Girl with flower

October 24th, 2008 — oedipa

Barcelona anti-war graffiti

During the early spring of 2003, demonstrations against the Iraq war were going on all over the world. We were in Barcelona at the time and the February and March anti-war protests were enormous. Based upon the numbers the newspapers published, essentially the entire population of the city turned out for the Feb. 15th demonstration. At 10:00pm every single night, people came out to make noise for fifteen minutes as a reminder: they stood on their balconies banging pots with spoons, those sitting in bars or restaurants clinked glasses with silverware, people on the street banged their keys on lampposts; this went on for <i>weeks</i>. After the February 15th demonstration, a group of protesters set up camp in the square in front the the city hall building in Casco Antiguo. They had scattered tent shelters and a camp kitchen set up to feed themselves and whoever turned up at dinnertime; people were constantly hanging out playing guitars, making art, giving speeches, being revolutionary, etc. They covered the plywood construction barriers that were set up all over the square (a couple of the buildings were under construction) with detailed murals. This is a small detail from one of them.

Barcelona, 2003. Click to see a wider view.

Semana Santa (the unofficial start of Barcelona tourist season) marked the end of the city’s tolerance of the protesters and in the preceding week they were evicted, the murals painted over, and all signs that they had ever been there removed.

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