Politicized Art: Blog Post #1

Hi all,


To review, I am looking at politicized art movements from the past and how the lessons we take from their organization and ideological framework can help us predict the future of politicized art. In particular, I am looking at the Third Cinema movement that came out of Argentina.

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Update 1: The Trend of Regional Independence Movements and its Portrayal in the Media

As I began my preliminary research leading up to my trip to Europe, I focused on collecting a range of sources including news articles as well as scholarly articles. To start, it seemed quite important to understand the history of the Catalan region and its complicated relationship with the country of Spain. Since I am visiting Barcelona which is a part of the Catalan region, my preliminary research focuses exclusively on this region and its desire for regional independence; however, my follow up research will expand to include more examples within Europe.
Over 2,000 years ago, the Romans conquered the area of land that is now known as Spain; it split itself into various regions, and one of these that formed was the Catalan region. The Catalan region thrived and began to accumulate wealth within itself. Later, it was joined with the surrounding regions under Muslim control through marriage, but the marriage was not a very happy one, and in the 17th century, the Catalans attempted their first try for succession unsuccessfully. In the 19th century, there was a renaissance of Catalan literature further fueling the pride and desire of the Catalans to be their own state. The Spanish civil war in the 1930s led to oppression and hardship for the Catalan people, and it was not until 1975 that they established their constitution, giving them regional autonomy. All of these factors help explain and give an understanding for the Catalan region’s desire of full independence from the nation of Spain.
Currently, the Catalan region has its own regional parliament and consists of 7.5 million residents. Fueled by economic motives, the Catalans desire to be their own state as they feel that the “central state [of Spain] is sucking their wealth dry.” Barcelona, alone, accounts for 20% of the Spanish GDP.
On October 1 of 2017, a vote was held regarding Catalan independence. 90% of those that voted voted in favor of independence from Spain. A series of violence broke out that day in response, and many citizens were injured as the Central government attacked its own people. Spain itself has a very young democracy (less than 40 years old), and the rest of the nation appears to be opposed to Catalan secession.
In terms of the media’s role in all of this, Spanish television and radio were very active leading up to the election especially the Catalan media. The state media was very selective in terms of what it portrayed which led to the creation of a private news media. The Catalan media especially is very biased and creates an extremely rosy picture of independence for the Catalan people which is not necessarily the full picture of the situation. Their agenda plays a large role in the Catalan public bias towards pro secession.
I think that my preliminary research has given me a good background of the Catalan region and its current situation, and I look forward to continuing my research first hand in Barcelona and Madrid.