Articles in ‘Art’
May 10th, 2012
If you’re in Barcelona until June 3, there’s a small (and free) exhitition on at the History Museaum of Catalonia about a painter called Josep Franch-Clapers. In 1939, he was exiled and interned in camp, where he captured the pain of those who had lost the war and their freedom. The painting here entitled “Exhile” shows a chain of refugees (prisoners in effect) escorted along windy road by French police. More here
October 14th, 2011
Window protections in Barcelona 1936 or 1937. Instructions for paper tape to be glued on all house windows in neat criss-crosses. Art in times of conflict. Found the late Valerie Powles’s site http://refugi307.blogspot.com/
June 14th, 2010
This Flick group is a brilliant collection of street art in Barcelona. The above near the Forum is by la ira món mort
Coincidently in The Guardian:
Graffiti protesting has become a symbol of resistance as a rising tide of visitors engulfs the local population
He, or she, is a Catalan cross between Banksy and an anti-tourism league. At night the mystery graffiti protester roams the streets of Barcelona’s old quarter leaving behind markings on the streets that divide them into separate lanes for the tourists and the “normal” Barcelonans.
Every day the city hall sends out workmen to paint over the markings, afraid that someone is trying to push away the tourists who bring in welcome wealth but increasingly make native Barcelonans feel jostled off their own streets.
June 12th, 2010
I liked this poem by Paul Blackburn (1926-71) set in Barcelona in the 1960s. The complete poem is here with the correct spacing between the words. It is published in the excellent literary magazine Barcelona Ink.
When Blackburn was asked in 1962 how he would like to die he answered “in Barcelona during a revolution against F. Franco”.
are never wide enuf.
Calle de Vidrio, Barcelona, is
off Fernando, toward the Plaza Real;
short, tight, narrow, &
leads toward the palmtrees
Th e corner bar to the left is
three to fi ve pesetas cheaper than
the one to the right
as you enter, plenty of
sky, trees, a fountain, the
arcades sit over each side we
sit with gambas, cervezas, dis-
cuss my sis-
arrival I face
the walls, cannot see Y
the palmtrees behind me GAMBAS
BEBA COCA COLA SEPIA
The complete poem is here
May 29th, 2010
A beautiful photo of Barcelona by MorBCN on flickr.
May 26th, 2010
The Afro-American poet Langston Hughes visited Barcelona in 1937 as a newspaper correspondent for the Baltimore Afro-American. He saw the terrible destruction in the city caused by the bombing.
I came down from Paris by train. We reached Barcelona at night. The day before had been a terrific air raid in the city, killing about a hundred and wounding a great deal more. We read about it in the papers at the border. Last night, I thought. Well tonight, I’ll be there. Here (October 23, 1937)
He was inspired to write the poem Air raid: Barcelona (from here). The imagery is stark. East is back to Mallorca where Mussolini’s squadrons were based.
The death birds wheel East
To their lairs again
Leaving iron eggs
In the streets of Spain.
Air raid: Barcelona by Langston Hughes
Black smoke of sound
Curls against the midnight sky. Read the rest of this entry
March 9th, 2010
The Barcelona Photographic Archive has just released a hundred or so photos taken between 1907 and 1908. They were taken by Frederic Ballell, one of the pioneers of Catalan photojournalism, who delighted in documenting the daily life of the city. Above a goat herder passes by Palau Moja, below a puppy seller. From La Rambla, hace un siglo
See also History of Les Rambles
March 8th, 2010
The Oh Barcelona site has a short but good round-up of the books in English set in Barcelona. Montalbán, Mendoza, Ruiz Zafon, Tóibín, Hughes, etc. More here
March 4th, 2010
The Fundació Antoni Tàpies opened its doors this week after being closed for reforms for several years. More in English