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This is a non conventional post.

You all know the sentence "Visca el Barça i visca Catalunya", specially cos during the speeches of the celebrations the players say it at the end. 
But what does it really mean? Why is Barça so important for us Catalans? What does the club represent for us?

This is a documentary in english called "Spain's secret conflict" made by Gary Gibson. It explains the situation Catalunya and Spain are living and for a bit it talks about Barça. I think you should watch it to learn more about the country your club comes from.
We don't have the words "more than a club" just as an ad or because they sound cool.


( 70 comments — Speak )
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Jun. 5th, 2011 11:40 am (UTC)
I understand that this is a sensitive and highly controversial issue, but it is very important and relevant to the club.

As cules, we need to know and try to understand as much as we can about Barça's history.

That said, please think before you comment. Try to be as respectful as you can with each other.

Visca Barça y Visca Catalunya!
Jun. 5th, 2011 11:46 am (UTC)
I finished watching the documentary about half an hour a go.

What hit me most is how some people truly believe that Catalonia should not proliferate their own language in local schools and community and that it is the best for them -- reasoning that learning Catalan or using it daily would make them unable to seek jobs outside Catalonia. They also complained that they're forced to speak Catalan in........Catalonia...


That is just absurd reasoning. Really doesn't make any sense.
Jun. 5th, 2011 11:52 am (UTC)
You come across some of the same non-logic in parts of the U.S. when it comes to bilingual education. Being a polyglot never hurt anyone, as far as I can tell.
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Jun. 5th, 2011 11:50 am (UTC)
Thank you for posting this. While I myself am fairly well-versed in the history due to a lot of tangential reading, it's nice to have another source of reference and in a language I understand completely. My Spanish is elementary and my Catalan is non-existent.
Jun. 5th, 2011 11:55 am (UTC)
Nice documentary. I had seen it before, and I think it's well done. One could argue that most of the Spaniards who speak against Catalonia are the most radical (like Curri Valenzuela, that woman really annoys me) and that there are more moderate opinions. Even with the moderates, there is a bit of that feeling too. At least from my (I admit biased) point of view.

I think that the general feeling of that documentary explains why Laprota made so many people uncomfortable, even in Catalonia.
Jun. 5th, 2011 12:28 pm (UTC)
thank you so much for this, laura. concise, informative, even explains the football aspect.

the amount of hypocrisy and double standards here is appalling. it just really bothers me how so many people see spain as this happy nice warm place where everything is ole and flamenco and nothing hurts. it's so fucked up there that not even this current revolution can bring it to total peace.

you know how i feel on this, i can't really express it here. there is always a reason i supported barca and "felt" the pain, the need to constantly promote the country, and just...everything, it's as if i'm supporting my country's NT. it really is mes que un club. i really can't express how emotionally overcome i am. it's really..personal yet..overcome with compassion at the same time.

aannd before this turns into a personal LJ post, i just want to say t'estimo molt laurita, and i will be showing this docu to my dad, my friends, and essentially anyone who is interested. visca el barca i visca catalunya!
Jun. 5th, 2011 12:43 pm (UTC)
I'm trying to take this in and process some coherent thoughts so forgive me if everything I say sounds very disorganized.

I really don't understand how people can look back on a dictatorship with feelings of nostalgia. Oppression isn't something that I would think one would look back with a feeling of "I wish it was that way again." I just wanted to shake some sense into the people saying Franco's time was a positive thing for Spain because last time I checked stripping the identity of a nation isn't a positive thing.

The people who said that Catalans were only hurting themselves by wanting their language to be taught in schools need to sit down and re-evaluate that failed logic. Most people actually prefer you know more than one language now so saying that it's inconvenient for them to have to speak Catalan just shows their laziness when it comes to learning other languages besides Spanish.

The taxes you get slammed with are ridiculous! In order for you to fund the high number of immigrants coming into your country, you need to keep some of that money. Do economists there not think about this or do they WANT your economy to go under so they can "blame" you for it when it's actually their own fault?

Like I said I'm sorry if this is really all over the place but I'm still trying to absorb all of this and I'm really sorry that this is going on there. I've never experienced oppression so if I come across as "not getting it" I'm very sorry. ♥
Jun. 5th, 2011 06:09 pm (UTC)
Romania has emerged from communism in a bloodbath in 1989. there are MANY nostalgic people nowadays arguing that "it was better then" despite all the economic issues and the political oppression.

to me, those few older people that express nostalgic feelings don't surprise me. the younger woman saying it was a positive experience shakes me though, and terribly so. :(
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Jun. 5th, 2011 01:10 pm (UTC)
this was fascinating, thank you for posting.

I will say that the one thing that the documentary wasn't willing to even say outright but apparently wanted you to pick up on is really interesting - Catalonia wants to secede, but the real threat to Spain is that they can afford to. and the Spanish nationalists that get interviewed in the street apparently have no idea how much the country actually needs Catalan taxes. they've bought into their own smokescreen.

also find it curious that a documentary on nationalism/separatism in Spain doesn't even mention the ETA.
Jun. 5th, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)
ETA is a terrorist group for freedom of the Basque Coutry. this documentary says NOTHING about the Basque conflict.
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Jun. 5th, 2011 02:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting. I knew a lot about this conflict to begin with, but only... what's the word? Well, from an outside point-of-view, it's very interesting to get more insight in what spaniards and catalans thinks about it.
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Jun. 5th, 2011 02:45 pm (UTC)
Awww girl <3 I meant to tell you! I was in Houston last weekend and in one of the parks they had a statue of Rizal along with a lot of other people who were important to the independence struggles of their countries. There's a picture here: http://www.houstontx.gov/municipalart/rizal.html
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Jun. 5th, 2011 02:42 pm (UTC)
Oh man I don't have enough time to watch this before work and if I start it now, I will be insufferably thoughtful during my shift.
But thanks so much for posting it, Laura. Judging by the other comments it's an interesting, if not somewhat wtfuckery. Can't wait to watch it.

~Oppressed countries unite!
Jun. 5th, 2011 03:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you Laura, another fantastic post! This was really interesting, it was not surprising to see politicians answering questions like politicians... and amazing how the cabbie in Madrid openly understood the issue better than the journalists and Spanish politicians would admit to. And the historian guys, comparing the current situation to things that have happened in the past to show why anti-Catalan sentiment in Spain is a dangerous thing. I love historians sfm. <3 From the politicians I think one of the most interesting things said was when Guerra said the nationalist feeling among the Basques and Catalans seemed to intensify under Aznar, from what I've been reading recently I could certainly believe that.

Mostly though, to me, I think what summed up my personal feelings the most was the non-Catalan man living there whose wife and kids are Catalan who said it's a friendly country as long as you respect their customs. I like to believe that's true of pretty much anywhere, but obviously if you rail against the culture so vocally like some of those people were doing you will not get any respect back. Show some to get some, y'know?

The economic question is very interesting too, from things I've read I've already gathered that the economy in Catalunya is much stronger than other parts of Spain and it's really a little scary how people in Spain seem so ignorant of that and believe that Catalunya is leeching off the Spanish economy and not the other way around. (For the record, I'm not saying any of this to be "anti-Spanish" or anything, I don't hate Spain or Spaniards, I just don't like the misinformation.)

I also would like to point everyone, once again, to a really wonderful book if you want to understand more about Catalan culture outside of the political struggles. Amazingly enough this book does not focus on politics, but all the things it is about will help you to understand the underpinnings of the political struggle much better, if that makes any sense. Catalonia: A Cultural History is the name of it. And I would also like to recommend Giles Tremlett's Ghosts of Spain, which I've been reading recently, as it will help to understand more of the recent post-Franco political sentiments throughout Spain.
Jun. 5th, 2011 03:50 pm (UTC)
Ghosts of Spain is a fascinating read, especially the chapter on the struggles of the people who are trying to recover their ancestors killed and buried who knows where during the Civil War.

This is yet another of those things where outsiders go "duh, of course they have the right to bury their grandfather/uncle/family member with all the honors" and in Spain you still have idiots who say that even mentioning is is "opening old wounds".

Turns out that the first place where there was official legislation in place to help the movement was... Yes, Catalonia.
(no subject) - ipomoea - Jun. 5th, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 5th, 2011 04:09 pm (UTC)
I watched it and read all your comments, guys, and it makes me so happy and proud that we can discuss these issues here in our LJ community <333.

I have been studying Spanish and Catalan for many years, and the history is well-known to me. I even had very unpleasant insights from a friend who personally saw culés beating up madridista supporters after the clásico in the streets of Barcelona calling them "Spanish pigs, you finally got what was coming to you", so I know how extremists are crazy on BOTH SIDES.

Also in Italy I've grown up in Friuli, which is a bit like Catalonia in many ways. We have a language, Friulian, although unlike Catalan, it's gradually dying out. I understand it, but don't speak it as my parents only spoke to me in Italian when I was little. I'm extremely happy with their decisions, because Friulian "purists" are mostly right-wing, conservative, racist people who want the North of Italy to declare its indipendence from the "South which is poor and lazy and in the hands of the Mafia".

Even so, there are so many thinkg wrong with this documentary I can't even state them all.
a) Using the far-right Falange and Aznar(fascist nostalgics, far-right bigots etc.) as the only ones opposing Catalunya independence is crazy, and also untrue. MANY PEOPLE in Spain don't have a problem with the idea of a bilingual Catalunya, or an independent confederate Catalunya, what they do not want is an independent state. That does NOT make them fascists or Franco supporters.
And b) Catalans are most certainly NOT treated as Jews were in Nazi Germany. This not only historically inaccurate, it's also preposterous and belittles the cruelty of Nazi's "ideals". Saying that Andalusia is living off on the taxes of Catalunya, however, is just plain racist.
c) Asking MADRIDISTAS what they think of Catalan independence. I mean, REALLY? Of course they'll just spew bullshit on Catalunya. They do NOT represent the CITY of Madrid, the community of Madrid, or the rest of Spain, just very butthurt Real Madrid supporters.

That said, I'm only criticizing the way this documentary was made (it's too one-sided), not that the issue was raised, because I am totally sympathetic to the Catalans in every way (I started loving Catalunya long before I became culé, so I'm not speaking of football here), and I will always defend them against central nationalism.

I'm not going into politics, but in short, I wish Spain could be more like Germany, or England, you know, like a confederation of states with their own government and a weight in the national government proportional to their population, but with some sort of unity in the background, embracing every "state" as a part of Spain but with its own individuality.
(Although yeah, if the Spanish government and judges had approved the Statute of Catalunya without cutting so many parts, nationalism in Catalunya would not be so rampant now. The bastards kinda knew what would happen but voted against the Statute anyway, so this only makes it harder to sympathize with them. Catalunya WTF!)

I know I sound shizophrenic in my argumentation, but what can I say. I don't think I have all the answers, it's a constant struggle for me, trying to keep equally distantiated from both kinds of extremism.
Jun. 5th, 2011 04:28 pm (UTC)
I think most can see that the biases shown here. When I see the fascist comments and the extreme catalan comments, I'm fully aware that they're not the majority. I know there are politicians, journalists, and common people who hold more moderate views.

However, as one of the commentators in the video said (more or less), "The role of the media is mainly negative. Instead of bridging the differing cultures, they make them at war each other." This video shows that phenomenon clearly. The politics shown in the media has unsettled the catalans and the spaniards even further more.

The "extremists" shown in this video are mostly normal people, really. They're in no way as radical as ETA. I mean, these people are silly and bigoted but not violent.

The main focus of this documentary, imo, is to show people with basic knowledge of what's going on in Catalunya what most Catalans are feeling. Like most documentaries, it has a perspective and this one is of a Catalan perspective. A crash course intro to Catalunya-Spain conflict. Crammed in 40 minutes.
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Jun. 5th, 2011 04:30 pm (UTC)
also, among the countries that have recognised the armenian genocide have been fellow "oppressed" countries, like scotland, the basques, wales...and catalonia too. just. :3.
Jun. 5th, 2011 06:44 pm (UTC)
i have a lot of feelings on this subject. for the longest time, i have been jokingly called myself a "Catalan nationalist" in terms that i fully support Catalan autonomy and even independence.

watching this documentary made me realise that the issue Spain faces [is facing] is a larger scale representation of the whole Romanian issue with the few Hungarian majority Counties.

Romania is a unitary state and about 85% of the population is ethnically Romanian, whatever that means [bits and pieces from everywhere, not just Dacians and Romans like the extremists would want to think] but there are minorities and the Hungarian minority is mostly located in these 2 or 3 counties.

ask ANYBODY on the street, they'll say the sky would fall if those counties separated from RO [and even worse, united with Hungary!!!!]

and "anybody on the street" is not necessarily an extremist or a right winger.

as part of the majority population segment, i support autonomy of those counties in RO.

thank you Laura for this post. it helped me clarify some issues and gaps in education :D

and Visca Barca!
Jun. 5th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting! I'm always looking for chances to get educated in this issue and this seems really helpful.
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( 70 comments — Speak )

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