Friday, February 25, 2011

A new idea (for many)...

"A considerable part of our intellectual and journalist class still thought poorly of resistance to dictatorships other than fascist ones. I happened to be watching the [November 1989 scenes of people breaking through] the Berlin Wall on TV, in a house where the company included several writers, publishers and critics of apparently progressive inclinations. They watched the images of people embracing in Berlin with long faces, as if viewing the broadcast of a funeral."

[Pointing out a clear example of hypocrisy, Spain's Antonio Muñoz Molina comparing his own joy at the Cairo revolution with a similar historical event, in El País. ]

I share his feelings but there is one problem here. Liberty is a universal desire for mankind, including the men and women of the Arab world. But (unlike the Western world) democracy is a new idea, an unknown experience and barely understood in an Arab society that instinctively regards the strong leader as the best kind of leader, maybe the only kind of leader.

[La libertad es un deseo universal de la humanidad, incluyendo a los hombres y las mujeres del mundo árabe.

El problema es que (a diferencia del mundo Occidental) la democracia es una nueva idea, una experiencia desconocida y apenas entendida en una sociedad árabe que instintivamente considera al líder fuerte como la mejor clase de líder, tal vez la única clase de líder.]

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Catalan speakers denied a voice in Valencia

In a pig-headed piece of small-minded politics, the right-wing People’s Party (PP) in Valencia have created a law that meant that after 25 years the Catalan language broadcasts on channel TV3 in that region stopped yesterday.

This move is in spite of the fact that (as one report put it) “in this territory, around 40% of its inhabitants have Catalan/Valencian as their mother tongue, and in some… towns or counties, they are the vast majority.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Una mujer que tiene duende

Video: A perfect example of some of the best flamenco you will ever see or hear. Concha Buika, from Palma de Mallorca is a Spanish singer whose family came from Equatorial Guinea and who grew up among gypsy people.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Considerate words in black times

"I’m not worried about my professional future, but rather the future in general. It’s a great time for me, and I have work for the next year, but what about everyone else?

Agustí Villaronga, Mallorcan director of the Catalan language film Pa negre [Black bread] which won nine Goya awards, including Best Film and Best Director.

(Last week I lost my teaching job, incidentally.)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A universe of pain

Video: This week an exhibition in Barcelona. Photojournalist Gervasio Sánchez culminates a decade of his work with a new exhibition called 'Disappeared'. He has pictured the pain of family members who face the loss of a relative disappeared by a dictatorial regime. The work is shown simultaneously in Madrid and León.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Attacks on Catalan reporters in Egypt

Joan Roura, a correspondent for TV3, a Catalan public television station, was attacked [yesterday] by men who tried to steal his mobile phone while he was conducting a live broadcast for the 24 hours news channel.

Assaults were also reported against Sal Emergui, a correspondent for Catalan radio RAC1 [and] Gemma Saura
(amongst more than 30 other members of the international media.)

Source: here.