Thursday, September 11

V for Victory and Vote: La Diada, 300 years of honor

Estelada banner with La Merced in the background, Barcelona [enlarge]

Today September 11th Barcelona celebrates the 300th anniversary of La Diada, the day in which the city was invaded and occupied by the army of the Two Crowns, in the year that marked the end of the War of the Spanish Succession. It was a very sad day for Catalonia but at the same time an important event that has influenced its people since then. Catalans have fought for 300 years with bravery to vindicate themselves after such ignominious events, to be reborn from the ashes and defend honor. There has been a gigantic demonstration downtown where more than one million Catalans have joined to create an incredible V that stands not only for victory but also for vote, vote for the independence from Spain. The hashtag V de la Diada has become world trend topic in just 15 minutes. We must say here that although not all Catalans want the independence, a great many do, as was proven today. And in honor of the truth, from those who are not in favor of segregation, many are against the Spanish government's policy against Catalonia as well. All in all, independence or not, Catalans are sick and tired of the historical manipulation coming from the government in Madrid. On this special day, I want to share this picture of La Merced, patroness of Barcelona with a beautiful "L'Estelada Blava" (The Blue Starred Flag), the flag of Catalan independence in the foreground.

Monday, September 8

Catalan Housewife

Catalan housewife [enlarge]

I found this poster the other day at El Raval neighborhood if I remember correctly with this modern Catalan housewife in crocs and fancy earrings gazing at some point far away through the window with determination and pride. I don't know if the message was that the future looks brighter for housewives in Catalonia or that they wanted to sell more washing machines to many of them, but I get the impression that it is always the same old story that women belong in the kitchen. Maybe they just wanted to make this wall look like an open door to any odd kitchen. I leave it up to you to judge by yourselves.

Sunday, September 7

Breaking Bad T-Shirts in Gracia Quarter, Barcelona

Breaking Bad Series T-Shirt Barcelona [enlarge]

Few series have been as revolutionary as Breaking Bad, few plots have given us such huge adrenaline shots. Mr. Heisenberg or Walter White, here in this t-shirt I found displayed at a small shop in Verdi street, Gracia quarter, Barcelona, emulates some sort of Raskolnikov that debates himself between between crime and punishment, driving his family to the verge of chaos while trying to save them from financial problems. Slinging meth in Alburquerque, New Mexico, this model father diagnosed with cancer, this renown chemist, sets himself into a vertiginous journey towards the destruction of the most basic principles of humanity going from complete ingenuity to a full implication in crime that reminds me of James Cagney in the famous movie, White Heat, when he yells "Made it ma, top of the world!". I never was fond of TV series, but Breaking Bad really has left a very good impression inside me. I would gladly pay the 20 euros they charge for this breaking T-Shirt! It's a shame they decided to finish the saga with the fifth season. I want more of Los Pollos Hermanos, Walt, Pinkman and Hank. I want more of a series where the good guy is more like you and me, a mixture of good and evil, a real person.

Friday, August 29

Multiethnic Street Mural at El Raval, Barcelona

Ethnic mural in Barcelona

On one of the alleys that ends up in La Rambla del Raval, there is this beautiful mural showing the multiethnic diversity that characterizes this neighborhood in the old part of Barcelona city. Unfortunately it is hard to know who's art this is sometimes, I hope the author reads this post and give his name. It is not strange that artistic manifestations reflect reality: El Raval quarter represents 3% of Barcelona's population. There are almost 45.000 hab./km2 in this area, a figure that clearly doubles the 16.000 hab./km2 for the whole city. More than half of the inhabitants in El Raval, are immigrants. In 2012, there was an 18% increase in the number of inmigrants in Barcelona, while there was a 49% for El Raval alone. Many nationalities are represented in this part of town, but the most significant in members are Pakistán, Philippines, Bangladesh and Morocco.
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