State of Independence I

Street Protests in Support of Independence, Barcelona, Catalunya.

A short set of film photographs taken at various demonstrations and protest points in Barcelona over the last week. These are the result of a proposed “independence” referendum being pushed through by the regional parliament against the wishes of the central government in Madrid.

The result is a political disaster, creating ever deeper and more dangerous divides both internally in Catalunya and externally with Spain. So far the protests have largely been very peaceful, typically involving a few tens of thousands of people from diverse backgrounds. While there has been some violence, so far it has been limited to a handful of isolated extremist incidents. However, as the proposed referendum date of 1st October approaches tensions are likely to increase with the risk of a full suspension of autonomous rule in the region.

We will write more on this over the coming week.

Protest posters on Rambla de Catalunya, Barcelona. The use of English shows the intended international audience, as part of an external propaganda campaign by the independence movement to gain greater support against the Madrid government.

Street Protests in Support of Independence, Barcelona, Catalunya.

The Mossos d’ Esquadra (regional police) have been keeping a low profile, acting only when necessary for public safety (although note the camera systems monitoring the protestors). At the time of writing, Madrid is trying – unsuccessfully – to take control of the Mossos away from the Catalan government.

Street Protests in Support of Independence, Barcelona, Catalunya.

Street Protests in Support of Independence, Barcelona, Catalunya.

Street Protests in Support of Independence, Barcelona, Catalunya.

Police guard outside of government offices on Rambla de Catalunya following the arrests and subsequent protests.

All images taken with the Leica M7 and 28mm Summicron, using Ilford Delta 400 processed in ID-11. A blue filter was used to reduce contrast.

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