Barcelona Photoblog: Heads of State Caught in Barcelona Shop During Solemn Act

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Heads of State Caught in Barcelona Shop During Solemn Act

Fidel Castro and George Bush Caganer Figures for Catalan Chrismas

Heads of state are human after all. They have to look elegant, sound clever, have good manners and an impeccable resumé perhaps, all of that creates a sort of idyllic aura that makes us forget about who they really are. We say, hey look, the president, it's the president himself, oh my God. But then come to think of it they are made of flesh and bones like you and me, and though they represent us nothing can stop them from being common mortals with disgusting needs. It is at that very moment that politics becomes just that...shit and men remain equal.

These small figures are called caganers which means someone that is in the act of, you know. It is traditional in Catalan popular culture where it is common to mock local personalities in a funny and naive way. This shop is located at carrer LLibreteria in Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter). I almost forget to mention the characters: from left to right, Fidel Castro Ruz, commander in chief; the honorable, Mr. Artur Mas i Gavarró, Catalan politician and Mr. George Walker Bush, the 43rd and current President of the United States of America.


  1. This is VERY interesting. I have always appreciated satire, used to teach it, but it is difficult to pull off successfully. I've tried to figure out what Castro is holding but can't tell, and it pains me to see our President holdong an element of war. Such sadness!

  2. These are great. While it is obvious what Castro and Bush are up to, it is difficult to tell how Gavarró is being mocked. What have they done to him?

  3. As I said they represent us but not always so well. War, for one reason or the other doesn't make sense neither does the business behind it. That is a shame. But of course it is not the people's fault although we have election days to try to fix it a little bit.
    As to Fidel, he should have some kind of weapon in his hand too, but I don't see it from this angle. It must have dropped :)

  4. Anonymous9:45 AM

    Brilliant. It is the spin, presentation, and smart clothes that so often disguises the true not-so-great deeds of these people. This is a great tradition which should go global!
    Satire is essential to be free.

    Planet Earth Daily Photo.

  5. Anonymous12:19 PM

    Nice picture of unusual figures. Never saw anything like this before.

    Abraham Lincoln
    Brookville Daily Photo

  6. Love them, love them, love them.

    Thanks for bringing them to us!

  7. Anonymous6:13 PM

    Recently, I saw a caganer of President-Elect Barack Obama in the internet. That was how I got introduced to this beautiful cultural practice of Catalonia during Christmas. The caganer is a very profound metaphor for equality. I am so impressed by the caganer as a symbol that I want to read anything about Catalonia.

    Your blog is very informative! I am really happy that there's a blog like this! I am very thankful that I found this site.


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