Grafitis de protesta en un descampado de Vallcarca, Bcn. Foto Livia Motterle, 2016.

The city and the skin: public space and pudic space

06/08/2017 admin 0
The skin is the deepest thing there is. The fissures of the skin, the striate wrinkles of the flesh, reveal the word and the action. In the entrails of the streets, in the corners of the small alleys, urban life palpitates in revenge against urban planning.
Poblenou en 2006, foto de Horacio Capel. Para la referencia, haz click en la foto

The discreet urbanism of the bourgeoisie

05/10/2015 admin 0
As José Mansilla writes, in focusing on the rising, the growth and evolution of the middle class we understand how the so-called "progressive" urbanism in Barcelona took this turn to real estate speculation and privatizations. Will this process continue, or will we have the chance to see some change?
Los bloques de Heygate, ya vaciados de gente y listos para demolir

Heygate Was Home!

14/03/2015 admin 0
The Heygate Was Home Digital Archive collects the testimony of several former residents of Heygate, social housing estate in Elephant & Castle, London - they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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A dead city

21/01/2015 admin 0

Like chinese boxes, this documentary not only brilliantly shows the institucional and political corruption behind the police-orchestrated hoax known as ‘4F’, which began on February 4th, 2006 in Barcelona’s calle Sant Pere Més Baix, but it also extends in a coil the understanding of horror to wider levels of society: from the police, to the judges, to the press, to social services, to the city council, to gentrification, in brief, to power in itself. Like before Joaquim Jordà’s De Nens (2003), now Ciutat Morta leads us from a particular history to the deep and terrifying comprehension of the general, of society, of the city. To the memory of Patricia Heras, the dead poet.

Una comida entre un grupo de empresarios mafiosos y los políticos que financiaban. Ahora están todos en la carcel.

The fall of the Roman Empire

26/12/2014 admin 0
A criminal network based on the allocation of public contracts linked together public employees, politicians from all the political spectrum, left-wing social cooperatives, neo-fascist groups, journalists, and the infamous mafia clan known as the "banda della Magliana".
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The control over space, and the spaces of control: XIII Conference of Geocrìtica

18/04/2014 admin 0
Orwell square under CCTV surveillance: a real "trip"!

From may 5th to 10th, 2014, the International conference “El control del espacio y los espacios de control”, will be held in the University of Barcelona, organized by the review Geocrítica; with the linked reviews ScriptaNova and Biblio3w, this is one of the most important and interesting publication on urban issues in the whole spanish-speaking area. The conference is public and admission free of charge; we suggest these sessions, in which some members of our OACU group will be involved: may 6th, Ocupación del espacio y control de los individuos at 9am, Segregación social y urbana a at 6.30pm; may 9th, Organización económica, poder y control at 9am, Cambios en las formas de control at 4pm.

Mickey Mouse delante de una "stupa" en Kathmandu. Foto: Stefano Portelli, 2013.

Where there be dragons: Multiple modernities in Kathmandu

10/11/2013 admin 0
As opposed to the orientalist stereotypes depicting Kathmandu (Nepal) as a place out of time and of the world, the social reality of Nepal reveals an admirable vivacity. Artists and intellectuals participate in this debates, contributing to make it a laboratory of postsecularism and "multiple modernities".
Ruinas de un edificio en la playa de Jaffa, ahora parcialmente convertido en un museo sionista (foto: 1973)

Wastelands: Weizman on military urbanism

03/05/2013 admin 0
The spatial conflict over Palestine has re-articulated a certain principle: to be governed the territory must be constantly redesigned. This goes beyond a search for a stable and permanent “governable” colonial form, but rather points to the fact that it is through the constant transformation of space that this process of colonization has played out. Unpredictability and the appearance of anarchy are part of this violent logic of disorder.
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Towards an anthropology of the good families

23/02/2013 admin 0
Élite catalane in visita ai lavori del Fòrum 2004, alle spalle di un operaio. Foto: Jordi Secall, 2003

In our ethnographies they are often in the background, as in this photo taken by Jordi Secall in 2003 [see his blog]. But professor MCDONOGH proposed many years ago the study of the good families of Barcelona – the ‘catalan oasis’. Thursday, february 28th, 7pm at Reina de Àfrica (calle Bolivar 10, Vallcarca), debate “Towards an anthropology of catalan elites” with Gary W. McDonogh, organized by GTEEPGRECSOACU

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“Re-cordar” Can Ricart: to pass it back through the heart

01/09/2012 admin 0
Twelve years after the approval of "Plan 22@", two pieces of news show us the long-term impact of the displacement of factories from Poblenou neighborhood, and of its supposed urban renewal. The Mas Candle manifacturer closed in march, exactly five years after being removed from their old location in Can Ricart; in april, four people died in a fire of a shack close to the Jean Nouvel's new Parc Central [link here]. The words of Jaume Pagès, former administration manager of the factory, take us back to the sensations of that old battle we lost but we didn't forget. el desahucio "bueno, en primer lugar, te sientes echado, no querido, violentado. se rompe de pronto el universo ese repetitivo e invariable y, sin avisar, todo zozobra, nada parece real. incluso los cambios en el barrio, los derribos, no tienen ninguna connotación positiva, sólo resultaban amenazadores, tristes. trasladar una empresa es complicado. es decir, debería serlo, pq una empresa, por encima de todo, la forman personas. eso quiere decir q se trastorna –de pronto- toda la cosmogonía de tooodos los integrantes...
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Istanbul, a city without limits. Documentary movie

15/11/2011 admin 0
"In Istanbul, we crossed the ecological limits, crossed the population limits, crossed the ecological limits. If you ask me where it is all going to lead, I will quote from Doğan Kuban: chaos" Mücella Yapıcı, chamber of architecture of Istanbul.
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The quality of life in Naples: between Pomigliano and Posillipo

14/01/2011 admin 0
[/caption] “An oasis of luxury in the capital of mafia" was the title chosen by a peruan newspaper in publishing this photo reportage about Naples' Circolo Posillipo. But in spite of many elements that might make us believe it, we can't pretend that Napols is just like a stereotype of a South American city, where the rich lock up in their golden bunkers, while in the streets the people shoot each other with guns. Partly because the members of Circolo Posillipo are not as rich as we could imagine; but mainly because Naples, as south american cities are, is a place far more complex than the unambiguous narrations we receive from the media, that now only see/sell the violent deaths, criminality, urbanistic and social chaos, while in the Nineties they only showed the monuments that were reopening, the dynamism of the new upper classes, and the rebirth of tourism. Even them the camorra controlled the neighborhoods, the peripheries were second-class places, the young people were beginning to assume crack and cocaine, hidden by the invisibility in which they were being kept. All these things, at that time, were not so fashionable as they are it now.
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More on Barcelona’s city center: “The Melody of Raval”, by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán

09/01/2011 admin 0
"Here we were all born in leftover neighborhoods, rounded by leftovers, waiting to grow up, to get old, or better said, to deconstruct ourselves; so we can receive all your sociologists, all your social psychologists, your substitute mayor, your worst dressed politician, the sons of your good neighborhoods that will give us examples on how to use abilities and efforts to help us out of the leftover neighborhoods; this is, you give us your leftover social science, your leftover psychology, your leftover mayor, your leftover solidarity, even your leftover fear, for sometimes you think that you yourselves could have been born in the leftover neighborhoods, that you could be leftovers yourselves; this is why you come down here to look at us playing the part of the assisted classes, useless even for production because robotics replaced us, and because our condition of leftovers can't compete anymore with leftovers from even more impoverished parts of the planet.
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History and its distortions in the center of Barcelona

29/12/2010 admin 0
To understand the recent urban and social transformations in Barcelona's Barrio Chino, historical center of the town (that now, after gentrification and demolitions, we have to call "Raval") often the attention goes towards the subproletarians living and smuggling in the neighborhood: "an underworld of immoral behaviour" (1943). But it would be more useful to study another kind of commerces, much darker and of greater scale, than those of the underworld. The catalan bourgeoisie had been trying to transform and demolish Barcelona's city center during more than a century: this project had to wait during the dictatorship, but in the eighties the old dream came back to life. "These 200 families that had been holding power during 150 years, invested in purchasing blocks of flats in central Barcelona, so they would make lots of money when these neighborhoods would have been demolished and rebuilt". Read Adolf Castaños' Memory and its distortions (inedited, 2010) in English (pending revision). (original Spanish)