Another year and another “diada”. This is the national day of Catalunya and the focus of popular support for the Catalan independence movement. Catalunya is currently in a unnerving process of trying to ceed from Spain. A fragile coalition of nationalist parties are in power, with frequent conflicts
Not desperately pleased with the UK at the moment, and this short narrative explains something of that. I hope that I am wrong.
I took the above photograph on a very damp and windy ferry while in the UK last week. Suddenly it seems very appropriate.
Today Britain votes on brexit: whether or not to remain in the European Union. Here are a short set of images chosen for their symbolism and taken on a all-too-rapid walk through central London last week.
Five loosely connected images taken around the centre of Barcelona. The lead image shows an illegal protest against the “Ley Mordaza” (gagging law) – more officially and misleadingly titled as the “Ley Orgánica de Protección de la Seguridad Ciudadana” (2015).
Ad-hoc table and chairs with purple carpet under a bridge in Paris. This is something that I never thought that I would see in a major European city. I first encountered people living in make-shift tents and mini-houses under bridges in Kyoto. In Paris, it seemed that almost every bridge with space housed some temporary shelters, whether made from cardboard or actual tents:
Catalunya and Spain are waking up this morning to a new Catalan government which, if it delivers on its electoral promises, will unilaterally declare independence from Spain within 18 months.
A short set a photographs from the Barcelona Pride march, 2015. The march felt smaller in scale than previous years. In part this is because the march seems strongly diluted by non-LGBT politics. I think that there were more Catalan Independence flags than rainbow flags, driven in part by a large presence from groups such as the Assemblea Nacional Catalana and ERC. There were also people promoting Animal Rights that seemed only tangentially connected to the original motivations for these marches. And perhaps that is a good thing, as it reflects the immense […]
The night of Sant Joan is normally an occasion for fireworks and parties in Barcelona. However, you do not expect to get up in the morning to find that someone has been injecting drugs just outside of your door. By the time we went out the addict had gone, leaving behind the abandoned paraphernalia and a copious amount of blood on one of the lower parts of the stairs. Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella (the old town) has serious problems, ranging from pickpockets and drunken tourists at one end, to hard drugs at the other. The local […]
The Stratford “ONE” student accommodation building, Westfield Avenue, Stratford. The amount of new building going on in Stratford is astonishing, and it very much follows the standard UK model of replacing older industrial units with expensive residential and shopping developments. Although somewhat architecturally controversial, I think that the building is more interesting for its implicit statement about British society.
The 11th of September is the National Day of Catalunya – or more commonly just “La Diada”. Precisely three hundred years ago Catalunya lost the Siege of Barcelona ending the Spanish war of Succession and effectively establishing the basis of what has become modern Spain. And so perhaps unsurprisingly this regional day of holiday has become a focus for the Catalan independence movement. This year, the movement has become more powerful than ever as the region prepares for a vote on independence from Spain on the 9th of November. As the slogans and […]
September the 11th is the Diada Nacional de Catalunya – the national day of Catalunya. There is a strong push for complete separation from Spain, to create a new member state of the EU. There is a perfect storm brewing. Firstly, there is the ongoing financial crisis that means the economically prosperous Catalan region sees itself as being unjustifiably forced to subsidise the rest of the Spain. More than anything, economics (tax rises, salary cuts, lost savings and unemployment) fuels dissent. Secondly, there is the emergence of Spanish right-wing nationalism in […]