Wednesday, April 6, 2011

An independent-minded pier

Interesting to read Stuart Dickson's post about the ongoing consultative referenda on Catalan independence, in which 96.7% of the electorate have thus far voted Yes (although presumably on figures like that there must have been a heavy boycott by natural No voters).

"Anyhoo, during our first couple of days, the only signs of rampant natism were passing by a couple of nationalist offices (CiU and JERC), and seeing a couple of JERC's bright red "Sí' a la independencia" posters. Being more familiar with the Basque tendency to splash nationalist paraphernalia all over the shop, I thought that this was rather a poor show."

Actually, I was in those parts myself last September, and I was astonished to see the word "Independencia" scrawled very artistically across a huge portion of one side of the pier at Blanes. I somehow can't imagine the Scottish national movement getting away with a similar enhancement of Wemyss Bay. Unfortunately, I didn't take a close-up picture, but if you're eagle-eyed you can spot it in the distance in this one (not quite sure what the archery and medieval costumes were in aid of) -

I was struck the whole week by how Catalan graffiti is in a different class to our own, both in terms of artistic merit and the seriousness of the message. There was quite a lot of it in Barcelona on the subjects of discrimination and racism. I kept meaning to take some photos, but never got round to it, so in the end I had to settle for this much more familiar looking effort. Still, you can't deny the neatness of the handwriting...

I was also amazed at how many Catalan flags were in evidence everywhere I went, although that may have been in honour of the national day -

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