Here’s another post from my trip to Barcelona. This one’s short: a few photos of stickers slapped up by ultras and other fan groups that I found while out and about (including my own contribution).
I spent nine days in Barcelona this past April. This is the first of a few posts about that trip.
I began my second, full day in the city at the Plaça de Catalunya, which is the beginning and ending point of the Spanish Civil War walking tour. Nick Lloyd created the tour nearly a decade ago and offers it multiple times a week with the aid of his partner (whose name, I hate to admit, I’ve forgotten).
The Spanish Civil War walking tour traverses the Plaza and part of the area across the way in and around Las Ramblas covering various important locations and events of the era. You can read more about the tour at the official site.
All photos taken with my ZTE Z983 and edited on PSCC19.
The tour begins with quick introductions at Café Zurich across from Plaça de Catalunya where the history lessons begin at the monument dedicated to Francesc Macià, president of the re-established Generalitat de Catalunya of 1931.
Above is a pin promoting the Olimpiada Popular (People’s Olympiad) of 1936. The event was a response and protest against the official 1936 Summer Olympics hosted by Germany and the Third Reich. Thousands of athletes from 22 countries were set to compete under the watchful eyes of Catalans and journalists from all over the world on July 19th when war broke out on July 17th.
A view of Las Ramblas as we walked over to…
…the Hotel Continental! George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) stayed here multiple times during the civil war and included it in Homage To Catalonia.
One of the many narrow streets around Las Ramblas.
The Santa Maria del Pi church. The large, circular window is new as it was destroyed during the civil war.
An art store across from the church.
A box of matches featuring the logos of the CNT, Confederación Nacional del Trabajo, and the AIT, Asociación Internacional de los Trabajadores.
A combat helmet of the era.
And a gas mask of the era!
The remains of a case of a rocket-propelled grenade.
STRONG CONTENT WARNING for the next photo!
Spanish Republicans published this image as part of its propaganda campaign against Francisco Franco and the Nationalists. The child in the image was killed in an air raid.
First aid bandages.
A shaving kit.
The above two photos are from the Plaça Sant Felip Neri. The façade of the church remains scarred by damage from the shrapnel of two bombs dropped onto the square during the war.
The sign outside the plaza (first photo) gives the details of the bombing: on January 30th, Italian fascists bombed Barcelona from 9am until 11:20am. The church in the plaza provided refuge to many children during the war and 20 of them died during the bombardment. Pro-Franco propaganda claimed that the damage to the building was the result of the slaughter of Catholic priests at the hands of anarchist firing squads.
A copy of the New York Times from January 31st, 1938 with an article about the bombing.
The Hotel Rivoli on Las Ramblas was once the headquarters of the POUM, Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista, which Orwell was a member of.
This plaque is located on the Hotel Rivoli. It marks the date when POUM co-founder Andreu/Andrés Nin was kidnapped from the POUM’s office by pro-Stalinist Spanish Communists and disappeared, tortured and killed.
Orwell covers many of the events leading up to Nin’s capture in Homage to Catalonia and narrowly avoided being kidnapped by Stalinist forces himself.
The final set of photos are from the interior of the Bar Llibertària. The bar features numerous artifacts connected with the POUM and CNT.
Above: “The Revolution Has Placed The Earth In Your Hands”
Above: “Comrade! Work and fight for the revolution.”
A pin of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade a.k.a. Lincoln Battalion, composed of hundreds of volunteers from the USA. The battalion was a member of the XV International Brigade, a brigade composed of foreign volunteers who fought alongside the antifascist/anti-Franco forces in Spain.
A framed portrait of Buenaventura Durruti.
I have had a few artists on a heavy rotation these past couple of months as I weathered my final semester of coursework at SDSU:
Frikstailers – Extrasolar
The Argentine duo forced us all to wait six years for a new album, but it was worth the wait. One could argue that they made us wait only two years as the duo released an album of music under the name Klik & Frik for musical aesthetic purposes. That album, Telepat, however, was a slight digression towards a sound stripped to nothing but electronic beats, sans the direct Latin American influences and genre mixture Frikstailers are known for. This album under their original moniker brings them back to their original sound with the help of musical guests Mateo Kingman, La Yegros, Aterciopelados, and Marrón.
Vudufa – Congorito
Vudufa is the name of this new project by Lima-based producers Pounda and NoModico. Their debut album, Congorito, features eight tracks of a sound they’ve dubbed “Afrobass with Peruvian flavor,” which is a darker version of the already-dark tunes of Dengue Dengue Dengue and Animal Chuk. What differentiates Vudufa from their peers is their focus on African beats and rhythms with nary a hint of cumbia.
Gustavo Dudamel – Celebrating John Williams
I interviewed Dudamel of the LA Philharmonic for FLAUNT magazine (you can check that out here) and, thus, spent days listening to much of his work. My favorite is the recording of his concert at Santiago de Compostela where he conducted Beethoven’s 9th with the Galician Symphony. His latest album is a live recording of his tribute concert for legendary composer John Williams with the LA Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall in January 2019.
Capsula – Bestiarium
Capsula is a band I’ve covered extensively throughout the years since first learning about them many years ago. I think it was at SXSW eight years ago. In any case, they released a new album earlier this year. Bestiarium is a concept album based on numerous mythological creatures of ancient folklores and some damn good rock n’ roll, as always.
If These Trees Could Talk – The Bones of a Dying World
I learned about this band and album thanks to the Radio option on Spotify. Now before anyone accuses me of crafting a sponsored post without attribution, Spotify is my main method/app to listen to music and podcasts followed by Podcast App, Mixcloud, direct streams, and good ol’ fashioned terrestrial car radio.
Anyway! This band has been one of my favorite instrumental bands since I learned about them. It’s great music to study to, to drive in the rain to, to cure writer’s block to, etc. If anything, give the song “Earth Crawler” (my favorite track) a listen.
Crim – Pare Nostre Que Esteu a L’infern
Crim are a punk band from Tarragona, Spain who I learned about thanks to a concert flyer I found while in Barcelona in April (more on that in a forthcoming post). They’ve got a political slant as any good punk band does with lyrics that focus on many of the modern social problems in their home country.
Arpaviejas – El Último Cartucho
Arpaviejas are also a punk band from Spain but these guys are from the outskirts of Barcelona. JR Kubensis founded the band in 2000 and continues today as his pet project feat. a rotating cast of musicians that form his band.
Friends, enemies, & the aloof: I present to you my first magazine cover story!
In the Cause & Effect issue (number 165) of FLAUNT magazine, I interview LA Philharmonic director & conductor Gustavo Dudamel. It’s available now physically and also digitally here: https://www.flaunt.com/content/gustavo-dudamel.
“Think about it. What is art, ultimately? What is culture?” he asks, gesticulating with his hands as if conducting, though in a much more subdued manner than when he takes the podium. “It is a people’s identity. Do you know what I mean? The great artists, the geniuses, no matter where they live or where they were born, gave all of humanity a gift… This means that when we play Beethoven in Peru, for instance, we can play him as a European composer with a Peruvian identity, or a Venezuelan one, or Argentine, or Japanese.”
David Beckham returned to Los Angeles this past weekend to add another trophy to his extensive collection. However, this is one award he won’t be able to take home as the LA Galaxy honored its former star player with a large statue of his likeness. His is the first to grace the newly christened Legends Plaza located at Dignity Health Sports Park’s main entrance.
“This city has always felt like home to me,” said Beckham, flanked by members of Dignity Health, AEG, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber, Rob Stone of FOX Sports, former teammates Chris Klein and Robbie Keane, and former Galaxy coach Bruce Arena.
More at LA Taco: https://www.lataco.com/david-beckham-statue/
The link above leads to a paper I wrote (and rewrote) last year. It touches on the possibility of association football as a global aesthetic based on the ideas of Chinese philosopher Li Zehou, specifically within his work found in Four Essays On Aesthetics: Towards A Global View.