More on Barcelona’s city center: “The Melody of Raval”, by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán

Montalbán (1939-2003)

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.
This is why we let you take photos of us, before you discover that we are useless, before you finish tearing down our landscape, and before you understand that we are not even leftovers any more, since you have no neighborhoods left over for us any more.
I broke myself a tooth with a hammer to smile to you just as you like. But don’t abandon us. Anyway, we still are the most affordable of indians, and if we try it, we can even be bilingual“.
(Text by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán for Jordi Oliver‘s “08001” photo book, auto-edited in Barcelona in december 1999. See also this post)