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"No pasarán!"

75 Yeas ago today 18 July was the start of the Spanish Civil War. In many cities the people went A Las Baricadas.
In Catalunya this produced the greatest experiment in worker self management the western world has seen and also gave rise to the movement Mujeres Libres whose work is still very much to the fore in present day Latin America.
The story of the Mujeres Libres is shown in the 3 part film Women of the Spanish Revolution I; II; III
For first person recollections here is Living Utopia. Anarchism in Spain which consists of 30 interviews with survivors of the 1936-1939 Spanish Revolution.
1936 when The people rise like a gale.
posted by adamvasco on Jul 18, 2011 - 21 comments

Iter pro peregrinis ad Compo-stolen!

Spanish police are investigating the disappearance of the Codex Calixtinus, a valuable 12th century manuscript [PDFs], from the Santiago de Compostela cathedral in Galicia. The manuscript is a collection of sermons and liturgical texts and served as a guide for the historical Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, which dates back to the Middle Ages. More images of the book here [Spanish].
posted by chavenet on Jul 11, 2011 - 23 comments

Viva San Fermin! Viva San Fermin!

Yesterday, July 6th, was the first day of San Fermín or Sanfermines in Pamplona, in celebration of Saint Fermín. As is tradition, it starts with a rocket, and turns into a giant, joyous, drunken party in the streets. The events to follow have changed over the centuries, with the addition of Riau Riau in 1914 (actual singing, words and lyrics, Spanish Wiki page with lyrics) in 1914, and most recently, leaving of candles and red bandanas at the Church of San Lorenzo, following the singing of Pobre de Mi. Oh, and there's the running of the bulls (route, photos from yesterday's run, previously). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 7, 2011 - 9 comments

Blood and Scrapes be Damned

Carving the Mountains by Juan Rayos. A spring afternoon in the Madrid Mountains, with the Longboard Girls Crew swooping down the Spanish mountains. SLVimeo; 4.12.
posted by bwg on Jun 14, 2011 - 18 comments

The Schizophrenia of Spain

Leonard Cohen has been honored with the Prince of Asturias Prize for Letters.
His connection to Spain came through his personal interest in the poet and playwright Federico García Lorca.
Cohen and García Lorca came together spiritually when the late flamenco singer Enrique Morente (Previous) used their poems as the basis of his seminal 1996 album Omega. ( More on Omega (Spanish)
At the same time The new Spanish Dictionary of Biography's historical revisions tell us more about what's wrong with Spain now than in the past;
F is for Franco but not for fascist. (It's worth reading down the comments as well).
posted by adamvasco on Jun 5, 2011 - 17 comments

Circling the wagons

No central organization; social media networking; multi-city protests against the status quo. Protests now banned.
Not North Africa or the Middle East but Spain which has banned Protests ahead of Sunday's local elections.
For the first time, Spain's civil society bypassed the established channels to mount its own public protest against the country's political class.
El Pais calls it Spain's Icelandic Revolt. Blogger South of Watford was in Puerta del Sol.
posted by adamvasco on May 20, 2011 - 45 comments

I just need one more 4x2 brick.

"Day by day we pass by vacant lots downtown ... Neighbourhoods that, although having a huge potential, have more and more unused spaces ... Sometimes, the tourists are the ones who open our eyes by mentioning or questioning whether this situation is normal. On other occasions, we pay attention to it for a moment only because the secondary problems that those spaces imply affect us directly. But in most of the cases, they are only a part of our way."
Habit Makes Us Blind is a series of colorful images by Spanish studio Espai MGR that seeks to draw attention to the problem of wasted space in urban environments (specifically, in the city of Valencia) -- by building conceptual LEGO structures in them. [via]
posted by bayani on May 9, 2011 - 8 comments

Another green world

Over the past 50 years, the small coastal plain (campo), some 30 kilometers southwest of the city of Almería, has been intensively developed for agriculture. An estimated 20,000 hecatres of extra-early market produce is grown in greenhouses in the Campo de Dalías, and it accounts for over $1.5 billion in economic activity. [more inside]
posted by Casimir on Apr 29, 2011 - 24 comments

Flash mob protest, Seville style

Flamenco flash mob stages a protest against a bank: Rumba Rave "banquero" en el Banco de Santander. (via @hrheingold) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Jan 24, 2011 - 12 comments

A traditional Nativity scene, Catalan-style

Mary, Joseph and the shepherds are all gathered around the baby Jesus in his manger, as loudspeakers emit the occasional animal sound for extra, rustic effect. But this is Catalonia, and no crib is complete without one additional figure. He is known in Catalan as the caganer.

posted by empath on Dec 23, 2010 - 42 comments

Visual dopamine

This post is a) NSFW or grandmothers, b) Derivative of previous stuff on Metafilter. Having said that, here goes: Canada is a Spanish production company. They do ads, fashion and the best videos I've seen in a very long time. You'd do well to start here. [more inside]
posted by Cobalt on Dec 18, 2010 - 28 comments

Enrique Morente, gigante de flamenco, fallece a 67

Enrique Morente, a controversial, influential giant among flamenco singer-songwriters, died today in the Madrid clinic La Luz, where he had been in an induced coma for the last several days. He was said to have been suffering from stomach cancer, and last week had entered the hospital for surgical intervention for hemorrhaging. [more inside]
posted by toodleydoodley on Dec 13, 2010 - 4 comments

Castells: Human Towers from Catalonia

The building of Castells, or human towers, is a tradition from Catalonia, going back to the end of the 18th century, starting in Valls. About a month ago, the annual Concurs de Castells took place in Tarragona, with groups of castellers competing to make taller and more complex towers. This video is a well-shot glimpse at the tower building, deconstruction, and some tumbles, possibly from the 2010 gathering. Via Kuriositas, which has more photos. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 8, 2010 - 26 comments

the world of facts

Bombay [nsfw], the new video by El Guincho, is a sexy parody of Carl Sagan's greatest hits. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 7, 2010 - 11 comments

No Baggage Challenge

Rolf Potts will travel through 12 countries in 42 days, with his current location updated here. He intends to do all this with no luggage, no backpack, no man purse -- not even a fanny pack. [via mefi projects]
posted by gman on Sep 15, 2010 - 51 comments

"Of course you realize, dis means war."

Catalonia bans bullfighting. Via The NYTimes "Lawmakers in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia voted to ban bullfighting on Wednesday, dealing the most significant blow so far to a tradition considered by many Spaniards to be an essential part of their cultural patrimony. In many ways, however, the ban reflected less on the animal rights than on a political debate over Catalan identity and a push by local parties for greater independence from the rest of Spain. With the strong support of separatist parties, the ban passed by a larger margin than expected: 68 to 55, with 9 abstentions. It is to go into effect in 2012." [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jul 28, 2010 - 34 comments

The earth is ours now, comrades.

Land and Freedom, in its entirety. It's a film about a young English Communist who goes to fight the fascists amidst the Spanish Revolution as a member of the POUM militia. He sees both the reality of a people's revolution and the consequences of Stalinism. It's directed by Ken Loach, who also directed Bread and Roses and The Wind that Shakes the Barley. Subtitles will help a lot if you don't speak Spanish.
posted by cthuljew on Jul 17, 2010 - 29 comments

We are amused

Yesterday, the Spanish national football squad won its first World Cup semifinal. A distinguished supporter insisted on personally congratulating them in the locker room. (SLYT, but priceless. Watch in particular the hero of the match enter the frame around 1:16).
posted by Skeptic on Jul 8, 2010 - 83 comments

Nearly there....

There are only 10 days of the World Cup left. The World Cup Final is on Sunday 11th July at 19:30 GMT. Today sees the start of the Quarter Finals, and with only 8 teams left, this is when the pressure really starts. A brief Preview of the Quarter finals: [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Jul 2, 2010 - 349 comments

Back to the Future

On September 24 1983, a brilliant young Argentinian footballer playing for FC Barcelona was brutally fouled in a Spanish league game against Athletic Bilbao. The resulting injury incapacitated Diego Armando Maradona for four months and ultimately resulted in him leaving Barcelona for Naples and a serious cocaine addiction. More than the fouling player (who already had the nickname "Butcher of Bilbao"), many blamed Bilbao's coach and his somewhat lacking concept of "fair play". [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on May 16, 2010 - 46 comments

Not a prophet in his own land

Baltasar Garzón is a Spanish judge known for his cases on human right abuses by south american dictatorships under international law, specially the case against Augusto Pinochet. Now, after admitting a case against abuses during Franco's Era, he is facing accusations by extreme right groups of deliberately ignoring the Amnesty Law of 1977, possibly questionable under the same universal jurisdiction that gained him international renown. In a controversial decision, the case has been admitted by the Spanish Supreme Court, and so Garzón is facing the possibility of up to 20 years of suspension. [more inside]
posted by valdesm on Apr 14, 2010 - 14 comments

Celebrities... Hoy, Alan Moore

Alan Moore, the Northampton Wizard, as you've never seen him before - SLYT, Spanish with subtitles.
posted by Artw on Mar 29, 2010 - 29 comments

American milk and the cardboard

Emilio the Moor was a parodying humorist flamenco exponent who died in a domestic gas incident. [via]. [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Mar 21, 2010 - 8 comments

Spain 1840 – 1970

A large gallery of contributed images from Spain including what looks to be an entertainer with a prosthetic nose and ear; a hand tinted baby in a bow and school photo; young tough guys and not so tough guys; plus old Semana Santa scenes, as posted previously. [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Mar 17, 2010 - 6 comments

The Arms Trafficker.

Criminals, politics, governments. The decades-long battle to catch an international arms broker.
posted by semmi on Mar 2, 2010 - 7 comments

Fragments of La Traviata

Fragments of La Traviata in a Spanish fruit market
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 20, 2010 - 24 comments

Osama Bin Commie

A Spanish newspaper has noticed that the State Department's identikit picture of Osama Bin Laden appears to have the hair and forehead of Spanish Communist leader Gaspar Llamazares.
posted by Skeptic on Jan 15, 2010 - 49 comments

Anarchism or Barbarism

Who says anarcho-primitivists have no friends? Anarchist thinker John Zerzan will be the keynote speaker at January 15th's centenary meeting of the 100,000-member Spanish anarcho-syndicalist union Confederaction General del Trabajos. Zerzan, who has previously called syndicalism "self-management of alienation" will speak on the topic "Anarchism or Barbarism?". What will anarchy look like in the future?
posted by parmanparman on Jan 13, 2010 - 108 comments

Rethinking organ donation policy

In response to shortfalls in organ donation, policy is undergoing a serious rethink in several countries. In Australia, the government has just lifted a ban on animal-to-human transplants. In the UK, the Chief Medical Officer has called for presumed consent, while in Israel a new law gives donor card carriers a legal right to priority treatment if they should require an organ transplant. Many are looking to Spain, which leads the world, having seen the number of deceased donors per million people - a commonly used benchmark - increase from 14 in 1989 when a new system was put in place to 34.2 last year. Interestingly, people committing suicide have a higher rate of donating organs than average.
posted by MuffinMan on Dec 21, 2009 - 99 comments

The forgotten people

Western Sahara has the dubious distinction of being the subject of probably the most forgotten-about post-colonial conflict in the world. Until 1975, the Spanish government considered Western Sahara a Spanish province, just as much an integral part of its territory as any of its provinces in the Iberian peninsula. However, at the beginning of the 70s, a burgeoning pro-independence movement, and increasing appetites of its Northern and Southern neighbours, Marocco and Mauritania, led to a UN visiting mission in early 1975, which found that "there was an overwhelming consensus among Saharans within the Territory in favour of independence and opposing integration with any neighbouring country". This finding was given additional support by an opinion by the International Court of Justice supporting the Sahrawis right to self-determination against the claims of neighbouring nations. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on Nov 30, 2009 - 35 comments

Got a push broom? Here's some Beethoven.

Atrapa-sons, an amusing and educational television show from TV3 Catalonia in Spain, entertains you with musical numbers creatively composed using ordinary household objects, including rakes, potatoes, surgical gloves, forearm crutches, and brooms. Grab some pots and spoons and join in!
posted by jeanmari on Nov 26, 2009 - 6 comments

Want to change the world? There's nothing to it.

This YouTube video seems to break my browser. Does it play alright for anyone else?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 6, 2009 - 45 comments

Oh my goth!

Amazingly Consistent Obama Smile [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen on Sep 29, 2009 - 137 comments

The Immaculate Tirant

"God save me!" quoth the priest, with a loud voice, "is Tirante the White there? Give me him here, neighbour; for I make account I have found in him a treasure of delight, and a mine of entertainment. Here we have Don Kyrieleison of Montalvan, a valorous knight, and his brother Thomas of Montalvan, and the knight Fonseca, and the combat in which the valiant Tirante fought with the mastiff, and the smart conceits of the damsel Plazerdemivida, with the amours and artifices of the widow Reposada; and madam the empress in love with her squire Hypolito. Verily, gossip, in its way, it is the best book in the world..."
-Don Quixote de la Mancha, Part I, Chapter 6 [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Aug 26, 2009 - 11 comments

The state of high-speed rail, August 2009

The Guardian ran a series of articles looking at the state of high-speed rail travel today. France intends to double its length of track over the next decade, and China is planning a massive rail-building programme, including a high-speed line which will halve the travel time between Beijing and Shanghai to 4 hours. In Germany, domestic air travel is rapidly going extinct, and Spain's network has made day trips between Madrid and Barcelona a possibility. The USA, which has long neglected its rail network, is planning up to 10 high-speed lines. Meanwhile, Britain's only high-speed line goes to France, but there is talk of a 250mph line from London to Birmingham and beyond, possibly by the early 2020s. Meanwhile, the CEO of France's rail operator, SNCF, weighs in on what the UK should do.
posted by acb on Aug 7, 2009 - 49 comments

Illicit Air

Go to Spain, breathe, get high Scientists have recently discovered that there is a small amount of cocaine and LSD in the air of the Spanish cities Madrid and Barcelona.
posted by CaptKyle on May 14, 2009 - 42 comments

3 on 23-F

Most Spaniards over 35 remember exactly where they were in the evening of February 23, 1981, best remembered as "23-F". It was the day of the last big stress test of Spain's then young democracy, when a group of conspirators tried to seize power by force. When armed policemen assaulted Parliament, and started shooting their machineguns to intimidate the lawmakers, on the benches, only three very different men refused to take cover. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on Feb 23, 2009 - 20 comments

Ghost Train

Abandoned Amusement Parks in Asia - 1, 2, 3
posted by Artw on Jan 20, 2009 - 30 comments

"There are no more Jews in Portugal"

What is a Spaniard?: Forcibly Crossing the Cross, the Crescent, and the Star
"The conversions came at the end of one of the most successful Jewish periods in human history... Their success led them to call their land Sepharad, a name from the book of Obadiah that implied that Spanish Jews were the successors to the Jews of Israel. This world ended in 1391."
"At the appointed time, those children who were not presented voluntarily were seized by the officials and forced to the font.... In many cases, parents smothered their offspring in their farewell embrace. In others, they threw them into wells in order to save them from the disgrace of apostasy, and then killed themselves. Sometimes, even old men were dragged to the churches and forcibly baptized by over-zealous fanatics,... In all other cases, the unwilling neophytes, some mere babies, were distributed throughout the country, as far as possible from home, to be brought up in Christian surroundings."
[more inside]
posted by orthogonality on Dec 18, 2008 - 28 comments

The Short Films of Nacho Vigalondo

The Best Youtube Videos of Spanish Filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo (previously). [more inside]
posted by Staggering Jack on Dec 13, 2008 - 5 comments

Truth will never be denied.

Don Quixote - or a superhero? Judge Baltasar Garzón has launched a criminal investigation into the fate of tens of thousands of people who vanished during the country's civil war and General Francisco Franco' s dictatorship. This is upsetting some people. The Spanish Civil War left an estimated half a million people dead. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Oct 20, 2008 - 12 comments

Bachall Isa

The O'Donnell clan claims descendancy (like, dare I say, a significant part of the Irish population), from Niall of the Nine Hostages, legendary High King of Ireland. The O'Donnell clan ruled over the kingdom of Tyrconnell, in modern-day County Donegal, well into the modern age. However, after the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot, Rory O'Donnell, Earl of Tyrconnell, fled Ireland together with Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, in the Flight of the Earls. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on Oct 18, 2008 - 19 comments

Urban Air Trees

Video report about the newly constructed "Urban Air Trees" in Madrid, Spain. These unique structures are designed to both affect the surrounding environment and act as a social centers. Using live plants and photovoltaic cells the Air Tree produces a substantial amount of oxygen and energy. Designed by Urban Ecosystems.
posted by Surfin' Bird on Sep 15, 2008 - 24 comments

... and living on a prayer

Living on the Edge Welcome to Ronda, a beautiful city in southern Spain which is split in two by el Tajo gorge. As a result, certain buildings have been perched on the edge of the gorge’s vertical walls, enormous cliffs bridged by the 200 year old Peunte Neuvo. [more inside]
posted by bwg on Jul 5, 2008 - 12 comments

Righteous among the Peoples

In March 1944, Nazi Germany occupied its ally Hungary and immediately began preparing the extermination of Hungary's Jews. A small band of diplomats from neutral countries and the Red Cross put their lives at risk to try to smuggle as many Jews as possible out of Hungary from under Adolf Eichmann's nose. While Raoul Wallenberg remains the best known of these "Righteous among the Nations", there's no doubt that the most intriguing character was Giorgio "Jorge" Perlasca. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on Jun 29, 2008 - 4 comments

Spain - 2008 European football Champions.

Felicidades España! [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jun 29, 2008 - 25 comments

Old Weird Europe

German newspaper Der Spiegel decided to take a look at Europe's oddest folk traditions and festivals. Perhaps you can have a metaphorical hard-on for the phallus festival of Tyrnavos, Greece. Maybe you're hungry for how a small Belgian town celebrates the practice of swallowing live fish. Or, alternately, you can look down on those bizarre practices... while chasing a giant wheel of cheese down a hill. [more inside]
posted by huskerdont on Jun 3, 2008 - 20 comments

The Tribute of the Three Cows

The Peasant-Nobles of the Roncal Valley and the Tribute of the Three Cows.
posted by homunculus on May 29, 2008 - 10 comments

If God gives you lemons...

Among European countries, Spain has been hit particularly badly by the global credit crisis. Miguel Marina, a recently unemployed real estate agent (what else?) has been one of its victims. Unable to keep up with his mortgage payments or to find a buyer for his home, he has found an original solution: he's raffling his apartment at 5€ a ticket. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on May 28, 2008 - 20 comments

Cliff Richard and General Franco: the 1968 Eurovision mystery

It's the story that has Britain in uproar*: Cliff Richard and General Franco: the 1968 Eurovision mystery. Did General Franco scupper the judging? Exhibit A: Cliff's UK entry, Congratulations. Exhibit 2: Spain's winning entry by Massiel, La la la. For added measure, exhibit iv: here's Cliff's 1973 entry, which believe it or not also did not win, Power to all our Friends (though Cliff's spectacular moves should not sway your opinion on the controversy* in any way). [*not really].
posted by nthdegx on May 12, 2008 - 34 comments

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