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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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To destroy and to construct: history of a factory

06/10/2011 admin 0
Friday october 7th, at 7.30pm, projection of Destruir y construir, video documentary about the factory of Can Ricart, in Barcelona's neighborhood of Poblenou. Can Ricart was a group of factories active in Barcelona since mid-19th century: in its construction had been involved important architects of catalan modernism. During the years of Barcelona's real estate euphoria (2000-2008), the City Council authorized the demolition of an important part of the premises, with no regard to the protests and the detailed studies who asked respect for the industrial heritage. Similar to what is happening in other parts of town, recently the administration admitted that it hasn't got enough money to build the "Museum of Languages" - the misterious, romantic and sustainable building that architect Benedetta Tagliabue was projecting for the part of Can Ricart spared from the demolitions.
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What can we do with industrial heritage? action and reflection from Barcelona’s Can Batlló

21/06/2011 admin 0
In spite of all the scholarly studies on the importance of preserving Barcelona's ancient factories (Tatjer 2008), the usual practice in postindustrial urbanism has been their systematic demolition; sometimes preserving isolated chimneys: more than industrial memory, they seem to celebrate the annihilation of the worker's movement. The conflict around the industrial complex of Can Batlló, a 13 ha. late-XIX-century factory in La Bordeta district (Sants, Barcelona), almost completely abandoned, opposed (as usual) on one side the greed of the landowners and the complicity of the City Council, and on the other the needs and demands of the district's residents.
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Poblenou 03-08 (Barcelona about Barcelona)

09/05/2011 admin 0
POBLENOU 03-08: Video realized by Suporttotal, gathering part of the visual work done by Jordi Secall during the years 2003-2008 in Poblenou. Photos of historical moments like the evictions and demolitions in the alleys now part of Parc Central, images of can Ricart and La Escocesa still alive, the biblical entrance of Makabra in can Ricart, and other more recent ones filmed in video, like grafitis on the roof of former Caminal art workshop, or the eviction of a family in calle st. Francesc in summer 2008. 11 frenetic minuts of music, video and photos.
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The “Reconquista” of Alcoi (Valencia)

19/03/2011 admin 0
The transformation of the center of Alcoy, the most ancient industrial city in Spain, between Valencia and Alicante, entails great demolitions in the Partidor neighborhood, cradle of the spanish working class movement. The City Council is buying the buildings of the neighborhood one by one, then evicts its inhabitants, fostering deterioration and creating an excuse for their demolition. In the name of common good, and of the improval of urban life, all around Spain the historical places of the working class are under attack, like if history was only the history of the ruling classes; this process is even more dramatic where there were strong struggles and rebellions against the new-born capitalism. "The shame of having to attend to your own funeral", as sang by Alcoi's poet Ovidi Montllor, about the reconstruction of a steeple burned during the Civil War.
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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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The slums of Poblenou

12/11/2010 admin 0
"The last gypgy settlement in Poblenou has been evicted" as was announced in Barcelona's newspapers on october 6th, 2010. But if we read better, the real news are that there had been no eviction: too many children were living in the settlement. When newspapers deal with the item of gypsy settlements in Poblenou, industrial neighborhood of Barcelona undergoing a big urban renewal process, they always approach it as if this settlements are about to disappear, like if they were pintoresque remainders of a past now gone f According to the press, "the last settlements in Poblenou" had already been evicted in 2004 in carrer Agricultura, or in the Oliva Artés factory in 2003. When they speak of gypsy settlements, they always use the word "barraques" (slums), a particulary thick term: the struggle against Barcelona's slums was one of the victories of grassroots movements in the 60s and 70s. So, these news about the gypsies and their shanty towns so close to the skyscrapers of the new "technological district 22@", more than a revival of the "barraquismo" as a phenomenon, they make us think of a revival of the uses of this phenomenon: an instrument that serves the purpose of giving an excuse to simplify the conflicts and contradictions that go along with this enormous urban renewal project. If the gypsies and their slums belong to the past, and the skyscrapers to the future, every eviction can appear as a debt with history. Social policies, are the real remainder of a past now gone. Read more
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“Passatge Cusidó: un adèu” (Farewell to Cusidó alley)

11/10/2010 admin 0
…on saturdays we went out, and she and her sister remained with our neighbor, miss Maria, and wouldn't come with us. [...] We would have taken them to the cinema, to Mcdonald’s, but they didn't want! They wanted to stay here in the alley“. This short video documentary by Jordi Secall, Manel Muntaner, Yolanda Bermúdez and Chema Alonso (2004) describes the demolition of the small “Passatge Cusidó”, just on the side of Barcelona's Diagonal. A real estate company, “Espais” (recently under trial for corruption within the Caso Pretoria) took advantage of the forced expropiation of this small alley, executed by Barcelona's City Council within the “22@” urban renewal project for the neighborhood of Poblenou. More info in this research draft written in 2006 by our group-

Des del Ressentiment (Barcelona, 2006)

14/08/2010 admin 0

Short documentary film we realized in 2006 on the factory of Can Ricart (Barcelona), under the effects of the “22@” urban renewal plan. All the industries and organizations that used the XVIIIth century stucture had to leave, as well as most of the inhabitants of the surrounding buildings. …

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Naples, 2013 Forum of Cultures

13/08/2010 admin 0
"The first edition of the Forum of Cultures, in Barcelona in 2004, was a failure: the ambitious program of cultural events served only as a cover for a huge speculative operation on the popular neighborhood of Poblenou and on the city coast. In the same way in Naples, Forum 2013 will be the Trojan horse through which heavily revalorize for tourism and real estate the city's historical center and the area of Bagnoli, speeding up the expulsion of the low-income classes towards the peripheries, and to increase constructions on the coast of Coroglio".