The Scots voice of the Spanish revolution [Embedded DivX video 1hr15m; also downloadable] Ethel MacDonald
was a young working class Scots woman who hitch-hiked to Barcelona to do her part in the war
. There she became the English-language voice
of the anarchist movement as a radio station announcer. Newspapers at home dubbed her the "Scottish Scarlet Pimpernel" for her role in helping comrades escape the crackdown that followed the May Days. Her remarkable story is told in this recent drama-documentary
Antonio de Felipe
is a Spanish pop artist
is heavily influenced by pop culture
, classic art
, and simply growing up in Spain. Among the actresses
he frequently depicts are Audrey Hepburn
(as well as melding different sources
) and Marilyn Monroe
. He has also recreated some international masterpieces
in pop art form. Some may be familiar with his work from the art he created for Pedro Almodóvar's film Live Flesh
. Altogether, his work transcends
national boundaries while still maintaining
a distinct Spanish flavor
. [more inside]
Frustrated with perceived inefficacy of local law enforcement and government, residents of Calle de la Montera
have started posting video of criminal behaviour (mainly prostitution) on their street to YouTube
. The Data Protection Agency (tasked with privacy enforcement) is not amused (in Spanish; machine translation)
, but the neighbourhood watch group maintains it is not breaking the law (m.t.)
Bush and Aznar pre-Iraq Invasion--
Transcript of their private conversations in Crawford, Feb 22, 2003: "Quedan dos semanas. En dos semanas estaremos militarmente listos. Estaremos en Bagdad a finales de marzo", le dijo a Aznar.
("2 weeks. In 2 weeks we will be ready militarily. We'll be in Baghdad by the end of March", he told Aznar.) Consider this historical documentation. Full transcript here
, and audio clips in first link. [more inside]
is a prolific blog from Spain focusing on illustration
, vintage comics
, humor magazines
and other beautiful ephemera
, curated by the editor-in-chief of a Spanish comics company. [via Journalista]
Navarre now generates more than 50% of its energy needs by wind power:
a profile of the small autonomous region in northern Spain that is leading the way in renewable energy. This is one of many free access articles in this special supplement on energy issues
to the journal Nature.
Spanish Civil War posters,
utilizing many early modernist styles --like Art Deco, surrealism, realism, and photomontage-- to communicate with the people of Spain, many of whom were illiterate.
Three exceptionally beautiful videos featuring surreal genius architect Antoni Gaudi
Spain's El Mundo newspaper
has an online photo gallery of beautiful, haunting images from Holy Week celebrations around Spain. (More)
20 minutos also has a great gallery.
Even for nonbelievers, the spectacle is impressive. Wikipedia explains
a little about the traditions, and addresses the sartorial similarities between the procession participants and Klan members.
An Islamic History of Europe: (90 minute BBC documentary on Google video.)
Rageh Omaar uncovers the hidden story of Europe's Islamic past and looks back to a golden age when European civilisation was enriched by Islamic learning.
When the Moors Ruled in Europe:(102 minute BBC documentary on Google video.)
A look at the Islamic past of Spain and the influence it has on the present.
Behind Iron Bars.
A short comic of the Spanish Civil War. From the latest, international comics, edition of Words Without Borders
So this is Christmas and what have you done? Well, if you've been to Jesus's manger, you're made of clay, and you're from Spain, you probably pooped
Barcelona Street Art.
Most places consider graffiti a form of vandalism, but in Barcelona, street art is embraced. The result is a city with public walls like giant canvases of modern art
A virtual tour
of Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces and Generalife. [flash]
work can be found all over the world. He is an artist that carves symbols on rocks and then leaves them at the site where they were created (sometimes burying
ETA declares permanent ceasefire.
For more than 40 years
has been making life in Euskadi (Basque Country) and Spain a nightmare. After its political arm Batasuna dropped hints at wanting to resolve this conflict politically, rather than with bombs, ETA itself has finally come out and said the same
. The majority of the Spanish population
want to negotiate a peace, but not everybody
. Can the terrorists be trusted?
Body, volume, style and shine with long-lasting power. Clonycavan Styling Gel
, along with mummification in Irish peat, works together with your freshly disemboweled corpse to protect hair from the disruptive power of 2000 years of rigor-mortis.
This Spanish commercial
for Madrid's Metro system uses a cool visual device, making the ground transparent and showing the view from the subway, like a glass bottom boat in reverse. note: link contains embedded wmv
Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead,
but the fight over his legacy
lives on, 30 years later. Protestors from both sides demonstrated in advance of a commemoration service at Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caídos
, the grandiose monument built by political prisoners
that now holds Franco's tomb. (For those who read Spanish, El Pais
has more; the paper itself was created to promote the transition to democracy after Franco's death.)
Last night I didn't fall asleep until early in the morning. And I've got a long day ahead of me. So, what the hell is making me smile at seven thirty-five in the morning
? (embedded quicktime)
Looks like George W Bush's Hague Invasion Act
might need amending to become a Madrid Invasion Act
, following a Spanish court order for the arrest of three US soldiers in response to the "Palestine Hotel" incident
An odd hurricane season becomes odder.
Meet Vince, the 23rd tracked topical low, and the 21st named storm of the near record setting 2005 Atlantic Hurricane season. But, where is he? Not here. Not even way over here.
No, Vince is way over here
-- and is headed towards Spain. Of course, this isn't the oddest place for a tropical cyclone. There was Catarina
last year, forming the first hurricane ever recorded in the South Atlantic, and never mind what, to all eyes, appears to have been a hurricane in the Mediterranean Sea.
The world's oldest family companies
start with a 1,400 year old Japanese family business
that has always built Buddhist temples. On the corporation side, only one of the great chartered companies
survives, Canada's Hudson Bay Company, founded in 1670
, and now a large retailer, though there may be much older
corporations. There is even a club with an interesting web site, Les Hénokien
, for companies that are over 300 years old. If companies aren't your thing, there is always the world's oldest restaurant
Who are the Sephardim?
provides a short history of Sephardic Jews. The Ladino language website
has a more complete introduction to Ladino, the Judeo-Spanish language. Included are a brief descriptive grammar
, stanzas from Joseph the Wise
, a long Ladino poem, and a translation of The Story of Gerineldo
, a folktale. There are very good primary sources at the Medieval Sourcebook
, and a Yahoo Ladino discussion group
. This essay about the interactions between Moorish and Jewish cultures and their collective effect on European culture
seems quite good (and is in Spanish). See also this Spanish-language article about exploring Ladino
. There are more good Spanish-language resources on Sephardic history here
Spain legalizes gay marriage.
Warm-climate-loving gay people rejoice
! You now have warm beaches to share with your spouse. Yesterday
it was Canada; which country will be tomorrow? [link to La Vanguardia article]
The shame in spain
- thought provoking article about racism in la Liga.
An old custom of Catalan, Castellers
build human towers several stories tall. Via the Cellar's IOTD
. Site is in spanish, click on links with foto and video.
We Were All On That Train
If any adventurous film festival directors happen to be reading, a Spanish production company called Docus Madrid has just released a fine documentary
, comprising 24 short films, about the terrorist train attacks in March. The pressbook can be downloaded from the home page in MS Word, in English: otherwise, it's all in Spanish. Ticket money goes to relatives of the victims.
Spain to legalize Same Sex Marriages.
Fulfilling a campaign promise
, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's
socialist government is on the verge of making Spain only the third country in Europe to legalize same sex marriages after the Netherlands and Belgium. This and other progressive legislation has led angry bishops of the Spanish Church
and other religious groups
to start a campaign against Zapatero's “social revolution” that is converting Spain into one of the most liberal countries in all of Europe. [more inside]
Place Project. A suitcase with a camera and a blank book travelled the world. 35 designers have translated the world around them into their pages. After 18 months and 170.000 km it will be presented in Barcelona.
November 23 - December 12, 2004.
That most peculiar of spectacles the Fiesta de san Fermín
(Running of the Bulls) seems to still exist and will be going ahead tomorrow. The event is held in parallel with Feria del Toro
(the Bullfighting Fair); the run itself seems to be in the interests of transporting the bulls to the fair while getting them good and angry, confused, scared and weakened
in the process. Being that the event is in honor of Saint Fermín
, when the San Fermín
church strikes 8am, the bulls are released and the runners get underway, trying to avoid them on their just under 1km trip
. On arrival at the Plaza del Toro (Bullring) they are herded into corrals and later released so the crowd can watch the matadors kill them in traditional bullfighting fashion [wmv: 380k | 150k | 56k]
. Of course, many people are not really so keen
on this event; and it seems PETA
will be holding one of their typically daft protests
Can't people just throw tomatoes at each other
"At first glance, many of Abeyta's works appear to be Spanish colonial paintings dating from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries. However, the artist incorporates present-day imagery with Spanish colonial and indigenous elements." A short bio and history here
. Here's one of my favorites
A police shooting in País Basquo
led to rioting and rubber bullets
on Saturday just hours before the Spanish elections. Reports say that Angel Berroeta was shot for not placing a sign in his shop window that read, "ETA NO."
Al-Qaeda behind Madrid massacre?
One piece of evidence I've only seen mentioned in Norway is a document a terrorist research group at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment found on an Islamist website. The document surveys strategies for forcing the coalition out of Iraq. It mentions Spain as a convenient target, and the election this week as a convenient time to carry it out
opposition party wins spanish elections
. democracy can be somewhat irritating when decisions made against the will of the majority come back to haunt you. especially when trying to fool your people with baseless arguments, such as moral convictions
that eta were behind the attacks. ever more curious about those wmd, or imminent threats, or, er, the intent
of developing nuclear capabilities, in november.
"You love life and we love death"
Al Qaeda video found in Spain claims responsibility for Madrid
bombings. (NY Times on first link.) How can we tell if a group claiming a terror act actually were the bastards who did it?
spokesman of spanish police announces muslim men of moroccan, indian and spanish nationality were arrested this evening. goodbye and thank you, jose maria aznar.
Ocean Power Technologies
is one of the leading Ocean Wave Power alternative energy companies. The technology is simple to understand
, easy to deploy and costs about the same as fossil fuel power 3 to 4 cents. OPT just signed a deal
for a 1M farm off the coast of Spain with a 100M farm by 2006, a major step forward for wave power generation.
Jumping over babies
- on June 22 in Burgos, Spain
, parents will dress newborn babies in finery and lay them in the street so that a man dressed as the devil can leap over them. It's an age-old ritual
. Many cultures have colorful ceremonial rites of passage
marked by festivals - have you come upon any in your travels?
La Catedral de Girona
- visit this Gothic masterpiece on the Costa Brava through a flash exhibition that affords a fascinating exploration of internal and external architectural details, stained glass, artwork, sepulchres, and more. Be sure to take the visit
and don't miss the famous Tapestry of Creation
.(found at MeFi member Zootoon's wonderful blog by the same name - lots of great treasures there too!)
The Power of Art?
This interesting article becomes extremely clever if you think about some of the basic history of "Guernica"
. Little-known artist Picasso
(see '37 for initial ideas, '45 for completed painting) was commissioned to paint it after the horrific slaughters of the Spanish Civil War. “...Picasso's tour de force would become one of this century's most unsettling indictments of war.” (more inside)
Where To Stay In Portugal And Spain:
You could do worse than try Secret Places
, an ambitious and delightful website that has the advantage of emphasizing unusual and charming accommodation. I don't know about Spain, but the places they recommend in Portugal, the Azores and Madeira are top notch and not at all touristy. These are the fairly priced rural inns, private homes and hotels we Portuguese repair to when our batteries need recharging. Although Portugal is a big tourist destination and there are loads of accommodation websites, I'm sorry to say that this is the first I've seen that's any good. I'm not so sure about the other hotel chain websites highly praised in a New York Times article
[ registration required; with pop-ups
], although the Ian Schrager Hotels
] one is quite attractive (in an early Nineties way) and very efficient reservation-wise.
Pamplona is on again.Guess who seems to have won round one
Anybody out there been there done that ??
"What nonsense I have just come out with,"
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar admitted after delivering a 25-minute speech -- unaware that his microphone was still turned on. Oops.
North Koreans would rather drink poison than return
Refugees seek asylum at the Spanish embassy in China.
"We are now at the point of such desperation and live in such fear of persecution within North Korea that we have come to the decision to risk our lives for freedom rather than passively await our doom," the group's statement said.
"Some of us carry poison on our person to commit suicide if the Chinese authorities should choose once again to send us back to North Korea," the statement said.
might be taking the war on terrorism a little to far. Royal Marines get lost or should I say vamos
. (Parden my french).