-41, Palma de Mallorca [from the book David Ginard Ferón. 'Matilde Landa. De la Institución Libre de enseñanza a...']
Anonymous, Prisión Provincial Femenina de Mallorca, September 24, 1940-41, Palma de Mallorca [from the book David Ginard Ferón. 'Matilde Landa. De la Institución Libre de enseñanza a...']


This project is promoted by Es Baluard and arises to open the museum to the city and collaborate with the immediate environment, in this case the neighboring library Can Sales and especially after knowing the work of Natxa Pomar (Palma, 1988). This artist made an art work about the mass graves of the Spanish Civil War in Mallorca, and the museum so proposed her to extend its work to Can Sales, a place where History is strong exponent of how women in extreme situations ended up being the innocent victims of the relationship of oppressor and oppressed, of how each individual story is the mirror of similar situations that are cloned and multiplied over time and global.
In November 1936, the old asylum of the Hermanitas de los Pobres was converted in the Provincial Women's Prison Mallorca due to the need to improvise new prison spaces. The building, now gone, was located in Can Sales street number 14 in Palma, just behind the current library.
During the war, the number of prisoner women hovered around one hundred. Some were in condition of 'hostage' until their parents, husbands, brothers and even sons were located. Others, like Aurora Picornell (‘La Pasionaria mallorquina' who was shot on January 6, 1937 along with four other women) or Maria Vaquer, for outstanding political activism. The people of that time and the own prisoners knew that place by the name of "Las Hermanitas", a reference to the old asylum of the las Hermanitas de los Pobres.
In mid- 1940, the Hermanitas de la Caridad took over the organization of the prison, which meant a strengthening of discipline and increasing of the evangelizing pression. This coincided with the conversion of Can Sales in central or compliance-sentence prison, so that hundreds of prisoners from different parts of the islands and the mainland were transferred to Palma. Mallorca was seen as a distant place to exile and punishment. In a few months they came to live about a thousand prisoners, thus living conditions worsened dramatically. Among the prisoners from the Peninsula were the Fifth Regiment of the comissioner of the legendary 5º regimiento, Julia Manzanar, (‘Comisario Chico'), or the Communist leader Matilde Landa, who in 1942 committed suicide in prison, pressured by the Franco authorities to convert to the Catholic faith. Can Sales was closed in September 1943, and women prisoners were transferred to other centers or released.
The Natxa Pomar project will rotate on three axes: the recovery of memory, collective participation and dissection of a traumatic history in order to generate a universal reflection. This artistic intervention in the current library Can Sales, right in front of the old building of Las Hermanitas aims to give a voice to women imprisoned during those years, through their letters, perceptions and oral reports. As it happens in Matilde Landa's letters to his daughter, "Carmencilla" from Palma prison, using pseudonyms and metaphors to avoid censorship.

Curator: Nekane Aramburu


  • Video-installation: March 5, 2014 at 7.30 pm. Exterior of the Biblioteca Pública de Palma "Can Sales".
  • Panel discussion: March 5, 2014 at 8 pm. Es Baluard's auditorium. With: David Ginard (author of the book Matide Landa. De la Institución Libre de Enseñanza a las prisiones franquistas. Ediciones Flor del Viento, Barcelona, 2005); Magadalena Nebot Vaquer (daughter of one of the prisoners of Prisión Provincial de Femenina de Mallorca); Natxa Pomar (artist and author of this project); Nekane Aramburu (Es Baluard's director and curator of this project).
  • Research Area and Installation: From March 6 to April 6. Biblioteca Pública de Palma "Can Sales".
  • View of the Las Hermanitas projectFrom March 6 to April 6. Es Baluard.
5th March 2014 → 6th April 2014