Art and Catalan independence: the case of Sixena.

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By Alberto Velasco Gonzàlez This is an excerpt from the upcoming What’s *still* up with Catalonia? which is particularly timely. After Catalonia voted in a referendum on independence on October 1st and the Parliament subsequently declared independence on October 27, 2017, the Spanish government, and in particular the ruling PP, approved a resolution enabling it to use Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution to dissolve the Catalan Parliament and take over its government. It has subsequently accused all of the members …

What has happened to us Catalans?

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The interpretation of the past It’s not at all easy to explain to a reader who is unaware of the social, cultural, and political reality of Catalonia how Catalonia has gradually turned in favor of independence over the past few years. To someone who’s new to the issue and not familiar with the historic or political background and who’s intrigued about the immediate causes of a wish to break up a state, the shift would probably seem capricious, if not …

On the prickly matter of language, by JC Major

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“The importance of making the language uniform has always been recognized as great, and it is a sign of dominion or superiority by princes or nations . . .” José Rodrigo Villalpando, senior officer of the Council of Castile, 1716 “The utmost resolve shall be applied in introducing the Castilian language, to which end the most guarded and surreptitious measures should be taken, so that the effect is accomplished without the intent being noticed.” From the secret instructions issued to …

Keep Calm and Speak Catalan, by Josep Maria Ganyet

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“We don’t inherit language from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” Loose adaption of a Native American proverb A tweet from 2012 On December 4, 2012, I was riding the train to work listening to the radio and following my Twitter stream, as I’m wont to do. The topic of the day was the education reform bill with which the Spanish education minister was attempting to change the current unified Catalan school system into one in which children …

News from Catalonia, by Josep M. Muñoz

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In 1954, right in the middle of General Franco’s dictatorship, the most European Spanish historian of the moment, the Catalan Jaume Vicens Vives, published a book that was destined to make a small fortune. The conditions in which it was written and published were that of harsh censorship, in which many things could not be called by their proper names. To start with, Vicens Vives had originally titled his work We the Catalans but he was obliged to change it …

The battle for the audience, by Ignasi Aragay

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  Catalan is a language with 1,000 years of history. Currently there are 9 million potential speakers, most of whom live within the confines of the Spanish State, in the regions of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, and the Valencian Country. Like French, Spanish, or Italian, it is a Romance language that evolved from Latin after the break up of the Roman Empire. Its golden era was during the 14th and 15th centuries when Catalonia was an independent country and a …

Our September 11th (1714), by Marta Rovira-Martínez

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Originally published in What’s up with Catalonia?: The causes which impel them to the separation Reprinted with permission. “We chose September 11, 1714 because it is the most important event in our history, the date on which the largest number of our people died in the name of freedom for our Country.”1 Lluís Marsans, secretary of Catalanist Union, in an invitation to the 1901 demonstration On September 11, 2001, the United States of America suffered the worst foreign attack in its …

Opening the black box of secessionism, by Laia Balcells

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For a long time, social scientists have studied nationalism and ethnic conflict from multiple dimensions. They have analyzed how ethnic diversity affects governance in democratic countries, trust and reciprocity, violent conflict, civil wars, and resistance to foreign occupation, among other things. The results tend to be pessimistic, although there are some optimistic findings such as that ethnic heterogeneity is not significantly related to violent conflict1 or that altruism is not intrinsically related to coethnicity2. In comparative politics, secessionism has often …